Wells Fargo’s Innovation Chief Delves Deep Into The Future of Banking

The future of banking is happening now. Liza Frazier knows this. It’s why she’s pushing Wells Fargo to accelerate its digital banking services to another level. As the bank’s executive vice president and head of innovation, Frazier wants to enhance the company’s delivery of next-generation technology, services, and products.

Today, artificial intelligence (AI) applications are a top priority for financial institutions, especially ones like Wells Fargo, the fourth largest bank in the U.S. with 30 million digital customers. A close second is the possibilities around distributed ledger technology, which is based on data distributed across multiple sites, institutions, and countries, according to Frazier.

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With an Innovation Group already in place, Wells Fargo is ready to tap into these tech areas, under Frazier’s tutelage. Already one of the highest-ranking women in the financial industry, the former ExxonMobil engineer also spent nearly a decade with McKinsey & Co., where she became a partner and led the company’s West Coast media and entertainment division. Her first banking role was as chief digital officer for the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, where she oversaw a team of 700 employees before moving on as senior advisor at Citi Fintech. She arrived at Wells Fargo in September of 2018.

Her team currently oversees the bank’s Greenhouse, a new mobile-first bank account app designed specifically for students and other individuals who need something other than traditional accounts.

Today, she’s on a mission to bring Wells Fargo into the future of digital banking, and the company’s current research and development includes 5G applications, voice banking applications, quantum computing, and more. Overall, Frazier wants to reimagine the banking experience to a certain extent, and an AI platform is a must for Wells Fargo’s digital future.

In a nutshell, she sees innovation at the financial level in three phases: applying new technologies to help solve customer problems; developing new business models; and making sure innovation permeates the business culture.

“Fundamentally I believe a good idea can come from anywhere,” said Frazier in a recent interview. “I sit here as head of the Enterprise Innovation Group, but everybody at all levels should feel they have the tools and opportunity to create new ideas or new uses of technology.”