Exclusive: ‘Shining Strategist’ – Birte Quitt, Erste Group in “Swashbucklers 2020”
Birte Quitte has headed Erste Group’s retail banking strategy for more than four years now, and we think she’s pretty fierce at ait. She’s driving her bank ever closer towards fintech, and positioning Erste for the future. We’re proud to recognise Quitt as our swashbuckling Shining Strategist.
A fintech way of thinking
We like Quitt, she’s cool. Some of us here at Fintech Finance have interviewed her in the past, and we like how she’s so open to learning more from fabulous fintechs. That might sound a bit obvious to us, but for many incumbents, it’s a real sticking point. A lot of banks do not really like change and come to the party late. Quitt, on the other hand, is taking a driving seat towards banking digitalisation and we’re cheerleading her every step of the way
We asked Quitt more about her favourite fintech lesson so far. “What I’ve found particularly impressive on the part of Fintechs is how they manage to engage clients”, Quitt explains. “That’s where they definitely provide a great learning opportunity for us banks”. We couldn’t agree more!
Quitt’s open-mindedness carries through into her management style, which we like a lot. “I thrive on having a very collaborative way of working that actively involves the entire team — usually virtually these days”, she elaborates. “I’m always open to new ideas and innovations and aim for us to be early adopters of new practices that are both promising and proven. For me, it’s not about simply being happy with the first best solution that pops up – instead, my team and I strive for excellence, even though that usually means going the extra mile (or two, or two hundred)”.
Over the past year, Erste caught our eye. The Austrian banking group teamed up with Global Payments to help business owners make online payments easier during the pandemic. We liked that; it was a nice touch and a good partnership. So, of course, we asked more about what to expect in the future.
“We’re pursuing a number of concrete projects in the retail space across our banking markets in the CEE [Central and Eastern Europe] region”, Quitt answers. For the future, they have their sights set on offering more financial advice to more people, to help improve general financial health. We wish them the best of luck! ν