Ep211 – Token CEO Steve Kirsch

Episode 48 · February 10th, 2017 · 24 mins 18 secs

About this Episode

In this episode

Serial tech entrepreneur Steve Kirsch (@stkirsch) has founded seven companies and earned a name for himself as the inventor of the optical mouse. Today he’s CEO of Token, a global open API banking platform.

Steve says that, historically, banks have operated on limited hours. Central banks have similar systems to be compatible, which has led to architectures that are nowhere near as complex as doing real-time systems. But then internet came along and changed people’s expectations.

“Now banks sort of have to be open 24/7, and yet the underlying systems haven’t caught up with that,” Steve says. “And so the challenge is to create technology that can layer on top of the existing banking system that would enable people to have the level of service that they expect, and yet not disrupt things below the decks. It’s almost like putting a modern façade on top of an old cruise ship. That’s essentially what we’ve done. [If] we need more engine power, we call down through certain interfaces and say, ‘Can you do this service for us?’ and they say, ‘Yes, the answer is this.’ But as far as everybody on the top deck is concerned, it looks like they’re on a totally modern cruise ship.”

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