Cuban-born Erik Brieva is no stranger to success. A mathematics graduate and computer sciences expert, his professional life thus far has been dedicated to entrepreneurial ventures, enterprise software and internet-based business, having co-founded and managed several companies in Spain, the United Kingdom and United States before propelling STRANDS to a world FinTech stage.
You do not have to meet your bank manager for coffee once a month to have a healthy, communicative relationship with your bank and with money in general. You don’t have to see them at all, but they must be an ally, a friend. And they definitely have to mean it.
Change, in all its forms, brings with it concern and unrest, but also huge opportunity.
Particularly when change is imposed, it is often hard to see beyond the regulations and embrace the possibilities. Banking, having experienced relatively little change in recent times, is now on the cusp of considerable transformation in the shape of PSD2, or the Revised Payment Service Directive.
Co-founding Strands came as a natural next step for me after a degree in computer science from the Technical University of Catalonia (UPC) and a PhD in Artificial Intelligence from the EPFL in Switzerland.
Prior to setting up Strands with Francisco Martin in the US, Professor Boi Faltings and I had co-created and sold a company using AI for travel planning, which at the time was a huge step in innovation.
Whilst studying computer science, I discovered that logic is a mathematical tool that allows computers to model the world with symbolic programming, to solve real world problems that require some degree of intelligence, such as planning and reasoning.
Banking has gone undercover and it’s been a long time coming. We want our banks to do a lot for us, but it transpires that the less you can actually see your bank doing for you, the better.
So, it begs the question: why would banks suddenly decide to assume the Good Samaritan role after all this time? Sheer benevolence or is there something in it for them too?