The 11th edition of EBAday in Milan broke a new record with more than 1,000 delegates and a once more sold-out exhibition floor.
Thematically, last year’s trends continued as was visible in the 19-session program where instant payments, PSD2, open APIs and cryptotechnology were high up on the agenda. The exhibitors also picked up on these topics extensively as was visible on the various
Instant payments are well on track from an implementation point of view, as testified by the EPC’s ongoing delivery of the SCT Inst Scheme and EBA CLEARING’s sneak preview of its pan-European system design provided during a fringe session at EBAday. However,
as national instant payment initiatives continue to proliferate, there remains a risk of fragmentation of the European landscape in this area.
With regard to PSD2, the major cliffhanger appeared to be the publication of the draft RTS by the ‘other EBA’, i.e. the European Banking Authority in London, which is expected for the end of this summer. Once the draft RTS are public, the industry may be
in a position to get a better grasp on the ‘what’ and hopefully also on the ‘how’, so that preparations for the implementation the PSD2 XS2A provisions can be geared up. In the coming year, the dialogue between banks and Fintechs on this topic is expected
to intensify, with a view to delivering attractive customer propositions that are both secure and easy to use.
A dedicated information paper on “Understanding the business relevance of Open APIs and Open
Banking for banks” was published by the Euro Banking Association at EBAday. This paper by the EBA Working Group on Electronic and Alternative Payments provides an overview of the history, concepts and business value of APIs, with a particular focus on
Open Banking. It also offers food for thought for business leaders who stand at strategic crossroads, notably on product and distribution strategies as a result of ‘opening up’ to customers.
Cryptotechnologies also received ample attention, in and around the sessions. Another information paper by an EBA Working Group, which focuses on “Applying
cryptotechnologies to Trade Finance”, was published at the occasion of the event. The industry still seems to have some ground to cover though before distributed ledgers and smart contracts may become mainstream.
The Fintech community was well represented at EBAday: the exhibition featured a dedicated Fintech Pavilion where eight innovative start-up companies presented their products What is more, a vocal representative of the Fintech community, Steve Kirsch of Token
brought his perspective on PSD2-related opportunities to the table during his ‘challenge speech’ on day one of the conference. Through this explicit involvement of Fintechs in the event, EBA and Finextra have striven to help foster a broad and fruitful exchange
within the wider payments ecosystem on new co-operation models, reflecting the spirit of Open Banking.
The coming twelve months until EBAday 2017 in Dublin will no doubt be packed with action, and I am curious to see how the innovative agenda will unfold, both for the collaborative side of our industry as well as for individual players.