In his new book Fintech 4 Good, David Reiing puts forth a unique thesis: that thanks to the innovations offered by financial technology, doing well as an organization and doing good for the community aren't mutually exclusive.
Reiling is the chief executive officer for Sunrise Banks, a community bank headquartered in St. Paul, Minnesota. In his time in the position, he's seen his own bank build roots in the community and help its clients improve their financial health. Through partnerships with fintech innovators aimed at expanding Sunrise Banks' footprint, Reiling has had the opportunity to work alongside those who, in his words, "are passionate and motivated to spark change in the lives of others."
This experience drove him to write Fintech 4 Good, an exploration of the potential of fintech to solve critical financial challenges. In the book, Reiling examines the example of five trailblazing fintech entrepreneurs who he says "saw or experienced a financial health challenge and met the challenge head-on by creating solutions that can help thousands of individuals who find themselves in the same boat."
Reiling believes the country is in the middle of a "financial health crisis," pointing to the fact that a Center for Financial Services Innovation survey reveals less than a third of Americans feel financially healthy. Fintech has a unique ability to address these financial health issues by "meeting people where they are" and utilizing technology to provide a broad set of tools and solutions that can address even niche problems.
The CEO rejects the commonly-held notion that an organization can't be focused on their company's financial growth at the same time that they aim to achieve a broader community mission. Pointing to the examples of the fintech firms that he cites in his book as well as his own experience at the helm of Sunrise Bank, Reiling argues that doing good increases a company's ability to do well: "By being mission-focused and doing good, you will actually do even better financially: mission times margin."
Reiling hopes that his book will spur other fintech entrepreneurs to continue to create and innovate with an aim to "do good and do well."