Enter Banker.

Enter Fintech startup.

What ensues is not a conversation but a visceral, reality byte.

That’s exactly what happened when Ishan Manaktala, Managing Director, IHS Markit, Srikanth Rajagopalan, Head BFSI & Fintech, Amazon Internet Services, Varun Rathi, Co-Founder, Happay, Tarun Sareen, Managing Director, Deutsche Bank Group and Deepak Sharma, Chief Digital officer, Kotak Mahindra Bank shared the stage.

A lively session, it turned into a debate between challenges Fintech startups face vs. those faced by Financial Institutions today.

Let’s hear from the institutions first. Banks, the panel said, have a “run the bank” budget, a “change the bank” budget and a “transform the bank” budget today. With most large banks undertaking digital transformation, they are ready for a Uberization moment. Many have Innovation Heads with startup teams called pods. Easy entry then for startup?

Not unless Fintech solution can align with the bank’s key business goals.

How is your solution improving cost-income ratio or enhancing customer experience, or reducing fraud? If you have that answer, banks will open their doors. Banks have the customers, Fintechs can bring in intelligence to add more value. That was the critical and practical insight shared by the panel.

Bottomline: Startups need to knock on banks’ doors with a firm price and value.

Counterpoint: Even when you knock on the banks’ door, the decision maker in the bank may not be clear. And so, the argument continues.