Financial Services Leaders Discuss the Industry's Most Pertinent Challenges

A few thoughts from the second annual FinTech Connect Advisory Board kick off meeting. This time done via Zoom!

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Last Thursday the Fintech Connect Advisory Board met for the first time this year. This was due to be in person, however present circumstances meant that Zoom became our very pleasant 5 Star boardroom. Over the course of a day, five closed door e-meetings took place focusing on four core areas; digital transformation, paytech, regtech and blockchain. Over 50 industry leaders were in (digital) attendance, sharing their opinions on a number of pertinent topics including: 

  • What is the ‘new normal’ in financial services; who is adapting to this? Where does this leave banks’ digital transformations?
  • Why Covid-19 may lead to the death of cash in UK retail
  • How blockchain in 2020 will overcome the trough of disillusionment
  • The future role of digital identity and cybersecurity in banking

The overarching theme though was the desire to still learn and network. Whilst there are obvious frustrations that the unnecessary hype financial technology conferences create; the Advisory Board still love to meet people in person. There was feedback that what you get out of conferences, may not be from watching an industry leader give a keynote address; but having that chat over a coffee in another corner of the expo hall, after they have finished their presentation. This was best expressed by financial economist Frances Coppola, who stated,

I think the best part of conferences is the networking. The informal chats you have over coffee with the person you met five minutes ago. The discussion you have with the speaker at the end of her presentation. I have met so many people at conferences who have become lasting friends and colleagues.’

Finance leaders also emphasised they are keen to hear from technology solution providers with real world solutions they can implement. They don’t want to be pitched at, but do appreciate learning from success stories already in the market. This doesn’t necessarily mean a bank – challenger or not. There is also a real excitement about the opportunities for renewed investment in digital transformation coming out of the current unique set of circumstances (and I am not just talking about working from home)…

The feedback from the Advisory Board meeting was extremely positive. It is clear the different facets of the fintech ecosystem are not standing still with continued innovation, which can be best summarised by Alex Reddish, Chief Commercial Officer at Tribe Payments who stated,

It is great to be part of such a forward thinking conversation during this interesting and fast moving time for payments. It is encouraging to see the entire ecosystem continuing to try and disrupt the norm and focus on innovation.'

I would like to say thank you to all those who took the time out of their day to join the meetings. I would also like to thank FinTech Connect's Sponsors; Bottomline, Tribe Payments and LexisNexis Risk Solutions for their support.

FinTech Connect will strive to continue to enable and drive thought leadership in the industry, rather than just follow it. We will do that with a series of digital events with a plethora of industry thought leaders in the coming months. Our Advisory Board will meet the old school way, in person on the 1st October in London, where we will recommence the discussion with leading banks, insurers, merchants, disruptors and market leading solution providers. We will also hold a series of follow up e-meetings in the run up to this.

View the full list of members of the Advisory Board.

If you are interested in joining the Advisory Board please email me.