From shells to Shekels, paper pounds to PayPal, money is forever changing. None more so than in recent years when contactless technology, mobile apps, tokens and Bitcoin mean the way we exchange value is evolving. The annual Finextra Future Money conference keeps you up-to-date with developments. With over 600 of Europe's top banks, VCs and startups gathered at the East Wintergarden in London's Canary Wharf, UK, this live blog keeps you abreast of developments.
Wednesday 22 April 2015
Editor's note: All times reflect local time in London, UK
12:00: Conference Ends. You can follow the separate Innotribe Startup Challenge London Showcase here, or refer to the Day 1 blog here. Many of today’s attendees will no doubt be continuing the theme of startups – how to encourage small firms or innovations, people and tech – during the separate afternoon debate. The #FutureMoney hashtag is still running too.
A.“Not measuring from day 1 my return on energy expended,” says Essentia Analytics’ Flynn Levy, advising the audience not to waste time. “I’ve learnt not to take every single meeting & when to say ‘you know what: let’s meet again further down the line' to some investors.” Sage advice.
Q. Concluding question is Q. What is the best & worst funding decision you’ve ever made?
11:59: “There is increasing liquidity in the sector,” concludes says AMP’s DeLuca. Go get it.
11:57: Discussions now about opportunities in the secondary market, funding models, the AIM market, and how to get investors, on what terms.
11:56: "Plenty of great talent in London, FinTech funding and opportunity," says Essentia Analytics’ Flynn Levy.
11:54: The panel is now discussing the differences between the UK and US, with many UK firms still wrongly chasing the dream of California funding when they should realise there is plenty of FinTech money in London now too. “I hate the idea that you have to go to the US for funding,” says Essentia Analytics’ Flynn Levy. And she says that as an American. "My mum would like me to go 'home'," she jokes.
11:52: “12 new bank-owned VCs launched in the last year,” says Cashflower’s Sigal. “And every VC fund has appointed FinTech people.”
11:51: Mike Sigal of Cashflower is discussing FinTech and regulation and the difficulty of scaling up innovations.
11:49: “There is a huge amount going on in London at the moment in FinTech,” says Julia Groves, CEO of Trillion Fund. “Frankly if you cannot get money you shouldn’t be funded!”
11:46: “I hope we can move to the US attitude to failure,” says Julia Groves, CEO of Trillion Fund, explaining that it’s not that bad and you should try, try and try again.
11:42: The panel is now entering an interactive debate, responding to questions from the moderator, about best practice in raising funding for startups.
11:35: Clare Flynn Levy, CEO of Essentia Analytics is now sharing her funding journey, explaining that “we’re a behavioural analytic software company aimed at professional investors”. Her association with professional investors has helped to raise funds and she too reiterates don’t spend too long pursuing a single, lone investor.
11:28: “I didn’t want to pay wages for the first six month of the new firm because I wanted keen, hungry people who would work for equity,” says Cashflower’s Sigal. Candid.
11:22: Mike Sigal, head of Cashflower takes over. He explains his startup is a SaaS business offering automated cashflow assistance to SMEs. It’s mike’s sixth startup so he should know how to raise the money for a startup and be able to teach the audience some useful lessons.
11:20: "Don't talk to one investor for 4 months, ridiculous mistake I made," says Trillion Fund's Groves.
11:13: “I want to fill the crowdfunding gap left by the banks,” says Julia Groves, CEO of Trillion Fund, as she starts her presentation.
11:09: “I didn’t want to raise money from friends and family for my startup,” says AMP’s DeLuca. Always good practice if you want to keep them.
11:05: Each member of the panel is introducing themselves and giving short 5 minute presentation of the funding journeys that their startup underwent. Starting with Tom DeLuca, CEO of AMP Credit Technologies.
11:01: The final session of the day here at FutureMoney 2015 is underway. This concluding panel will examine how to get funds for innovative startups and to develop disruptive FinTech technology. You can follow it at #startups2.
11:00 - 12:00 The funding journey – From the garage to the boardroom
Moderator: Georgia Hanias, CEO, Innovate Finance
• Thomas J. DeLuca, Chief Executive Officer, AMP Credit Technologies
• Clare Flynn Levy, CEO, Essentia Analytics
• Julia Groves, CEO, Trillion Fund
• Mike Sigal, CEO, Cashflower
Follow the twitter debate via #FutureMoney & get ready for the final panel at #startups2 ...
10.30: Coffee break.
10.30: A. GoCardless’ Blomfield answers: “I’m not sure being a large organisation necessarily stops you innovating. Look at Google,” he says.
10:29: Final question Q. Should large organisations ‘right-size’ to encourage innovation?
A. Jonathan Webster, Chief Operating Officer, Group Digital, Lloyds Banking Group: “Yes, big money can make you lazy.” It doesn’t have to, but it can.
10:28: Q. Does big money make you lazy?
10:28: The panel is now taking questions from the conference floor. Barclays’ Ormerod says “95% of people in large organisations have no idea what is going on (because they’re too large),” he says. “For example, Barclays has thousands in London, 44,000 people in Africa and tens of thousands more elsewhere in the world.” A debate starts about how to incubate innovation before then trying to spread it enterprise-wide.
10:21: “Building and maintaining a core banking platform at a big bank like Lloyds' is crucial. That is no doubt why they’re employing a very very bright team to redesign the core platform for the 21st century,” says GoCardless’ Blomfield. That and the fact that legacy systems now desperately need replacing as mobile and digital banking takes off and aging IT infrastructures begin to creak.
10:18: Barclays Bank opened up its APIs to developers to help with its Pingit mobile platform, explains Ormerod. “Funnily, enough Aire mentioned earlier today was one of them,” he says.
10:16: In response to questioning Jonathan Webster, COO of the digital unit at Lloyds Banking says, “you should run hackathons, experiment and encourage innovation that way”.
Follow the twitter debate via #FutureMoney & #startups1 ...
10:12: Now going into the debate phase of this innovative startups panel with the moderator questioning those who've just presented...
10:10: "Your support teams and service needs to be part of agile development – it’s not just about designers," he concludes.
10:02: Fiserv’s Clarke-Walker is now talking about the different stages of innovative development, referring the film ‘Insuide Out’ due out later this year and the themes of – doubt, denial, disgust, joy, etc.
09:57: Fiserv’s Clarke-Walker: “People don’t intentionally slow things down.” Really?! Not always true …
09:53: Travers Clarke-Walker, CMO at Fiserv is an ex-Barclays exmployee himself and now takes to the stage to give his take on agile development. The vendor serves 15,000 banks around the world with its core banking systems, software, etc.
09:51: Barclays’ Ormerod admits he is covering "a bit of the same ground here" about the theory of agile developmental techniques but he is now sharing a useful slide containing 5 pieces of advice to conclude his speech.
Top Barclays Developmental Tips
• Clarity of purpose: Stick to it.
• Co-locating: so designers and business people sit together.
• Empower the team: …and then leave them to get on with it. “Hard for large organisations.”
• Enable the team: “Give them a red phone to remove obstacles,” says Ormerod.
• Cultural mindset shift: Be supportive of innovation.
09:48: “They developed Pingit within 5 months and it went live 2 months later,” says Barclays’ Ormerod, referring to the Pingit team video he’s just shown.
09:43: Ian Ormerod, Managing Director of the Digital and Design Office, Barclays, takes over as the next panle speaker. He is discussing the theory of agile innovation and teams, referencing Barclays’ Pingit team of mobile developers and showing a video of how they work.
Follow the twitter debate via #FutureMoney & #startups1 ...
09:41: Blomfield is talking about agile methodologies, firms and structures. “Agile can be liberating,” he says. "...Processes need to get out of the way [of innovation]."
09:38: Tom Blomfield, CEO of challenger bank; and Co-Founder of GoCardless takes to the stage for his 7min pitch. “We’re starting a new bank,” he explains. “We’re applying to the FCA for authorisation now.”
09:37: “Experiment,” concludes Webster.
09:36: “Stop talking about channels – customers don’t care! Also, stop neglecting the magic,” says Lloyds Bank’s Webster.” Think about ‘magic’ in customer service.” (i.e. delight the customer / give good service).
09:32: Each member of the panel will give a 7min pitch about what they’re doing to encourage FinTech innovation as an established bank, challenger bank, disruptor and software firm. Starting off is Jonathan Webster, Chief Operating Officer, Group Digital, Lloyds Banking Group.
09:30 - 10:30 How to be agile – A working guide…for banks
Moderator: Alessandro Hatami, Co-Founder, The Pacemakers
• Tom Blomfield, CEO, Challenger Bank; Co-Founder, GoCardless
• Travers Clarke-Walker, CMO, Fiserv
• Ian Ormerod, Managing Director of the Digital and Design Office, Barclays
• Jonathan Webster, Chief Operating Officer, Group Digital, Lloyds Banking Group.
09.29: “See you this afternoon at 1pm,” concludes Vandenreydt, referring this afternoon’s exciting startup showcase.
09.28: “We track FinTech startups,” says Vandenreydt. “Last year was all about P2P payments. This year’s it’s all about P2P lending.”
09.27: Vandenreydt is explaining how Innotribe is 5 years old and aims to scout for disruption, talent and FS fintech startups. Also the startup challenge it runs in London (this afternoon), New York and Cape Town, with the best startups selected to go through to its final at SWIFT’s Sibos 2015 show this October in Singapore.
09:25: “We believe the future is hooking up infrastructures, firms and services,” says Fabian Vandenreydt, Head of Markets Management at Innotribe, stressing SWIFT’s usual collaboration message.
09:23: Speaker: Fabian Vandenreydt, head of Markets Management at Innotribe
09:22: “Disruptive potential in this space is incredibly strong, especially in the mobile field,” says Woolard as he concludes his opening address to applause. Surprising for a regulator!
09:21: “One of the ideas to come out of the Hub is the idea of giving innovative firms a ‘steer’ on regulations so we can respond quicker,” says Woolard. “The FCA now allows a limited number of staff to give this information quicker. It’s worked well.”
09:15: The second element of the FCA’s own Innovation Hub – yes, even they have one! - is to ensure the regulator isn’t over-regulating. “We look at if the FCA itself needs to adapt regulations to encourage innovation,” says Woolard, while stressing the over-arching aim of ensuring people’s money is always protected.
09:10: Christopher Woolard of the FCA is explaining how the UK regulator set up its own FCA Innovation Hub last October to support new FinTech ideas and new disruptive firms to navigate the regulatory minefield.
09:06: “Opting for the safe option can carry risk in itself,” says Woolard, explaining that there is then a lack of competition.
09:03: “I’m here today to give you an overview of how the regulator views the fintech sector,” says Christopher Woolard of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
“Historically regulators have worried about ‘bad things’ happening …but the FCA was set up in 2013 in the UK with a strong focus on the consumer. Part of our remit is to encourage competition in the interest of consumers.”
09:00 - 09:15 Keynote Welcome
Speaker: Christopher Woolard is Director of Strategy and Competition, and a member of the
Executive Committee at the Financial Conduct Authority.
08:43: The first speaker this morning 9am at Finextra's #FutureMoney 2015 event in London's Canary Wharf will be Christopher Woolard, Director of Strategy and Competition at the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) #Keynote2. He’ll start the discussion about startups and the impact they’re having on banks and new money tech. Agenda here.
The debate will be continued by Lloyds Bank, Barclays, Fiserv and others, before the Innotribe Startup Challenge London Showcase takes over in the afternoon. You can see the Day 1 blog here.
A nice twitter pic of yesterday's in-situ discussion boards here ...
08:40: People are beginning to gather here for Day 2 of Future Money 2015. Coffee, tea and pastries are being taken as the crowd of 600 attendees gather.
Don't forget to visit the tech companies on the first floor, during Day 2 of Future Money 2015 ...