Great Scale, Great Opportunity – Big Banking Moves to the Cloud With Saul Van Beurden, Head of Technology at Wells Fargo

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“It’s bigger than the bank itself. Security happens on a national level in the coordination with security agencies, infrastructure players like the large cloud providers.” 


How do you protect banks and their customers from bad actors now that banks are no longer just brick and mortar? Due to technological advances, banking services are increasingly digital and on mobile devices. Saul Van Beurden, the Head of Technology at Wells Fargo, chats about strategies to deal with cyber threats including educating customers and methods of devaluing data. He also talks about how Wells Fargo is improving NLP to better communicate with customers and why the future of banking at Wells Fargo will one day be entirely in the cloud. 

Key Insights


Stability comes first. 

When it comes to banking, the threshold for mistakes is very low. You can’t innovate without having stability. 

“If the app is not on, then the bank is down for basically 89% of all transactions. So, stability first – that means you have to have a resilient design.” 

A United Defense is the Strongest Defense 

When it comes to protecting the assets of customers, Van Beurden knows that a united phalanx is the best way to go. That’s why Wells Fargo shares pivotal information with other industry leaders. 

“It’s an industry that’s tightly knitted together in terms of cyber security. We share everything we can share – there’s no competition on security.”

Head in the Clouds 

The future of banking will be in the cloud — but it will take a while for it to get there. 

“We will go to cloud. We declared our strategy last year… we announced that and we are executing that strategy. Again — it will take time. We have a roadmap for the next three to four years, but it could take twelve, fourteen, eighteen… we will see.” 

About the Guest:

Saul Van Beurden is the head of Technology and a member of the Operating Committee at Wells Fargo. As the leader of Wells Fargo Technology, Saul leads a team of more than 40,000 information technology and security professionals who help keep Wells Fargo at the forefront of America’s diversified financial services companies.

Under his leadership, technology team members are executing an engineering-led IT strategy to deliver stable, secure, scalable and innovative services that provide Wells Fargo’s global customers ‘round-the-clock’ banking access through in-store, online, ATM, and other channels. Additionally, Saul has responsibility for the Information Cyber Security function and programs for Wells Fargo.

Saul plays a critical role in the execution of Wells Fargo’s strategy where technology is a key element of the company’s customer and team member experience, business and risk management transformation, and growth agenda. He is instrumental in driving the company’s transformation and efforts to become a leader in risk management and innovation.

Prior to joining Wells Fargo in April 2019, Saul was chief information officer of consumer and community banking at JPMorgan Chase. He also has served in Technology & Operations leadership roles at Marsh & McLennan, ING Group and different firms in his native Netherlands.

Saul is a member of the Board of Trustees for the Museum of American Finance in New York. He is based in New York.”

IT Visionaries is powered by Salesforce Platform. If this episode makes you want to go deeper into the data security world, check out Salesforce.com/datasecurity and download the IT Guide to Data Security and Governance to learn how to protect your customer data with Salesforce Security Portfolio.

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Episode 374