Finovate Europe is done and dusted for another year. So what was different about this year and last? Well...lots.
First of all it was bigger – 30% more attendees with numbers hitting around 1300. More demos with 72 taking to the stage this year as opposed to 67 last year.
26% of the audience we C-Level or Managing Directors showing the executive attention in the space.
36 people had “Digital” in their title (surprised this wasn’t higher) and 39 had “Innovation” in their title.
There were different themes also. Less PFM and Security related solutions – more Bitcoin and Mobile Payments on show – it’ll be really interesting to see what Mobile Payments offerings survive, what’s acquired and what dies. Once the videos have been released
I’ll write up my summary of what I thought were the most interesting solutions.
But the biggest difference for me was the sense of urgency among the attendees to embrace digital and disruptive technologies within their business. This year was not about simply keeping an eye out for interesting technologies – this year was about finding
solutions that could be brought back to the office and implemented in the next 12 months.
Fintech, digital banking, call it what you like – has come of age.
The conversations were a mix of excitement, panic and frustration. Excitement at the possibilities to transform the bank, insurer or wealth management company. Panic that more hasn’t been done already. And frustration at how difficult it is to get things
done. Interestingly – a number of organisations highlighted their own inability to prototype, run pilots or proof-of-concept style projects. Their procurement processes and IT are limiting their ability to experiment with new innovations. They see an innovative
solution at Finovate and know it will be 6 – 12 months before they can even play with it.
This situation has to change if traditional financial institutions are going to evolve.
Another common theme was a recognition that the millennial generation (Gen-Y) are a force to be reckoned with. Now a significant portion of the workforce (>30%) and changing entire industries with their consumption. The Scratch survey
www.millennialdisruptionindex.com highlights that 53% of millennials believe their bank offers nothing different to any other bank and 85% of millennials want the banking industry to be disrupted – the
banks recognize that they are increasingly irrelevant to this incredibly important segment of the market. And if they can’t even experiment with a new technology without going through a 6-12 month procurement process…are our traditional banks “dead men walking”?