Another exciting day had here at the RAI, and only a few sore heads from the infamous Taste of Amsterdam party in Vondelpark that Money20/20 brought back for a second year after its roaring success in 2018.
Following a packed agenda of announcements and unveilings yesterday, day two had a tough act to follow. But with FinTech royalty, like Chris Skinner, and exciting brands, including Stripe, taking to the stage, it was certainly a day of fascinating insights.
Platforms, Payments and Purpose: the future of banking
The morning kicked off with the ‘Wake up with the CEOs’ session, featuring an esteemed panel including Drew Graham, director, digital strategy at Barclays, Claire Calmejane, group chief innovation officer at Société Générale, Anne Boden, CEO and founder of Starling Bank and Dr. Leda Glyptis, 11:FS Foundry CEO to shine a spotlight on the direction of banking in 2019.
One of the areas of discussion among the business leaders was the relationship between start-ups and large banks, and especially when it comes to partnerships. In Dr. Glyptis’ view, the commercial element has not been discussed enough, and there needs to be more balance or equality in the relationship between large and small firms. While Anne Boden went as far as to say, “Banks are going on a startup safari”, and we may well be reaching a reset point when it comes to venture investment.
The consensus among the CEOs on the panel seemed to be that across the spectrum in the banking space there needs to be a change of approach, especially when it comes to changing B2B models and core platforms, which will force some incumbent banks to make some big, bold decisions or risk being left behind.
Dr Glyptis returned to the stage with Lindsay Argalas, chief digital & innovation officer of Santander to discuss the future of digital platforms. For Argalas, the focus should not just about the technological aspect of platforms, but embracing the degree of disruption these new platforms can bring – both within organisations themselves and across the wider industry.
She noted that for established players like Santander, the opportunity lies in not only developing its own new platforms, but supporting, backing or powering those of other new developers – which in turn can lead to new revenue streams, and ultimately greater benefits for the end customer.
Later in the morning, Conny Dorrestijn took to the stage to discuss the importance of placing purpose at the heart of your business. She closed the morning sessions by drawing on inspiration from the history books to deliver five vital lessons for budding entrepreneurs in the audience.
The Payments Race Returns
Returning this year, the FinTech Finance payments race saw teams set off from Trafalgar Square and race round the world – from Ireland to Singapore and everywhere in between – to reach the RAI in Amsterdam, with one caveat, they can only use one form of payment method. From cash to card to crypto to mobile payments and wearables, teams discovered the challenges faced in different markets and countries around the globe. While it was team crypto that arrived first at the venue, it was team mobile that gathered the most points throughout the race and took home this year’s crown.
Spotlight on Asia
Yesterday, Bob van Dijk of Naspers said that Asia was going to be the next best place to invest in FinTech companies. And it’s no surprise after hearing about the revolutionary advancements that are being made in the region.
Jason Thompson, CEO of OVO, announced that, building on its mission to solve real world problems at scale, it is partnering with Prudential. The partnership will be the largest investment in subsidised insurance and will be a “game changer” for the masses of underbanked individuals in Indonesia. Roland Palmer, Head of Europe at Alipay then took to the stage to explain how it is continuing to provide services to Chinese tourists via the SuperApp. With the number of merchants Alipay partners with trebling in the last year, the hyper-growth it is experiencing is astounding.
We couldn’t forget Open Banking
And of course, it wouldn’t be a FinTech conference without mentioning Open Banking. Industry influencer Dave Birch kicked off the Industry Transmutation stage by saying that two years ago, many people saw Open Banking as a compliance issue, something to do with API and tech. However now, we’re finally realising that this is all about reshaping the industry.
So two years on from PSD2 implementation, which was just the beginning, have we seen much change? The answer is a firm yes – even though we might not realise it. Douwe Lyckland, Founding Partner of Innopay, described it as an “evolutionary journey driven by the ongoing digitisation of financial services” and that banks are getting ready to unlock the opportunities of the API economy and are all learning from one another. Imran Gulamhuseinwala, the Implementation Trustee for Open Banking in the UK, confirmed Douwe’s views in that this is a massive project, and it won’t happen quickly, but great strides are being made behind the scenes.
That’s all from day two. Stay tuned for our wrap up from the third and final day!