Having recently returned from sunny Helsinki (with a few light showers!) I thought I would share a quick blog on the 2014 EBA Day conference.
Firstly it was bigger and better attended than ever before with numbers up about 20% on last year’s previous record number of attendees. Interestingly this year also saw a big push by the organisers and their Nordic bank partners to invite a wider bank audience
and more corporates. I did see and meet a number of cash management leaders who were there for the first time.
The conference kicked off with a great keynote session on the People’s Revolution by Andrew Tarver from Bold Rocket (@boldrocket). The presentation looked at how to utilise the power of ordinary people to provide exponential thinking to deliver real change
to the way banks are designed and will operate in the future. Not sure how pleased the regulator will be with some of the ideas – but the pitch did provide some highlights. Firstly, the concept of wearing bright red trousers for a presentation to Bankers
worked well! Secondly – it moved discussions from almost exclusively talking about Bank to Corporate issues to discussing Bank to Customer issues. The Customer will be king in the future – and Andrew predicted that the real winners will be the organisations
who best provide personalised products and services for each individual customer based on interpretation of his or her requirements based specifically on their digital profiles.
It did raise some serious issues – how and what will a bank look like tomorrow? With challenger banks and shadow banking on the rise, how should banks deal with their huge legacy architectures, which we all know are impossibly slow to change, expensive
to maintain and consume the majority of their change budget? This question of legacy systems, I believe, is the real issue for banks today - how can they replace the core legacy applications without jeopardising their on-going 24/7 service.
One bank told us that they are simplifying their product range by removing a high number of specialised products. Maybe this is a necessary first step to reducing on-going legacy change thus freeing up bandwidth to enable investment in platform renewal.
Bold Rocket’s suggestion that the winners would be able to provide bespoke products uniquely to each customer is something that could only be achieved by a completely new approach to IT and a total refresh of core infrastructure.
In the exhibition area there were some interesting new software ideas on show for the first time – check them out on the
EBA Day Website.
In short, EBA Day has become the biggest and most valuable European payments and cash event in the calendar. What is really refreshing is that despite growing every year, I still find that delegates are really keen to network and seem open to discussing
their issues and challenges. Great event – see you next year in Amsterdam.