While the importance of innovation is often mentioned with regard to banking these days, it is usually associated with consumer banking products, such as mobile RDC and mobile photo bill pay. However, Capital One's Jim Gifas believes the same innovative thinking should be brought to bank's corporate customers.
Gifas, a 2013 Bank Systems & Technology Elite 8 honoree, joined Capital One in April as senior vice president and head of the Treasury Management Product Management & Innovation Group. He manages a team of fifty people and leads all aspects of product management and development functions, including industry and segment strategies. Gifas reports to Colleen Taylor, head of Treasury Management and Enterprise Payments. Previously, Gifas served as head of Treasury Solutions for RBS Citizens Bank, where he played an integral role in the bank’s development of one of the earliest mobile banking application for corporate payment and banking.
Gifas says Capital One has laid out a strategic roadmap to revolutionize its treasury products and services set, which also involves a "significant investment" in this area. Gifas will play a key role in shepherding the roadmap into a reality, which he says includes "everything" related to treasury services.
"We're looking at mobile, payments, e-banking capabilities, collections as well," he adds.
Mobile for corporate customers is specifically something Gifas has much experience with, especially after his work at RBS Citizens. He says corporate customers are increasingly looking at mobile as an extension of their desktop.
"On the consumer side, mobile gives you instant access to information, the ability to make payments and view deposits, why would corporate customers not want that in their business lives as well?" he asks.
He notes that since corporate clients are generally dealing with significantly higher amounts of money that consumer customers, there is a bit more trepidation from them when it comes to security related to mobile. Gifas feels it is important to educate them on how to protect themselves from fraud, while also building solutions that protect the customer as much as possible.
Automation in treasury services is another big priority for Gifas. "That's something that’s top of mind for me because it is top of mind for our customers," he adds.
Specifically, automating in corporate payments is a focus for Gifas and reducing the number of checks, which are expensive to process. Along those lines, Gifas is also looking at ways to help Capital One's corporate clients make more efficient payments, whether that be by credit cards, wire transfers or ACH.
"The perfect solution will vary by customer and depend on their specific needs," he says.
Ultimately, he says the goal is to provide treasury services products that are "easy to use, intuitive and add value to the business."