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Matt Higginson


Leads our customer assistance work in North America and distributed-ledger technology (blockchain) initiatives globally

Matt is part of McKinsey’s leadership team for Financial Services and Risk Practices and is the partner lead for McKinsey Values in Boston. He leads our work in collections in North America and is a member of the firm’s global operating committee in collections.

Matt’s experience covers financial-service clients in North America, Central America, the Caribbean, Europe, and Asia. He specializes in advising clients on end-to-end collections transformations, retail-banking operations, and strategy and the strategic implications of distributed-ledger technology (DLT), or blockchain.

Select examples of his recent work include transforming the end-to-end collections operations for a large multinational bank, leading to annualized loss reduction in excess of $100 million, and partnering with a European client to plan the strategy and design the build of the world’s first fully regulated digital asset exchange built on DLT.

Prior to joining McKinsey, Matt was the operations lead for a number of forensic science labs in the United Kingdom, following a postdoctoral career teaching, researching, and publishing on climate change, geochemistry, and oceanography.

Published Work

How finance sector treasurers can get ready for CBDCs and stablecoins,” McKinsey & Company, December 2022

Web3 beyond the hype,” McKinsey & Company, September 2022

Holistic customer assistance through digital-first collections,” McKinsey & Company, May 2021

Fighting identity theft in benefit claims and payments,” McKinsey & Company, October 2020

Reimagining customer service to manage delinquencies after COVID-19,” McKinsey & Company, June 2020

What next for US credit-card debt?,” McKinsey & Company, May 2020

Addressing the coronavirus impact on customer delinquency,” McKinsey & Company, March 2020

Getting a grip on bad debt: Practical steps to help utilities boost their resilience,” McKinsey & Company, November 2019

The customer mandate to digitize collections strategies,” McKinsey & Company, July 2019

Going digital in collections to improve resilience against credit losses,” McKinsey & Company, April 2019

Blockchains Occam problem,” McKinsey & Company, January 2019

The seven pillars of collections wisdom,” McKinsey & Company, April 2018 

How blockchain could disrupt cross-border payments,” Clearing House Journal, Q4, December 2016

Blockchain in insurance opportunity or threat,” McKinsey & Company, July 2016

Beyond the hype blockchains in capital markets, McKinsey & Company, December 2015

16 in 2016 Trailblazing trends in global payments, McKinsey & Company, October 2015

Past Experience

National business-unit head, illicit drugs and toxicology
Operations head, chemistry and firearms

Forensic Alliance
Court-reporting forensic scientist

Boston University
Lecturer, department of Earth sciences

University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth
Research associate


University of Bristol
PhD, organic chemistry

University of Oxford
MA; BA, geography