Alex Heublein, GT Software, President
Roy Stubbs, GT Software, Chief Technology Officer
Tell us about GT Software and where you fit in the Open Finance movement?
Alex Heublein: We are a leader in digital transformation and modernization. We cut our teeth in the mainframe, COBOL, legacy IT world. That’s why we know first-hand that the only constant in the digital era is change. We’ve been champions of change for over 30 years, and change is an area where large banks and enterprises really struggle. We help large banks and companies harness the investments they’ve already made to prepare for the changes happening today and in the future.
What are the big issues you see facing the financial services ecosystem right now when it comes to data sharing?
Roy Stubbs: As you guys are well aware, one of the biggest challenges is screen scraping. I think it was Chris Michael at OBIE who said that they’ve already scrapped screen scraping in the UK entirely. I think that’s a place we need to get to in the U.S. as soon as possible. Many companies have a hard time API-enabling their systems of record, but it’s possible. We need to get to where the U.S. is a global leader in secure data sharing.
GT Software is not really a “new member” of FDX anymore and is deeply engaged in a lot of the working groups and taskforces. What are GT Software’s core objectives at FDX?
Alex Heublein: We joined FDX about a year ago. We were excited to see an industry-led initiative to drive secure data sharing, and we instantly knew that we wanted to be a part of bringing real change to the industry. One of our core objectives is to ensure that banks and financial services companies are aware of all the possibilities out there. The best way to adapt isn’t always to throw out everything and start over from scratch. We find that there are two ways of thinking: people really love the old way or really love new things, and we’re here to show that both play an essential role in innovation. There’s so much potential locked away in legacy apps and systems that, when unlocked, bring real innovation to banks and their customers.
How has GT Software seen the ecosystem change in this moment of rapid innovation and where has the shifting landscape been beneficial or where has it been harmful to the financial services sector as a whole?
Alex Heublein: No one could have predicted the way 2020 shook out. Things are still up in the air, but I think we’re almost getting used to the uncertainty. All companies are taking a step back to look at themselves and say, ok, what can we do now? What’s important to us? They’re looking for new and creative ways to utilize what they already have to get to that next step.
What ecosystem needs do you see as especially important in the next 6-12 months? In other words, are there issues that you think rise about the rest for the industry to figure out?
Roy Stubbs: Whether we’re talking about payments or data, I think real-time is more important now than ever. People want access to their money in real-time, and analysts want their data in real-time. Change is happening in real-time, and it’s up to companies to react in real-time as best as possible.
Our standard final question to get to know you a little better outside of the bounds of your roles at GT Software. What concert or live music event do you wish you could have attended in person?
Alex Heublein: Well, I saw that Bob Dylan just sold his entire catalog for about $300M. I would have loved to have been there in 1965 for the Newport Folk Festival. He played a bunch of new rock songs, and all his fans booed. His base at the time didn’t like it, but now he’s one of the greatest songwriters. Sometimes you have to lead people kicking and screaming into the future.