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 second day at the event.

13:30: The panel ends. The conference ends. 

13:25: Boden: "As a bank CEO or CIO you have to be very brave to buy something from a start-up. What the industry needs now is bravery." 

13:24: Bales: "Most banks are involved in for PR reasons."

13:23: Boden: So how do we really get banks to engage in fintech? Most are engaged in some way but it's incredibly difficult to execute. 

13:20: Hassard believes that experimentation is key. However, within large institutions the actual power for change is held by only a few and this prevents true evolution to their core technology systems.  

13:19: Boden talks to some of the hurdles that exist within big banks including old, inflexible platforms and risk. Half of the current players will disappear and half will live on through fostering innovation and providing niche solutions for solving specific problems for customers.

13:17: Bales runs through a few steps that banks can take, including the set up of seed organisations within the bank to cannibalise and kill off legacy business so the institution can start again; fostering innovation through innovation labs and investment funds; and changing the organisational culture to one of experimentation.

13:14: Q: How can banks prevent this happening? 

13:13: Outlook somewhat bleak for banks according to Bales. He uses the example of Apple and how by 2017-18 many traditional banking providers will be sidelined from payments and disenfranchised from the customer. 

13:10: Boden goes on to talk about how customers have got used to a different level of service and charging mechanisms in their everyday lives and banks need to keep up.

13:07: Boden: "The market is very fragmented and it's difficult to choose between banks. People want to make their own decisons about their banking products."

13:05: Bales: "Millennials don't want a bank - they just want smarter use of their money. It's all about making more intelligent choices."

13:04: Hassard: "The key word is transparency." 

13:02: Q: What do millennials want from their bank accounts?

13:00: Re-imagining Financial Services for the Next Generation - A panel of keynote speakers from across the two days will debate how financial services will evolve in the 21st Century.

  • Arjun Hassard, CEO, Myriada / Financial Market Rank
  • Anne Boden, CEO, Starling Bank
  • Scott Bales, Innovation Ronin

12:40: The session ends. Back to the main conference hall now for the last session of the conference…

12:45 Boden asks whether people would be comfortable with their soacial network behaviours being used to decide on whether they are a good customer or not. The audience however is different, she says, and now people are willing to be rated by their social peers in a way that can feed their online profile.

12:42: Kroner counters believing that there are ways to use the data that's available via customer behaviours on the internet where certain criteria for 'good behaviour' can be identified and used.

12:41: Letts is somewhat skeptical in how banks can provide accurate KYC judgements on entities where there is anonymity. 

12:37: Kroner: "We are in a digital environment and of course we need to KYC our community but we shouldn't see this as a burden. The digital environment is an environment of anonymous identities - for example Bit Coin - where an element of its success is anonymity. But then there's an element when people need to have trust in the product so we need to find a middle ground to creating trustworthy identities in a virtual world. Banks are in a good position to provide this role becasue they are regulated." 

12:35: Q: Can the panel explain the importance of challenger banks in enabling B2B and B2C commerce. And their role for KYC and digital?

12:30: Kroner speaks to the social responsibility of banking: "Banking needs to be brought back to the centre of people's hearts and lives." 

12:28: Boden: "All of the conditions are now right to create something that's innovative and different. People are now wanting more from banking than ever before and we're at a tipping point where things will look totally different." 

12:25: Letts: There's a right to be skeptical about the internet banking age - all that was offered was the same banking product via a different access model. Now, however, the disruptors are making changes that re-think the whole model. "5-10 years will see a radical disruption of the industry and the millennials are driving it," says Letts.

12:23: Boden: Banking will continue to change: some of us will become big, some will be disruptors and others will change the industry. 

12:22: Q: In 5 years time how many of these new challengers will be around?

12:20: Q&A session being opened up to the audience now.

12:19: Kroner on the number one reason why customers are attracted to the bank: 59% said attractive pricing; 40% said the possibility of co-steering the bank via the community. Pricing is important but they find out that they can do so much more once they are in the community.  

12:16: Boden agrees but says the hurdles are still high for setting up new banks. However, consensus between the panellists is that healthy disruption and competition is being stimulated in the UK market by the UK regulator.

12:12: Letts: The UK regulator has become interested in controlling the monopoly of large banking institutions and supporting competition in the market. The UK is a fertile ground for new banks to come to the market with new propositions. 

12:08: Kroner supports regulation and believes it to be completely necessary but it's also a tough challenge for banks. Staying in line with regulatory frameworks is his biggest challenge.

12:07: Question to the panel on the key challenges that they are all facing.

12:05: Boden: People now make decision through consulting tools in the marketplace. Banks can no longer rely on the fact that they sell one product to a customer and then can cross-sell to them. 

12:03: Kroner: "It's hard to set up a new bank but it's easier than changing an old one." 

12:01: In defence of big banks Boden switches to her experience of working in them and how the ability to fix problems within these institutions is difficult. "The easiest approach is to start afresh," she says. 

11:59: Letts agrees. Banks have such fundamentally deep legacy structures that are counterproductive to digital innovation. He believes that digital allows you to reevaluate your business model and look at how you can better provide services to your clients. 

11:57: Kroner: A normal bank thinks they are digital because they have a website or an app but these don't prevent you from being outside of the digital lifestyle of your customer. You need to be seamlessly integrated into the digital lifestyle.

11:55: Question to the panel: What does digital mean to the panellists?

11:52: Letts gets into the philosophy of Ffrees which is trying to turn over the position of trust that people have had in traditional bank accounts. They are looking to remove the unequal access between rich and poor, make sure accounts are transparant and fairly priced, as well as provide a way for customers to save and move away from the traditional bank lender model.

11:51: Boden: "People are more self-directed when it comes to buying financial services products now."

11:50: Anne Boden, CEO of Starling Bank and Alex Letts, Chief Executive of Ffrees come to the stage. Anne runs the audience through the Starling Bank business model. 

11:48: Kroner: "Sorry to disappoint you but what we're tsalking about here is culture - it's not tech - it's culture."

11:41: "We are living in a community-centric universe and banks must adapt," says Kroner. "Banks must listen to their customers and integrate with the outside world."

11:36: Kroner: "Banks need to think about this type of perception. Taking 40 click-throughs to get a loan application is not immediacy for customers or asking them to print off an online PDF of their account and bringing it to a branch is not internet banking. Banks need to think about how they are going to service the customer group of the future." 

11:33: 70% of people think that in 5 years the way that we pay for things will be totally different.

11:32: 53% of people don't think their bank is offering anything different from other banks;

11:31: 71% of people would rather go to the dentist than listen to what banks are saying;

11:30: Kroner highlights some interesting stats about banking customer practices: 68% of people think that the way that we access our money in 5 years time will be totally different to now;

11:26: Kroner: "A bank who doesn't speak to their customers - how strange is that?" Kroner takes the audience through a word cloud slide looking at various data points for Fidor Bank to demonstrate the importance of data collection and analysis in relation to customer understanding and engagement.

#SAPFSForum Banking Panel Question: Type of Business? Country? Stage of digital transformation?

— SAP for Banking (@SAPforBanking) June 24, 2015

11:23: And if you want to ask questions of the panellists please see the following Tweet for instructions.

11:23: Matthias Kroner, CEO of Fidor Bank steps up first to give his 20-minute introduction...

11:15 – 12:40: Retail Banking – Challenger Banks

  • Matthias Kroner, CEO, Fidor Bank
  • Anne Boden, CEO, Starling Bank
  • Alex Letts, Chief Executive, Ffrees

11:15: Conference re-starts. The conference splits into three different streams... the live blog will follow the retail banking stream focussed on challenger banks…

10:45: Keynote ends. Coffee break.

10:39: Griffin: "In general we see this simply as technology infrastructure. The messaging systems for payments that sit on top are open and agnostic so it's possible to send a payment via someone like SWIFT and fund the transaction from the Ripple marketplace - so there are complimentary aspcts to this approach. 

10:36: Question from SAP's Rob Hetherington on the reaction from SWIFT and other incumbent payments organisations to this approach?

10:34: The 'internet of value' has been a key element of discussion across the two days here at the conference and Griffin sees peer-to-peer architecture as an important component of this.

10:31: Griffin: "Banks are the backbone of this new marketplace."

10:25: Griffin looks at the creation of a marketplace for cash inventory that enables the corporate originator to send payments through local connectivity. "There is a shift from one large internatiaonl transfer to many, small regional transfers where capital from market making institutions is used at a local level to fund payments," says Griffin.

10:23: This funding of payment obligations reduces the overall cost of making payments and reduces the costs passed through to the customer. 

10:21: The cost of capital tied up within a firms payments supply chain is huge. Griffin introduces the idea of third party providers who have lower capital costs - such as hedge funds, investment banks or other market makers - to assume the role of the treasury function and provide cash to make payments. 

10:17: Griffin: "While banks are incurring these costs ultimately they are passing these through the customer."

.@Ripple "It's faster to send money overseas through a FedEx envelope than int'l wire." #SAPFSForum pic.twitter.com/oHHUsoUAaH

— Amanda Bullington (@albullington) June 24, 2015

10:16: Griffin dives straight into the payments space, explaining some of the current issues with cross-border payments: different operating regimes and access requirements, a disjointed payments infrastructre that requires a great deal of pain for interoperability, the lack of a unified payments network.

10:15: Second keynote – Patrick Griffin, EVP of Business Development, Ripple Labs on the future of transaction networks.

10:11: Friedman: "Financial services firms should think about how they embrace emerging technologies in a way that delivers value to customers and then they can think about how to build the business networks of the future."

10:08: Friedman asks the question, what will the consumer expectation be in 5, 10, 15 years from now? Firms need to think about the technology required to future-proof their business.  

10:04: Friedman: "If firms deliver a service that's richly rewarding to their customers then they will remain their customers." 

10:00: Video interlude: interesting look at the use of open networks to create an omnichannel approach for a seamless and paperless travel and expense process throughout a business trip. 

09:55: Friedman: Open business networks rely on personalised context, actionable isight, and transparant visibility. 

09:53: Friedman describes the need to change the value equation of a buy and sell transaction. Providing incremental value and providing additional data around each transaction delivers heightened experience for both parties. Using open networks for business is key.

Disruptive companies change not only a sector business model but whole industries #SAPfsforum pic.twitter.com/MtHMjD8m64

— Mouna Ferdi (@mounaferdi) June 24, 2015

09:49: Uber, for example, isn't just chanigng the taxi model it's also changing the car ownership model. People are questioning the affordability of car ownership vs. cheaper, more accessible taxi services so the knock-on effect also impacts the car manufacturing industry. 

09:47: Friedman: "Innovators disrupt industries at their core." He gives the two examples of Uber and Amazon to explain this...

09:45: Todd Friedman, Head of Ecosystem Strategy, SAP Business Network Group to talk on the power of collaboration and business networks.

09:45: Opening keynote of the day – Todd Friedman, Head of Ecosystem Strategy, SAP Business Network Group

09:35: Rob Hetherington, General Manager EMEA Financial Services at SAP welcoming attendees and reviews some of the key themes from the first day at the conference.

09:30 – 09:45: Welcome to Day 2 - Rob Hetherington, General Manager EMEA Financial Services at SAP

Day 2 of the #SAPfsforum: Keynote room starting to fill up...keep an eye out for updates pic.twitter.com/BTOJbgoVcY

— SAP For Insurance (@sapforinsurance) June 24, 2015

09:19: The crowd is gathering here for the second day of the 2015 SAP Financial Services Forum, London. The Live Blog will begin shortly. Join the twitter debate at #SAPFSforum

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