Published: Wednesday June 20, 2018
Our Commercial Director, Max Excell, shares the best bits of Europe’s biggest Fintech event, Money20/20
This year’s Money20/20 Europe showed that the conference has continued to grow and cement itself as the go-to event for financial services.
The event was truly global with attendees from over 85 countries. There were double the amount of attendees from Latin American countries than last year, and a 20 per cent increase in Asia-Pacific members. One in four attendees were C-Level.
The platform of the future
Prior to Money20/20, I shared top trends to look out for in and around the event. One of which was that we’ll start to see incumbent banks keen to partner, build or acquire Fintech operations to help add greater value to their customers.
This was apparent from Ralph Hamers, CEO of ING, who is in fact the bank’s youngest ever appointed Chief Executive. ING’s core focus is digital. Each year, 90 per cent of contact with their customers is digital, whilst 20 per cent of their 38 million customers never interact face-to-face with the bank.
According to Ralph, ING takes a similar approach to successful global platforms such as Uber. They strive to be consistent across all markets and territories, and open for customers and suppliers.
ING has invested in resources to develop in-house innovations, as well as putting aside a €300m investment fund to help incubate the next hottest Fintech startup or business.
Yolt is a great example of a bank which has spinned up its own fintech capabilities. It leverages open banking access too, and the uptake was considerable in the UK, registering over 300,000 new users since its launch at the start of the year.
In a candid talk, Andy Maguire, Group Chief Operating Officer, HSBC told the audience how HSBC has struggled to replicate its platform in other markets. For example, an FX app that works well in Hong Kong, hasn’t necessarily worked in other international regions.
The bank then looked for tried and tested solutions as opposed to creating them in house or incubating them from an early phase. They act more like a systems integrator and this works for them.
AliPay, the mobile and online payment platform based in China, does not position itself as a payments company. Instead, it provides a ‘Super Lifestyle app’ that helps its customers complete tasks – everything from making a payment to booking an appointment with a doctor.
Just like Amazon and ING, the goal for AliPay is to make the platform consistent for its customers.
When I first attended Money20/20 back in 2015, biometrics was an exciting new topic. Now, the concept of using technology to meet regulation has been given its own sector at the event, namely ‘RegTech’.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) and biometrics are now present in our daily financial services lives.
Jim Magats, Head of Global Core Payments at Paypal, insists that 30-40 per cent of Paypal’s engineering budget is used to meet regulation. During the same session, Nikolay Storonsky, Founder and CEO of Revolut, was asked “what will be the hottest future trend in financial services”, to which he answered “RegTech”.
In the future, we will start to see banks and Fintechs replace the role of compliance staff with data scientists, as innovations become more crucial to solving regulatory pressures. They will be competing to meet the precedent for streamlined customer experience, set by other tech firms such as Uber and Netflix.
Stop, collaborate and listen
There was a word of caution from Craig Donaldson, CEO of Metro Bank, one of the UK’s leading challenger banks. Whilst there is currently a raft of great innovations in the marketplace related to RegTech, Craig emphasises the need for a balance between innovation and integrity.
No matter how amazing and innovative the technology is, it has to have the resilience to meet market and security needs. It’s therefore really important to look at these innovations and layer them into the onboarding process.
There is never going to be a silver bullet when it comes to complying with regulation, whilst meeting customer expectations and reducing fraud. GBG’s approach to creating a single platform and making available these different types of innovations is key when helping financial services companies address their challenges. We make it possible to pick and choose desired journeys for different customers with different risk appetites.