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CEO Interview: Matchi’s David Milligan

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Banks have problems. Innovators have answers. This is the way that Johannesburg-based Matchi, the online platform that pairs banks with relevant innovations, sees things.

Here at Finovate, fintech innovation is always on our minds, so we wanted to interview David Milligan, CEO of Matchi. Milligan has a passion for


innovation and has headed a number of innovation and new business units throughout his career. He has served as Matchi’s CEO since January of 2014. You can check out his LinkedIn profile here.

Finovate: Where did the idea for Matchi, a platform that matches banks with innovations, come from?
Milligan: The idea for Matchi came as a direct result of challenges encountered by our co-founder Warren Bond and me, in our respective histories. I ran innovation and new venture business units in a large bank for over 10 years, and Warren successfully launched and licensed technologies to banks. Both of us experienced first-hand how banks can benefit from working with smaller, more innovative fintech firms, but also how hard it is and how long it can take to do a deal with a bank.  
On the other side of the table, banks need consistent and clear approaches for sourcing and evaluating possible innovations, and anything that can extend their reach and help them find the next right thing is of great benefit. We realized that a global innovation platform that would assist innovators to reach the right people in banks globally, without having to pay high marketing costs, would fulfill a clear market need.
Finovate: What are the top three ways in which Matchi benefits banks?
Milligan: The top three ways Matchi benefits banks are:
    1. Connecting banks to the best innovations from around the world and giving them a way to curate
    2. Pro-active matching of innovations in the market in accordance to banks’ priorities   
    3. Banks can negotiate fees directly with innovators                    


Finovate: What trends are you seeing in fintech innovations?
Milligan: We have noticed an increasing demand for innovations that are designed for banks’ core purposes such as:
    • Managing and granting credit
    • Opening new accounts
    • Security solutions
Finovate: What types of metrics can you share? 
Milligan: We’ve doubled the number of banks on the platform since January of this year. To date, 30 banks from around the world have signed up as Matchi members, including banks from Europe, U.S.A., Asia, Australia, and Africa. This includes 3 Sponsor Banks across Spain, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Israel. 
Additionally, we are currently signing three to four fintech firms a week which ensures our banks regularly receive interesting value propositions.
Finovate: What’s the next development for Matchi?
Milligan: Increased functionality for Sponsor Banks as well as exciting new opportunities for innovators to respond to specific challenges as set by our Member Banks. We are also looking at developing Innovation Simulations for the workplace and will be hosting our first Innovation Sponsor Summit in December this year.
Finovate: What is your personal favorite innovation on the Matchi platform?
Milligan: There are many great innovations on our platform that span so many different areas, but one of my favorites is a solution that helps to prevent card fraud in a very unusual way.

To learn more about Matchi, check out its demo video from FinovateEurope 2014 or come see its new technology at FinovateFall 2014 in New York.