From coast to coast: What innovative tech companies want from business digital banking

Published October 13, 2020

What innovative CEOs are looking for from their FIs

Last month, at CBA LIVE 2020, NCR’s Erica Pilon spoke with two CEOs from opposite coasts—Will Gee, co-founder and CEO of Balti Virtual, and Jonny Simkin, co-founder and CEO of Swiftly—about what they want from their business digital banking solutions. Balti Virtual is a “full-service augmented and virtual reality studio” while Swiftly is a “a transit data platform.”



Q. “What’s the most important thing about choosing an FI?”

Gee and Simkin’s answers spanned from getting the benefit of convenience to the value of personalization. Gee, who builds best-in-class augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) experiences, said the most important thing to him is ease of access and that comes down to maintaining his personal and business accounts at the same institution.

For Simkin, whose company empowers mass transit agencies to provide more efficient, reliable and seamless transportation, it’s all about receiving personalized service.


Simkin stated that his FI needs to understand the unique needs of tech startups and be able to support his company by offering individualized support for his growing employee and client base.

Q. “Would you consider switching FIs? What would make you switch?”

Simkin shared that he was recently looking into financing options for his company. Unfortunately, his FI didn’t fully understand his company’s SaaS business model, making it a challenge to secure appropriate financing. This ultimately led him to switch FIs where he was able to easily establish an evolving line of credit.

Similarly, Gee said that he considered switching FIs at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, given his challenges with the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). But with this unique situation, and the way his bank ultimately came through for him, he said his bank’s customer service was a “game-changer,” convincing him to stay.


Q. “What are the top digital banking features you use today?”

Both CEOs offered similar commentary on the features they frequently use. Remote check deposit capabilities—through both online and mobile—are critical for both companies. Being able to sync their bank accounts with payroll and accounting systems is another key capability they both use often. And being able to easily manage cash flow and receive personalized customer service also tops their lists.


Q. “When traveling, would you often use your FI’s mobile app?”

While Simkin and Gee both stated that since the start of the pandemic, and while working from home, they tend to check in more from online banking, they both still frequently use their mobile apps. They appreciate the ability to quickly check balances, manage cash flow and see if invoices have been paid. 


Q. “How has the pandemic changed how you interact with your FI?”

Aside from the challenges with new programs, such as the PPP, both digital veterans said not much has changed in the way they bank since the start of the pandemic. Gee said that having a desktop check scanner at home was vital, but that he continues to manage his finances the same way he did pre-pandemic (digitally) with little change.


Q. “If your FI could provide one service that would make your life simpler, what would it be?”

Both CEOs said that they are currently happy with the solutions and services their FIs offer and they said that continuing to evolve and simplify the interface and user experience tops their lists. Gee also said, “The biggest thing my bank could do is learn a lesson from Jonny’s and give us unlimited deposits.”

Watch the session to learn more about these innovative startups and how business digital banking is critical to helping them efficiently manage their businesses.



About our speakers

Erica Pilon is the director of business banking and money movement for NCR Digital Banking. Prior to joining NCR, Erica spent 18 years in digital banking at FIS (in multiple leadership roles) where she helped to shape the strategy, design and architecture of award-winning business banking solutions. She holds a BA in English Literature from the University of Michigan and an MA in Written Communication from Eastern Michigan University.

Will Gee is the co-founder and CEO of Balti Virtual, a full-service studio focused on building best-in-class augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) experiences. Since 2015, the Baltimore-based team has worked with partners that include HBO, Marvel, Starbucks, Hallmark, Under Armour and PayPal. Will has been working in gaming and 3D graphics for over 20 years, starting in the video games industry at Microprose Software in 1997. 

Jonny Simkin is the co-founder and CEO of Swiftly, a mobility operating system that empowers mass transit agencies to provide more efficient, reliable and seamless transportation. Prior to founding Swiftly, Jonny was the Director of Product at Rafter Inc., where he helped 3 million students save over $700 million on college textbooks. Before Rafter, Jonny was the co-founder and CEO of HubEdu, Inc., which was acquired by Rafter in 2012. Jonny holds a Bachelor of Science in Engineering with an Economics Concentration from Harvey Mudd College. 

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