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Episode #39: Jason Mikula

Episode 39

Jason Mikula started his weekly newsletter, Fintech Business Weekly, as a pandemic project. Today, the financial technology publication is one of the better-known reads in the industry.

Mikula talks with David about his predictions for the future of finance – including thoughts on NFTs, crypto and where these elements of Web3 fit into the financial industry. Banking as a Service is also discussed in addition to fintech’s potential to support financial health among consumers.

Mikula also speaks to his time in the Peace Corps and how he moved from working in digital marketing to the financial industry.

Featured Guest: Jason Mikula

Jason Mikula is the publisher of Fintech Business Weekly, a newsletter going beyond the headlines to analyze the technology, regulatory, and business model trends driving the rapidly evolving financial services ecosystem at the intersection of traditional banking, payments, fintech, and crypto. He also advises and consults for and invests in early stage startups. Previously, he spent over a decade building and scaling consumer finance businesses, including at Enova, LendUp, and Goldman Sachs.

David Reiling Headshot

David Reiling

David Reiling is an innovative social entrepreneur focused on empowering individuals through community banking and financial technology. David is the Chief Executive Officer of Sunrise Banks and has been in the community development banking industry for more than 25 years.

Featured Music

Pete Stewart

"Under Midnight Pale"

Listen Now

Episode Transcript

0:00 – [MUSIC PLAYING]

0:03 – Jason Mikula

I mean, I think at the end of the day, whether we call something crypto or NFT, the question is, what is the functional economic characteristics that it has, right? And a lot of these purportedly novel instruments are actually just recreating things that have always existed.

0:27 – David Reiling

Welcome to the NextGen Banker podcast, where we explore what’s next in banking and talk with the innovators responsible for creating positive change in the financial sector. I am your host, David Reiling. And I’m very excited to welcome Jason Mikula. And, Jason, thank you for being on the NextGen Banker podcast today.

0:47 – Jason Mikula

Yeah, absolutely. Happy to join you. First podcast recording of the new year for me.

0:53 – David Reiling

Yeah. Well, fantastic. And, Jason, just one thing for our audience before we get started, at the end of each NextGen Banker podcast, we have a musical feature. And so, it’s an artist from anywhere from around the world, so representing a wide range of genres. So, audience, check it out. Start a new year and a new list of artists.

1:16 – David Reiling

Now, Jason, a little background on you as we get rolling here, you’re the managing director of 312 Global Strategies BV, a financial services consulting firm. You’re the publisher of Fintech Business Weekly, a newsletter about the latest happenings in the fintech world, which I can’t wait to talk to you about. And you have more than a decade’s experience in digital marketing, financial services for organizations across the US and Europe. So great to have you on the podcast today. And maybe just to kind of kick us off, I’m always curious as to how did you end up in fintech and particularly in the Netherlands?

1:54 – David Reiling

And here’s our geo quiz for the day for people. Where is Utrecht in the Netherlands would be the question. And so, if you know the answer, just say it out loud, audience, to yourself. So, it’s a very cool town. If you haven’t been there, I recommend going there. So how did you get where you are after your career in the US and in London and get into fintech?

2:15 – Jason Mikula

Yeah, I mean, I always like to joke that I always think of myself as one of the least likely people to have ended up in financial services. And working from small-dollar lending to building the consumer banking franchise at Goldman Sachs, not really what I thought my career path was going to be when I was in college. I studied political science in undergrad and attended University of Chicago to study sociology, absolutely nothing to do with finance or banking or, frankly, even marketing, which was kind of my entry path.

2:51 – Jason Mikula

After I attended grad school, I decided I had my entire life to work in offices, went off, served as a Peace Corps volunteer in the very tough assignment of Saint Lucia in the Caribbean, which was very rough. And when I came back, I was recruited by a company in Chicago called Enova, which is kind of fintech before fintech was a popular term. I mean, they started doing online lending in the small-dollar space I want to say in like 2003, 2004, so, I mean, far before the kind of lending clubs and prospers that came later.

3:31 – Jason Mikula

And I was recruited because I had a digital marketing skill set. So, I mean, at this point– and I’m dating myself– but, I mean, the sort of cutting-edge digital marketing was like, oh, do you know how to run Google Ads? Do you understand how to manage an affiliate program and do the sort of tracking and attribution and computing of CPA, cost per acquisition, and sort of run this stuff?

3:55 – Jason Mikula

And there were no, as far as I’m aware, college programs that taught this stuff back then. So, I mean, I was sort of self-taught because I was a nerd and liked it and was recruited to this job and had no background in financial services but needed health insurance. And so that was sort of where I started. And that was 13, 14 years ago now.

4:17 – Jason Mikula

And went from Evona to LendUp, which was a startup out in San Francisco, and then Goldman, which, if you’re interested, I’m sure we can talk about that, moved out to London, where I worked for a private student lending startup, and ultimately ended up here in beautiful Utrecht, although cold, dark, and a bit rainy this time of year, more for personal reasons. My better half moved here for work, and I joined him. And I’ve been here for about a bit over three years now.

4:49 – David Reiling

Wow. Fantastic. And what a great journey. I talk to college students and graduate students fairly regularly. And they’re always like, oh. They’re always so stressed about not knowing what they’re going to do. Or they’re so certain about their future, on the other end of the spectrum.

5:05 – David Reiling

And I’m like, take it easy. The world is going to throw you some things and you’re going to find your journey to wherever that is. And you know what? You can change it if you want to. So, it’s always fascinating to me how people start one place, end up in another, and find their space, ultimately. So that’s cool.

5:22 – David Reiling

So, now, in 2020, you started a newsletter called Fintech Business Weekly. And I am going to throw out a shameless plug here because I am a– I haven’t subscribed yet, as I told you, but I read your newsletters from ’22 and I’m like, yeah, this is so in my repertoire of what I need to put in terms of reading for ’23. And so how did you think about starting the newsletter? And what audience are you trying to reach here?

5:52 – Jason Mikula

So, I mean, to be honest, it kind of started as a pandemic hobby. Now, thankfully, for the most part, the pandemic is in the rear-view mirror for most of us, at least the worst component of it. But think back to whatever it was, October 2020, pre-vaccine, here in the Netherlands. Pretty much everything was closed, with the exception of grocery store, pharmacy, et cetera.

6:20 – Jason Mikula

And the winter is cold, dark, and rainy. So, I couldn’t spend all of my time binge watching Netflix. I was like, I need to do something that feels a little bit more productive. I mean, I’d been in the space for a long time at that point. I’ve always enjoyed writing and talking to people about what’s happening.

6:37 – Jason Mikula

And I thought, hey, why not do this in a bit more of a structured way and put myself out there by sharing it? And I’m sure people will disagree, or I’ll make mistakes. And that’s part of learning and writing and publishing in public. So that was sort of my thought process at that time.

7:01 – Jason Mikula

Part of what I wanted to contribute– and I’m a bit of a news junkie. I found– and, frankly, I think this is still true– in the sort of mainstream business press, so your Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg kind of publications, which are fantastic, but they tend to only be able to cover the biggest stories, right? So, I mean, if you’re Stripe or with what’s happening these days maybe Coinbase and some of the drama there, it’s going to be covered in mainstream business press.

7:36 – Jason Mikula

But some of those earlier-stage companies or smaller companies are just beyond the scope of coverage of those types of publications. And the reporters, not that they don’t do a fantastic job, but they don’t typically have experience in industry with some notable exceptions, of course. I mean, Matt Levine at “Money Stuff” is far, far smarter and more experienced than I could ever hope to be.

8:05 – Jason Mikula

But generally, if you’re reading some write up about, oh, what’s happening in this weird new buy now pay later thing or what’s happening with Zelle and fraud and Zelle, typically the people who are writing those pieces, they’re reporters. They’re not coming from industry. And so, they’re going to cover it with sort of a different lens, in a different level of detail.

8:32 – Jason Mikula

On the flip side, some publications that are more focused on startups I found tended to lack a certain critical lens, right, so almost serving more as a press release amplification machine, which is great. I mean, we need to know who raised money, who launched new products. That’s helpful, but didn’t necessarily apply a critical lens of is this a sustainable business model? Does this valuation make sense, et cetera? And so, looking at these two sort of poles, I’m like, OK, I can go more in depth and bring a body of knowledge that maybe a typical print publication reporter doesn’t have, but also be more critical or analytical than maybe some of the more cheerleader type publications typically are.

9:31 – David Reiling

Yeah, I have to tell you, the way that you just described that is exactly how I ingested it. And from my lens, you were able to– you’re able to look at a holistic kind of lens of this industry. And I would agree. I see some of the startup stuff is a little too much cheerlead-y in terms of how they describe fintechs and the revolution there.

9:55 – David Reiling

And then I rarely hear that there’s enough in depth in terms of, hey, the perspective of a regulator or a compliance or the business model itself of asking those big questions. Hey, when do you go from actually number of members or users to actual revenue models and what that means? And so that lens is, to me, really refreshing.

10:16 – David Reiling

And I have to tell you that the article that or the newsletter that is still very fresh in my mind and I’m really curious to ask you about, in the beginning of ’22, you made six predictions in your fintech newsletter, anywhere from crypto to NFTs to the metaverse and more. First of all, let’s just pause there for a second. Is there any reflections that you want to give on those predictions from 2022? And then maybe roll us into ’23 a little. Give us a tease as to what ’23 might look like.

10:48 – Jason Mikula

Yeah, I mean, clearly, I was rereading those and sort of grading myself. I was pretty happy with how accurate I was.

10:59 – David Reiling

You are fantastic, in my opinion.

11:01 – Jason Mikula

No, not surprised. I mean, in retrospect, it if you think of Jan ’22 or the end of 2021, I think that you had a small minority of people who were looking at what was happening, particularly in crypto, NFT space, and saying, this is a completely unsustainable bubble. And I guess after, whatever, 12, 13 years in finance and in startups, I’ve become a little bit skeptical, right? We’ve seen this story before, I mean, particularly when you’re talking about some of the stuff, we mentioned earlier of bringing that more critical lens.

11:49 – Jason Mikula

And not that these weren’t, aren’t great companies. But if you think back to LendingClub and OnDeck when they IPOed, the story was these are technology companies. They’re not finance companies. They both IPOed, I want to say, around $8-ish billion market cap, something in that neighborhood.

12:08 – Jason Mikula

OnDeck sold for peanuts, $90 million, actually, to my old employer, Enova. And LendingClub, I think, has done a great job of basically becoming a completely different business, right? It’s no longer a peer-to-peer lender. It’s a bank, right? So very different than where they started off.

12:29 – Jason Mikula

So, I mean, I have, I think, a healthy level of skepticism. And seeing all of the mania, I think, is really the appropriate word around crypto, around NFTs. It’s like, this is not real. I mean, this is not real, not sustainable. These valuations are not based on anything other than hype and hope.

12:53 – Jason Mikula

And I actually, I think Todd Baker has done an excellent job with a couple of pieces he’s written recently describing– and I agree with probably 95% of his position and analysis– arguing that a lot of what is in crypto is finance without any purpose, without any real economic purpose underneath it. It’s purely essentially sort of speculative gambling. And so, it’s not surprising that that bubble would pop eventually.

13:28 – David Reiling

Yeah, I would agree. It certainly needed to find its way and I think still does from that economic where’s the value add embedded in it outside of just the specular nature of its, quote unquote, value. And so, it’s really interesting.

13:45 – David Reiling

And as much as I’ve tried in terms of the NFT world to really get my head around it and dive in, I still felt that there was a cousin there that I just seemed to– can it really sustain the value? I can see some use cases that really could have some applicability and access and value. But, boy, for the whole, I just still was very skeptical.

14:07 – David Reiling

And so interested to see– now, it’s still, obviously, a $20 billion-ish type of space. So, it’s not small by any means, but it’s not– it’ll be interesting to see how it evolves from here. And particularly can I get your take on what do you think NFTs, and bank regulators or securities regulators would ultimately say about the oversight of it all?

14:31 – Jason Mikula

That’s interesting. And I don’t want to position myself as an expert on securities regulation. But, I mean, I don’t know, I think most of us in the space would probably read the Howey test and what lens that regulators or courts apply when looking at something and saying, is this a security?

14:51 – Jason Mikula

And, I mean, all– in the most abstract, right, all an NFT is the representation of some object on the blockchain. Most of what we saw last year was that that representation was essentially pointing to a JPEG, right? It’s pointing to a picture, right? So, if you were buying and selling that NFT, what you’re doing is buying and selling representation that you, quote unquote, own this JPEG of a Bored Ape or what have you.

15:30 – Jason Mikula

I mean, I think we’ve seen some other instances, both in the crypto space but also in NFT, where it starts to look like something that could be a security, right, if it’s like– OK, I was actually listening to a podcast during my holiday travels about a project that was selling NFTs that was like fractional or wanted to be fractional ownership in an island that they were, a private island that they were going to buy. And owning that NFT would give you certain rights to live there and participate in the community and et cetera.

16:07 – Jason Mikula

I mean, I think at the end of the day, whether we call something crypto or NFT, the question is, what is the functional economic characteristics that it has, right? And a lot of these purportedly novel instruments are actually just recreating things that have always existed, right? Is it functioning as an equity investment? Is it functioning as a debt investment and so on, or fractional ownership?

16:41 – Jason Mikula

So just calling something an NFT doesn’t, in my mind, change the underlying economic functionality. Maybe it’s a different way of viewing or holding or transacting. But at the end of the day, if the NFT is functioning like an ownership stake, like an equity stake, it’s probably a security.

17:04 – Jason Mikula

And I think probably most of the people listening to this have been around long enough to realize that particularly in the American regulatory regime, there doesn’t tend to be a strong response until there’s a crisis. I mean, we certainly saw that in 2007, 2008. I feel like we’re probably seeing that right now with crypto, although how that response plays out definitely seems a bit uncertain based on who has jurisdiction– SEC, CFTC, how do banking regulators respond? But yeah, I mean, I think that you’re going to see scrutiny, perhaps enforcement actions, perhaps new rule making based on the extreme excesses that unfolded in 2001, 2002.

17:58 – David Reiling

So, Jason, I want to talk about your background a little bit in the Peace Corps. But I’m going to put that on pause for just one second. I just have two speed questions for you relative to where you’ve been recently and just kind of recent events.

18:12 – David Reiling

You were a speaker recently in Saudi Arabia at a fintech conference. Gosh, what’s going on in Saudi Arabia in terms of fintech? It’s a space that is unknown to me. So, I just, again, I’m using that term “curiosity” again, but I’m curious as to what’s happening there.

18:26 – Jason Mikula

I mean, it was also mostly unknown to me, to be fully transparent. I was asked to go and speak on a panel specifically about open banking. I mean, I think the thing that was the most surprising to me was how similar it was, the conversations I was having. And most of the attendees were from Saudi Arabia or elsewhere in the Middle East, North Africa region, also maybe Pakistan, India.

18:56 – Jason Mikula

But the kinds of topics, the kinds of conversations were probably 95% the same as what I would have at Money 2020. It was, how can we use open banking to better underwrite lending to consumers? How can we use open banking to better help people save or manage retirement? So, a lot of the same kinds of questions, topics, even a lot of the same kinds of products.

19:24 – Jason Mikula

I mean, there was a startup pitch competition. And one of them that I remember specifically was basically an earned wage access style product. One was essentially a buy now, pay later style of product.

19:39 – Jason Mikula

So going into that experience, frankly, not knowing a ton about the financial services ecosystem in Saudi, I expected it to be more different than it was. I think the one argument to the contrary was there was a company I was speaking with that had been going through the process of obtaining an eMoney license, which that category doesn’t quite exist in the US, but, I mean, essentially what you need to operate a neobank in a lot of other countries. And the process had taken them something like two plus years.

20:18 – Jason Mikula

And we’re not even talking about holding customer deposits. I mean, it’s more like a payment facilitator type entity. And so that, when I think of the relative ease of launching consumer fintech companies in the US, in the UK, whether it’s through partnerships, which are very prevalent in the US ecosystem, or through obtaining a sort of de novo license, that something other than a bank license, some sort of third category, that part did surprise me a bit.

20:51 – David Reiling

OK, interesting. And then moving on to the next question would be banking as a service and its evolution, where are we today, in your mind, in terms of the banking as a service? Certainly, all the rage, development, VC money pouring into it, seems to be a little more injection of the regulatory world in terms of its inquiry, given Blue Ridge and so forth. Just your thoughts on banking as a service. Where are we?

21:23 – Jason Mikula

I mean, I think that there are a couple of different intersecting trends impacting that that, frankly, are sometimes pushing in different directions. One is sort of the overall VC and fintech funding environment, right? So if we think about what is fueling demand for banking as a service, whether that’s sort of directly with a partner bank or through one of the– I use the term middleware, one of these middleware platforms, the demand for that is being fueled by fintechs, whether that’s serving a consumer base or business SMB or business base, fintechs forming that are marketing to these constituencies, we’ve seen a very notable reversal in the funding climate, I mean, in my opinion, healthy and overdue.

22:21 – Jason Mikula

But if you look at the number of deals and amount of funds raised on a month-by-month basis, it dropped precipitously since the beginning of 2022, right? So, I think it’s reasonable to assume if there’s less VC money flowing into the fintech space, you’re presumably going to have lower demand for these sorts of banking-as-a-service relationship. So that’s part one.

22:49 – Jason Mikula

Part two, the kinds of community banks or smaller banks that have pursued these business models, that need isn’t going away, right? I mean, if you look at the number of licensed banks in the United States, it’s just wildly out of whack with what is really needed to serve the population, right? And I think about this as historic relic of one, banking pre-internet, and then two, I mean, there’s a regulatory component there as well, with interstate banking regulation going back to the ’80s.

23:32 – Jason Mikula

But, I mean, the US banking market has been on a long path of consolidation. And despite antitrust inquiry or executive orders about fostering competition, I don’t see those as reversing the long-term trend towards consolidation. So if you are one of these smaller banks, I mean, particularly the sub 10 million Durbin-exempt banks, and you’re looking around saying, oh gosh, we need to keep growing, because that’s what– if you’re a publicly traded or privately held, whatever, that’s what our shareholders are demanding of us. If we don’t grow, we’re going to die.

24:13 – Jason Mikula

But hey, we’re in Tennessee. Or we’re in Utah. And maybe we don’t necessarily have the resources and the technical talent to do this ourselves.

24:26 – Jason Mikula

Banking as a service, despite the headwinds and kerfuffle of the past year, still presents a appealing and, frankly, logical path to expansion if it’s like, OK, what do I need? I need to be able to source deposits. I need to be able to deploy those as loans and then ideally also generate some sort of fee revenue that is not tied to those two pieces.

24:52 – Jason Mikula

And the kinds of fintech relationships that are enabled by banking as a service, I think, are still a really appealing way to do that. I mean, I think about it as the disaggregation of the banking value chain, right? I mean, much as we’ve seen in the mortgage space historically, where all of these things that maybe used to happen at your community bank, from underwriting, origination, servicing, collections, et cetera, are now split over a huge variety of players.

25:21 – Jason Mikula

Or, I mean, even at a totally different industry, you’ve seen it in telco as well, sort of like cable mobile phones, where they used to provide a lot of the functionality. Now they’re sort of the dumb pipes and there are other players that sit on top of it. And so, I think that is what is unfolding in the banking space.

25:41 – Jason Mikula

Is JPMorgan Chase going to go away? Is Citibank going to go away? No. But what about basically the other 3,900 banks that are top 100 banks? There’s going to be consolidation. And then there’s going to be the ones that find a path to capture that consolidating market share. And I think banking as a service will still play a key role in it.

26:02 – David Reiling

Yeah. We’ll see the evolution. Maybe taking a slightly different direction, and so you’d mentioned earlier, too, you were a volunteer in the Peace Corps in one of my favorite places in the world, Saint Lucia. But you’ve also, you’ve supported nonprofits through your subscription, through your newsletter. You’ve been a mentor in finance accelerators.

26:22 – David Reiling

Kind of the core component I’m trying to go for here is do you think in fintech, can fintech be used for good? Is there a way to harness the technology, the usability, et cetera, to really provide something then just the value to the shareholder and so forth? More than that economic return, is there some other value there?

26:42 – Jason Mikula

Yeah, absolutely. I mean, I think in particularly in the American or even, say, Western context, I think one of the challenges is– this is a very cliche thing to say, but incentives tend to be unaligned– misaligned? Misaligned. So if you, I mean, if you look at what is the business of banking– holding money, moving money, storing money, growing money, et cetera– the companies, whether they’re banks or nonbanks, fintechs, tend to derive revenue by encouraging activities that are not always helpful for the end consumer.

27:31 – Jason Mikula

And I’ll pick on neobanks as an example. I think that companies like Chime and Varo in aggregate have been good for consumers in the sense that the segment those companies serve tended to be very poorly served by your money center banks, like Chase, Wells Fargo, et cetera. They’re getting NSF, overdraft, min balance fees.

27:57 – Jason Mikula

So, if you’re living paycheck to paycheck, have a couple hundred bucks in your account, no, you’re not having a great experience at those kind of banks. And Chime, Varo, et cetera recognize that. And they’re like, hey, we can build a better product for these consumers. Now, asterisks, it’s unclear if this is an economically viable business model. Time will tell on that one.

28:21 – Jason Mikula

But to your point about can it be used for good; I think the challenge is the business model in that space is interchange. And so, if I’m running a neobank in the US and I’m a product manager, growth manager, or whatever, what am I trying to do? I’m trying to get my consumers to, I mean, one, move money on the platform. So, is it their tax refund check, their stimulus check, their direct deposit, so that they can then spend it with my debit card?

28:54 – Jason Mikula

In business models that are centered around savings and to somewhat of a lesser extent investment tend to be less attractive and particularly less– I mean, less profitable, so less attractive, particularly to the kinds of investors that are funding these companies. If you’re a VC investor, you’re not looking for a nice small business. You want a unicorn, $1 billion, $10 billion, $50 billion valuation company. And so, the venture dollars tend to flow to companies that are going to be interested in maximizing profitability.

29:37 – Jason Mikula

Now, I think there are plenty of places within fintech that have the opportunity to do, quote unquote, good things. The kind of buzzwords you tend to hear are around expanding access and inclusion, which I think is a good way to think about it. And, I mean, to go back to the open banking example, the technology infrastructure layer and then analytics layer to enable underwriting based on cash flow data is not something that really existed 10 or 15 years ago.

30:15 – Jason Mikula

And, I mean, I actually have moved to countries, specifically the UK, where I showed up and they’re like, oh, you want a cell phone? You can’t have a regular contract because you don’t exist. You have no record on the credit bureaus in the country.

30:31 – Jason Mikula

And so, the idea that, hey, something like the big three bureaus and the FICO have worked well for most people, so 680 plus with a regular job, single, full-time job. But it hasn’t worked well for everybody. And that’s always been true.

30:49 – Jason Mikula

And so, are there ways that we can use the capabilities and tools that have been built and are being built to serve constituencies, to serve segments that have historically not been as well served? And I certainly think that that is happening and will continue to happen.

31:10 – David Reiling

Yeah, I agree. And that’s very well said. So, with that in mind, maybe, but given your perspective– and this is, we ask every guest of the NextGen Banker podcast this question– what do you think the next gen banker looks like?

31:29 – Jason Mikula

So, I was thinking about this as we were getting ready for this. And it was the question I was struggling with. I mean, I guess the best, simplest answer I could come up with to that is banking today– and I think this is actually true of pretty much any white collar or knowledge worker job– has two key components that I think a lot of us didn’t study in school, maybe didn’t even have the chance to study in school. And that is technology and data.

32:05 – Jason Mikula

And I realized both of those are somewhat obnoxious buzzwords and slightly reductive. I mean, if I think about any of the roles I had– and I typically worked in a marketing capacity, right? So, I wasn’t a software engineer. But even in the roles I had, I had to be able to meet with software product managers, software engineers, QA, and credibly understand what they were saying and be able to make my case in order to execute what I needed to get done.

32:43 – Jason Mikula

And I think that extends to data as well, right? So, I mean, I had some basic statistics classes in university. But I did not learn SQL, right? And if I think of any of, frankly, any of the jobs I had in financial services, not just being able to understand how to work with data in Excel, but actually how to pull the data, pull the information you need in order to then do that analysis? So, I’m sure things have changed since I was in school.

33:19 – Jason Mikula

But when I think of the two things that really are critical no matter what role you’re in, right, whether you’re a credit risk modeler, a marketer, even a brand marketer– I was more of a performance marketer– understanding how do I access the data I need to answer the questions I have, run experiments to determine what is effective, what is not effective, and how do I interface with, quote unquote, the technical people, the product managers, the software engineers, QA? Those, in my mind, are now table stakes in a way that I imagine they probably weren’t 20 years ago.

34:06 – David Reiling

Yeah, definitely. I couldn’t agree more. And from my seat as a CEO and an owner of a bank, that technology and data requirement, if you will, finds its way from the boardroom to the teller line and then, obviously, into the IT department and in every facet of the business. And so, it is so critical and today.

34:28 – David Reiling

People always think of this, or the ones that– the bankers I run into as a burden. It’s really a huge opportunity to get that capability and that knowledge to be able to use it, use it for good and evil, if you will. But the fact is that it is critical relative to banking now and in the future.

34:46 – David Reiling

Well, Jason, I really appreciate your time today. Again, I really enjoyed your newsletter. I’m really looking forward to 2023 and all that it brings in terms of your newsletter as well as fintech. No doubt it will be an exciting ride. Hey, thanks for being a guest on the NextGen Banker podcast.

35:02 – Jason Mikula

Thank you so much. If you find yourself in Utrecht, you know where to find me.

35:05 – David Reiling

Sounds great. And thanks for listening to the NextGen Banker podcast. And we will see you soon.

35:11 – [MUSIC PLAYING]

35:14 – Becca Hoeft

For this episode’s musical feature, we’re showcasing Pete Stewart. Pete is a Seattle-born Nashville transplant who writes eclectic acoustic-based songs, ranging from the intimate to the anthemic. Here is “Under Moonlight Pale” by Pete Stewart.

35:29 – [MUSIC – PETE STEWART, “UNDER MOONLIGHT PALE”]

38:39 – Becca Hoeft

That was “Under Moonlight Pale” by Pete Stewart. You can find more of Pete’s music on Spotify. If you would like your music featured on the NextGen Banker podcast, just email david@nextgen-banker.com with a link to your music and website. Thanks for listening to the NextGen Banker podcast. We’ll see you next time.

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