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Exclusive: ‘Banking Buccaneer’ – Dr. Ruth Wandhöfer in “Swashbucklers 2020”

Exclusive: 'The Natural Navigator' - Samantha Seaton, Moneyhub in "Swashbucklers 2020" | Fintech Finance

How many degrees is super impressive? One? Two? How about FIVE? Our next crafty crew mate is none other than brainiac Dr. Ruth Wandhöfer, who’s probably forgotten more about banking regulations than we’ll ever know. She’s collaborated on laws, authored books, and sits on no less than four strategic boards. Look lively! Our Banking Buccaneer has arrived! Ruth Wandhofer | Fintech Finance

Opening legal avenues for fintech

To say that Wandhöfer is into her topic would be one hell of an understatement. She is truly, madly, deeply at the epicentre of progressing the potential of banking. In her own words, “My style is very personal and energetic. I love to build relationships and make friends on my journey, not separating work from my private life”. 

This swashbuckler has worked closely with other experts to cleverly design and negotiate fintech-boosting legislation. Wandhöfer was a pivotal member of the team behind the European Commission Payment Services Directives (PSD) 1 and 2. These PSDs were game-changing for fintechs, as they allowed non-banks to carry out financial transactions. A big deal. 

Let’s all give the wonderful Wandhöfer a virtual high five for that … or as swashbucklers prefer to do, slosh a bottle of rum and shout Arghhhh! Your choice really. 

As if that wasn’t enough, Wandhöfer has also authored two books on banking regulations. She speaks at universities; she teaches and she mentors… well you get the picture. Basically, she’s too impressive to be real. “I love inspiring people and taking them with me”, she explains. “My door is always open, and I support people where I can, sharing my knowledge and experience and most importantly making it fun working together, which means getting the best out of everybody”. We love Wandhöfer’s inclusive approach to banking. She’s proof that anyone, even those at the very top of their field, can reach out and help others. Wandhöfer is also a fierce advocate of diversity and inclusion, could she even get any better?

Staying grounded 

We couldn’t resist the chance to ask Wandhöfer if she has any words of encouragement or advice for the next trailblazer. She revealed, “Be super curious, ready to learn a lot and keep making friends along the way”. We like that a lot. 

Wandhöfer has a very pragmatic view of working. She feels that it’s the team, not the tech which makes or breaks a successful product. “No matter how great the idea and underlying tech”, she explains. “It is vital that the team is mature enough to successfully execute. Honesty, transparency and an understanding of what needs to change are as important as tech magic”. 

What’s next?    

Of course, we had asking this Banking Buccaneer what fresh adventures lie ahead. New laws coming in? New books coming out? Any strategic board chat that we can get in on? We received an intriguing response. “I am involved in several interesting fintech projects, which have the potential to be ground-breaking – so stay tuned!”. We certainly will! ν


This article was published in Swashbucklers 2020, Page 8

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