SAP Financial Services Forum - Live Blog

SAP Financial Services Forum - Live Blog

Now in its fifth year, the SAP Financial Services Forum brings together over 450 financial services professionals to explore digital transformation across the financial services sector and the ways that firms can harness innovation, more effectively interact with their customers and build brand loyalty. This live blog will keep you abreast of what unfolds throughout the first day at the event.

17:17: Keynote ends. Day one at the conference ends. 

17:15: And for tennis fans Andy Murray is a hot tip to win the Wimbledon men's championships...

17:10: The journey started with the players and now it's moving out to the fans. The WTA wants to share as much of the data as possible with the media and the fans to make their expereince as interactive as possible. The richness of the data and predictive analysis is key. 

17:04: Allaster stresses the importance in both real and virtual content options for fans. Unique content production such as virtual back-stage access and individual player messages to fans will create a richer customer experience and stronger customer traction by providing the information they are looking for and asking for.

17:02: Today the WTA gives appproximately a thrid of its total content output to fans; by 2017 it will give all fans access to all 55 competitions around the world. Allaster: "Technology and data is the facilitator to this and enables the WTA to deliver more value to fans and commercial partners."

17:00: The WTA needed to go from a sports governing body to an externally focussed entity that delivered for customers in a competitive sporting arena.

16:52: A departure from financial services, Stacey – who has been named as “one of the most powerful women in sports” - will look at transforming women’s tennis and enhancing fan experience with real time data analytics.

16:50 – 17:15: Final keynote of the day - Stacey Allaster, Chairman and CEO, Women’s Tennis Association.

16:50: Christie: "Digital has a number of lenses but ultimately it's all about changing the customer experience. It's easy to forget that alot of the prize in improving cost/income ratios lies in bringing digital into the entire operational supply chain and applying it across all of the banks business." 

16:48: Hetherington Question: Digitisation is more than digital application at the front end - it's also about the beack-end - can you expand?

16:47: Christie: "The big institutions won't got away but there will be more competitive pressue. There will be some churn in the smaller challenger market. The big institutions are spending a lot of money on innovation and having relatiosnhips with start-ups or embedding innovative technology internally and we wouldn't have seen that 5 years ago. This is healthy for the large institutions."

16:41: Hetherington Question: What will the future of the banking industry in a market like the UK look like?

16:38: Christie: "Not being involed in digital is suicidal but what does digital mean to different organisations? Many are still working out what it means in terms of transforming their businesses."

16:34: "Challenger banks aren't really taking on the Big 5, they are identifying 'white space'," says Christie. Challengers also have their own legacy issues they are working with and increased interest from the regulators will make their operating environments more difficult in the future.

16:30: Culture and conduct are a critical part of the behavioural component. Simplification of customer segments and products is also important. "When will the industry re-baseline legacy technology to address the agility issue?" asks Christie.

16:24: How do you differentiate in increasingly competitive but low growth markets? Christie explains how enterprise behvioural dynamics can help in figuring out how firms can institutionalise true elite performance. Elite performance = reputational excellence. 

16:21: The narrative will take three threads: innovation; analytics; and transformation.

16:19: Stephen, a former partner at a number of the leading consulting firms, will lead this discussion and look at establishing challenger banks and exploiting digital opportunity.

16:15 – 16:45: Keynote - Rob Hetherington, General Manager EMEA Financial Services, SAP with guest speaker Dr Stephen Christie, Founder & Chief Executive Officer, Neural Insights

16:15: To summarise, while the environment for the industry is extremely challenged there are siginificant successes and banking innovators deliver a strong business case.

16:14: Better use of data is key for banks to think about a whole variety of products and services that can be offered to customers. Wagle rightly highlights that this isn't just about traditional value add financial services but about non-traditional services that simply uses the data that banks have on their customers - such as concierge services based on purchasing information. 

16:08: Digital success is all about customer need and instant gratification. "You can have the most innovative products and apps in the world," says Wagle, "but if decision making takes a number of days then they are of no benefit."

16:05: Wagle: "Uber owns no taxis, AirBnB owns no property, it's not inconcievable that one day you'll find a wealth management industry with no advisors."

16:02: Wealth Management is the poster child for the application of technology for reinventing ecosystems, value chains and business models to offer options to customers that are far superior.

16:01: Digital technologies are disrupting the industry by going after parts of the value chain that are not protected and have low cost barriers to entry. 

15:58: However, Wagle believes that the quality of experience needs to be ubiquitous across all channels otherwise the model won't work. All customers must be able to start a transaction in one channel and complete it in another.

15:57: Wagle: "Branches will remain a key part of banking strategy going forward."

15:55: Wagle: "Improving customer experience is the only sustainable way to increase ROE and omnichannel is the banks ticket to compete."

15:52: Wagle believes that the banking industry is at an inflection point. Traditional banking models are fracturing and in the future technology companies are going to be the only competitors.

15:47: Likhit introduces his discussion on competing in the digital age.

15:45 – 16:15: Keynote - Likhit Wagle, Global Industry Leader, Banking and Financial Markets, IBM Global Business Services.

15:45: And we're back for the final sessions of the day.

15:26: Time for a coffee break. Back soon…

15:20: Cummings: "The focus of an insurer will become different. They will focus on the consumer and the products will become simpler and more configurable. There will also be increased partnerships across providers and industries."

15:17: There has been rapid commoditisation of insurance services and in some cases the aggregators are trusted more than the insurance providers themselves, says Cummings.

15:14: Cummings: "Most of the innovation is being seen in emerging markets where they are leap-frogging more developed markets." 

15:11: Cummings explains the competitive environment that innovative technology is creating: "New technologies are reducing the risk of entering the market and helping non-insurance firms get into customer protection services."

15:07: Cummings also highlights how technology is being utilised by insurance firms to help in policy development and claims and assessment management. AIG, for example, are selling drone services to firms to manage assessments that are difficult or dangerous to perform, including high buildings or sports stadia.

Google makes 24% of its revenues from #insurance, and their interest continues to grow #SAPfsforum

— SAP For Insurance (@sapforinsurance) June 23, 2015

15:05: Staggering stat from Twitter...

15:04: The insurance space is another part of financial services where consumer technology or retail firms are offering products vs. the incumbent providers. Google is one such organisation. 

14:55: Cummings uses the example as one of many aggregators of financial products which targets one of the only things that insurance customers are actually interested in: price. "Customers at the monement don't know how to differentialte between insurance firms other than on price," he says.

14:50 – 15:15: Keynote - Robert Cummings, Head of SAP's Industry Business Unit for Insurance on the digital future of insurance 

14:50: Innovation panel ends.

14:45: Mang says that the proof of concept stage and the innovation lab can take a technology and test it in a controlled environment - that's where the proof happens. You then need a provider outside the bank who'll test it and the security and risk departments at the bank need to be comfortable taking the technology externally. 

14:43: Question from the audience on how innovation gets out of the innovation lab and actually into the bank?

14:40: Understandably vague answers from the panle nodding to work that the Treasury in the UK are doing in this space and usual bank unwillingness to allow data outside of their firewall.  

14:39: Interesting question from the audience on whether banks are opening up API's and data for start-ups to use.

14:35: Laven says that there are lots of different approaches to innovation but the easiest banks to work with doesn't come down to size but where innovation is ingrained all the way through the organisation from middle management up.

14:33: Liz Question: Is there a danger of innovators being lost within the financial institutions they work with?

14:28: Mang: "The bank has teams to look at how responsive products are, how easy they are to use, and making sure that the features are integrated. The innovation team who sit across the whole Group don't have specific execution responsibility but rather look at the context of the environment that our customers are operating in and provides a place where proof-of-concept work can be done, much like a product development lab, that's free of some of the constraints of the normal operating environment."

14:27: Liz Question: What are the benefits to the bank of innovation labs?

14:25: Weiskam: "There's room for both. Disruptors transform an industry and get the press coverage; there are start-ups in the banking industry that nibble away at the big banks by providing a full stack of services to the customer. But equally there are many great companies that enable the incumbents to be competitive by providing a certain piece of the value chain and doing it very well."

14:24: Liz Question: In investment are people just looking for disruptive technology?

14:22: Laven: "The people that banks need to be scared of are those sitting next to them - the other banks. It's not a question of innovation, it's why can't the banks get there."

14:18: Mang says that before anything the bank has to protect itself against risk and maintain standards. A lot of the retail environment is coming to banking space and that is creating a mind-shit. Banks realise that it's difficult for a small company to work with them and they're taking steps to rectify this. Innovation funds are one way of doing that.

14:15: Weiskam: "The governance process takes a long time with a bank and there isnt a willingness from management to speed up these decisions."

14:13: Liz Question: What are the traditional barriers to technology investment?

14:11: The resounding answer is 'opportunity'

14:07: Finextra's very own Liz Lumley host's the panel. Liz Question: What does innovation mean to each of the panellists?

14:03: All panellists give a quick overview of their businesses. The direction for the discussion will be around the innovation labs and investment funds that support startups and innovative technology; who are the real benefactors of these collaborative relationships?

14:00 – 14:45: Innovation Labs and FinTech funds: How can FSI Firms Foster Innovation and Agility?

  • Andreas Weiskam, Managing Director, Sapphire Ventures
  • Jesper Frederiksen, Vice President & General Manager, EMEA, DocuSign
  • Mike Laven, CEO, Currency Cloud
  • Patrick Mang, Innovation Strategy Lead, HSBC

14:00: Lunch ends. Conference re-starts. The conference splits into different streams... the live blog will follow the digital change and innovation stream looking at how FSI firms can foster innovation and agility.

12:30: The forum breaks for lunch. 

12:30: Doyle believes that the difference between trust and brand needs to be distinguished. The brand value of banks has taken a hit however for certain functions - such as looking after people's money - banks are still more trusted than other types of firm. 

12:30: Sandell Question: Trust in the brand - will trust genuinely come back to financial institutions?

12:29: "A lot of the current financial advisor role may be automated," says Doyle, "as will much around know your customer and understanding customer risk profile." 

12:27: Doyle: "Looking at things now and starting from scratch you certainly wouldn't build a bank branch network - you'd try to have a branchless model. However, humans are social creatures and some of the interactions needed within the branch, particularly where there are complex decisions to be made, then a physical space would be required to have that face-to-face interaction."

12:25: Sandell Question: Are bank branches here to stay?

12:22: Doyle says that senior leaders have been so focussed on regulation and the macro-environment that innovation, responding to new entrants and adopting the fundamental changes necessary for technology innovation have taken a back-seat.

12:22: Sandell Question: Are bank management ready for the necessary change in the next 3-5 year cycle?

12:21: Moving into a quick Q&A now with Deloitte's Nick Sandell and Margaret Doyle...

12:19: "Banks haven't gathered data in a way that makes it useful and haven't invested in the tools that can help them to unlock the potential in that data," says Doyle.

12:17: The result is that the competitive landscape is completely different. According to Deloitte three main new entrants to the market exist: traditional new entrants; technology-led entrants; substitutes. 

12:14: The collective impact of so many forces will fundamentally change the way that banks engage with their customers.

12:10: Also impacting are competitive drivers from technology enabled new entrants to the financial markets the rise of the digital customer, says Doyle.

12:06: "Banks return on equity has declined," says Doyle. "The twin forces of a low growth, low interest rate macro-economic environment and the regulation and re-regulation agenda are having the biggest impact and continue to absorb the most time and investment for management."

12:03: Doyle: "Things will get worse for banks going forward in terms of the competitive space. The things that made banking a very stable industry in the past have now changed."

12:00 – 12:30: The first panel of the day - Banking Disrupted – A Road Map for the Future of Retail Banking

  • Nick Sandell, EMEA FSI Co-Leader, Deloitte
  • Liz Fasciana, Partner, Deloitte
  • Margaret Doyle, Partner, Head of Financial Services Research, Deloitte

12:00: "Information is an opportunity for customer interaction and engagement in bringing new products to market," says McGuire. "The segmentation of data sets allows for really interesting, and often unexpected, correlations that can help in product development and customer targetting."

.@sethmcguire rocking the stage at #SAPFSFORUM hint: tweets about soggy fries = fryer needs fixin'

— Sunil (@suniljnair) June 23, 2015

11:58: A warm reception for Seth McGuire on the Twittershpere...

11:53: The metadata behind Tweets provides a lot of information but it's hard to use. "It will take time for the move from distinct analytics to enterprise-wide data use to take place but it is happening," says McGuire. 

11:48: McGuire: "Customers expect immediacy. At work employees see that their organisations are providing immediacy to their customers but the management, use and interpretation of data internally doesn't have that immediacy. This is changing but requires investment."

11:43: McGuire: "Unstructred data is valuable becasue it provides an aggregate view of an individuals behaviour and needs. Twitter provides a scalable dataset that can be chopped up to give a view of what an individual is saying and thnking."

11:38: Seth explains how the relationship between financial services, data and information sharing has always been important: the Buttonwood Agreement under the buttonwood tree, the delivery of Reuters news via pigeons and information sharing through the fax machine.

11:33: Seth came to Twitter through their acquisition of Gnip in 2014 and will look at how data can be used to make more informed trading choices and improve customer service.

11:30 – 12:00: Third keynote - Seth McGuire, Senior Business Development Manager at Twitter.

11:25: We're back in the main conference hall awaiting the next speaker. The live blog will kick-off again shortly.

11:00: Keynote ends. Coffee break.

10:58: "Approach to change, adapting culture, attitude to risk and attitude to people are key ingredients to becoming more innovative," says Hanley.

10:55: Hanley on the cultural change that financial services firms need to embrace. "A new rhythm needs to be found in product innovation and delivery." Using Google as an example he highlights their high-speed product development journey and learn-fast approach. "Every product iteration needs to put customers in the design process and design-to-production should be shortened from months to weeks."

10:48: Hanley: "The hard part of innovation doesn't lie in the 'why' or 'what' but in the 'how'."

Kevin, RBS, states innovation must make it easier and quicker to do business with RBS #SAPfsforum

— SAP For Insurance (@sapforinsurance) June 23, 2015

10:42: Mobile, social, wearables, AI, cyber security, biometrics, APIs, advanced analytics, blockchain and cloud are all key technologies that RBS care about.

10:40: "Digital transformation is about placing increasing processing power in the hands of customers," says Hanley. "It's about decreasing layers and decreasing the time between the production and consumption of technology."

10:36: The payments space is just one example where disruptive technology is having a major impact. Non-bank providers now take approximately 15% of the market - three years ago this was around 5%.

10:34: Hanley: "Apple describes any product that is over 5 years old as vintage." This clearly illustrates the rapid pace of technological change.

10:32: "As an industry we focus too much of our time on 'today' and fixing the immediate however the innovation agenda starts at a different place," says Hanley. "It's about looking at things today that safeguard tomorrow and it's about making distuptive change happen."

10:30: Second keynote - Kevin Hanley, Director of Design, Services from RBS on how the bank is investing in innovation to drive digital change. 

10:23: "The industry is at an inflection point," says Wainwright. "Digital is changing the game and will bring simplicity in financial services. The forum this week is an opportunity to hear about the digital transformation journey for those in the industry and immesrse yourself in these insights so that collectively we can better serve our clients."

10:18: Wainwright: "Digital disruption is enabling financial services institutions to redefine the customer experience and better understand their customers. Through this innovation customers are also regaining their trust in those driving financial services strategy." 

10:16: "These types of relationships keep us relevant, challenge us and keep us innovating," says Wainwright.

10:14: Wainwright: "Co-innovation strategies can take working relationships to the next level for financial services firms."

10:09: ATB have been building a foundation for digital change since 2011. "There are three principles applied to the ATB digital strategy: ease of use; simplicity; and consistency across channels," says ATB's Stange.

10:06: Curtis Stange, Chief Strategy & Operations Officer at ATB Financial comes to the stage.

09:59: Apple watch/iPhone/iPad live demonstration showing effective customer origination via an ANZ mortgage application. Omnichannel approach enables customer authentication and ANZ to cross-sell further products such as home insurance.

09:54: The Internet of Things is a major disruptor in the insurance industry - an industry which hasn't been a poster child for innovation. "New, innovative technologies that are impacting our everyday lives - such as Nest - are increasingly employed by insurance comanies, via smart phone, and can proactively capture data tied to home maintenance and damage." 

09:50: "Effective digital strategy will bring financial services institutions closer to the customer," says Wainwright. "Firms need to become completely omni-channel; they need to extend and expand innovation and their use of fintech; and they need to provide a borader range of services and offer greater product differentiation for customers."

09:46: "The business model for financial services providers is being challenged and digitisation is changing the palying field," says SAP's Wainwright.

09:45: Ross Wainwright, Global Head of Financial Services at SAP "as customers demands change the banking and insurance industries have had to evolve."

09:45: Opening keynote - Ross Wainwright, Global Head of Financial Services at SAP with guest speaker Curtis Stange, Chief Strategy & Operations Officer at ATB Financial

Happy To Join #SAPFSFORUM on #digital #transformation in #financial services ;-) let the show begin & #livetweet ;-)

— Mouna Ferdi (@mounaferdi) June 23, 2015

09:35: Rob Hetherington, General Manager EMEA Financial Services at SAP is welcoming attendees and explaining today’s agenda, focussed on Building the Foundation for Digital Change.

09:30 – 09:45: Welcome and introduction - Rob Hetherington, General Manager EMEA Financial Services at SAP

09:10: The crowd is gathering here for the 2015 SAP Financial Services Forum, London. The Live Blog will begin shortly. Join the twitter debate at #SAPFSforum

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