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Live: FusionONE 2019 - day one

Live: FusionONE 2019 - day one

Welcome to Finextra’s live coverage of FusionONE 2019. This two-day event is Finastra's first major developer conference, which will see hundreds of developers from fintech companies and banks taking part in a deep dive into FusionFabric.cloud tools and infrastructure.

17:42: Hyber wins with 57% of the vote!

17:33: The final pitch from Hyber. After coming up with their idea over pizza and beer on Friday, they had a product by Sunday. Their aim is to grow holiday spending money after adding funds to the Hyber app months before a trip and then AI finds the perfect time to trigger trades.

17:27: Fusion Optimum attempts to combat the biggest problem when starting a business = getting a loan. They are aiming to decrease this funding gap of $5 trillion affecting 400 million SMEs.

17:21: Rewire then pitch their product which cuts down on the timeline and fees involved with cross border payments. Using ML, face recognition and document fraud detection, their app can onboard customers in minutes.

17:17: Fusion Trust want to cut back on the $14 billion back-office bill using the new FusionFabric.Cloud API available for fintechs and banks on FusionFabric.Cloud.

17:14: Liz Lumley, director of fintech, FinTECHTalents and Mitesh Soni, senior director, innovation and fintech, Finastra provide a brief explanation about the events of the weekend and introduce judges Eli Rosner, Sarah Hazzledine, managing director, Accenture and Mark Smith, Microsoft solutions lead, Microsoft UK.

17:09: The final four candidates of the 48 hour FusionONE Hackathon are revealed before they take to the stage to deliver a live pitch. Delegates have been voting on the FusionONE app all day and the winner will be revealed in mere moments!

17:07: How to start? What is my target market play? What role will I play in the ecosystem? Who are the other members of my value network that will deliver the market play? How will we orchestrate the ecosystem to deliver the market play?

17:03: The value of an ecosystem is proven. 4 out of 5 top companies by market capitalisation run platform-enabled businesses – like Microsoft, Amazon and Apple – all taken advantage of the ecosystem to transform and scale. From a FS point of view, how do we move from tradition to ecosystem thinking? Banks are largely comfortable with this.

16:59: Customer willingness to share data is constantly growing – especially in Asia. 31% in UK, but 70% in Asia. Open banking has been a key driver and to meet expectations, we must take advantage after having established the foundation. Still haven’t seen the hockey stick of growth that was expected.

16:58: Wilson: “Financial services customers are more willing than ever to share their data – provided the data sharing powers integrated propositions and offers that are tailored to their needs. Tailored is the key word here.”

16:53: More and more companies offer instalments or pay later options at checkout – Klarna is a good example of this. Returning to the PingAn reference, Wilson says that data-driven loan provisioning is the next big thing – but Alibaba is leading with a valuation of $150 billion.

16:50: What does it mean for customers? New and improved customer journeys. Global banks are already on the case with PFM/BFM/aggregation application. Wilson uses HSBC as an example, and highlights the proliferation of the fintechs driving this market. Banks and PSPs are also monetising big data insights from payments and cards – how can we capture wealth of data? Consent is a key point and key tenet because of PDS2.

16:47: Platform providers are using APIs to provide innovative and seamless payment experiences, Wilson says and is opening up the banking sector – generating 340 billion in market capital across this sector. Examples like Adyen, Square and Klarna should be viewed by banks and FIs as competitors. We are seeing a steady emergence of new use cases and monetisation opportunities driven by information and data.

16:44: Data is a driving force behind intelligent financial services – it is the oil, after all. Advent of ISO2022 and other regulation that is enhancing payments transaction, we can also capture data and utilise that.

16:42: From the point of view of payments, Wilson explains that the emergence of the information bank is a key opportunity for everything discussed today to come to fruition. There is real transformation happening – consumer behaviour, regulation and threat from GAAFA. The margin is a challenge, but there is also opportunity for revenue growth and the level of growth in payments globally is staggering. China and India are provided as examples.

16:40: The final keynote of the day is from Gareth Wilson, managing director, Accenture on the emergence of the information bank and how data is the driving force behind intelligent financial services, as has been shown by the breakthrough customer propositions that are being accelerated by open banking now.

15:39: Felix Grevy, VP, product management, Finastra and Ollie Whitehouse, Global Chief Technical Officer, NCC demo FusionStore before Amy Walker, VP,  and Grant Jones, VP, field operations showcase Fusion LenderComm. 

15:32: What’s a great marketplace? Amazon is a good example: they started with books but established an efficient value chain so that other marketplaces could have access, Jaffer explains.

15:27: Finastra’s chief strategy officer Akber Jaffer discusses the fourth topic of the day and how financial marketplaces connect buyers and sellers. In this space FusionFabric.Cloud removes friction and exploits compression. The two products showcased are FusionStore & NCC, which certifies and monetises apps on the platform and the second, Fusion LenderComm, which creates efficiencies in the syndicated loan market.

15:24: Duffaut summarises all the examples and says that they all have speed in common.

15:03: Steve Hoke returns to stage with Vincent Pugliese, SVP and general manager, US retail and lending at Finastra to share a story on their lending solutions. Sagive Greenspan, SVP and general manager, payments, Finastra and Eran Vitkon, senior director, development, Finastra, also focus on partnerships and the next round of innovation.

14:47: Christine Scaffiddi, senior principal, product manager, Finastra and Sandra Peignaux, director ISV recruitment, Salesforce take to the stage to discuss the partnership to provide a unified banking experience, through empowered deal management through connected ecosystems.

14:44: Duffaut: “1+1=3, we can be more than the sum of our forces with one thing in mind: the value our customers get by leveraging our solutions.”

14:43: Duffaut explores Finastra partnerships: loan origination through Salesforce.com and Fusion CME/Loan IQ, Microsoft Dynamics and Fusion CreditQuest and Fusion Global PayPlus and Fusion OpenAccess.

14:35: The next part of the day focuses on the power of connected experiences and building higher value solutions by integrating third party applications, hosted by Finastra’s president and global head of field operations Eric Duffaut. However, integration challenges exist everywhere and start off with the absence of common standards, disparate data siloes, a lack of licensing and open frameworks and finally, protectionism. 

14:26: Kearon: “Voice will be dominant.” Customers are telling chatbots what they want to do and if that capability is not available at present, use the information to introduce these features. Voice is also a new way to converse with customers and advise them on new products "but in a non-creepy way," Junod says. "You have to be careful not to cross that line."

14:23: Data pools already exist and if you can find them you can start to use them, but ownership of data is then questioned. Banks or solution providers do not want to own data, and the customer should own their data – a very important piece – Junod says and refers to Privacy Shield soon to come into effect in the US.

14:20: Security and is Alexa listening? On to subject of verification, how concerned should people be about these new ways of interfacing with banks? Junod answers and says that customers should be worried. Kearon references a Gartner study that found that by 2022, humans will be interacting with chatbots more than other people – this is because it is part of everyday life.

14:14: Junod says that finding banks that are willing to work with us is a challenge. Kearon says this is a breath of fresh air and points out that chatbots should live where users can access them in a proactive way – in Facebook or WeChat, not in your banking application. Garretson adds that customers should be offered a multitude of channels to access their financial services through.

14:11: Robin Kearon, SVP, channels and alliances, Kore.ai; Aaron Junod, VP, product development, Geezeo and Eric Garretson, chief financial officer, EVP, finance NBKC Bank join Kilroy on stage for a panel discussion to discuss challenges to collaboration. Garretson says it is because it is difficult to find a bank that wants to work with a fintech, but also banks are very difficult to work with. FusionFabric.Cloud will speed this process up, but the third item is the core banking solution that banks are on and it can be difficult to integrate with fintech infrastructure – as everything is built with APIs.

14:03: The second showcase presented by Pierre Quemard, principal solutions consultant and Allan Brown, VP digital community markets from Finastra, explores how the product has enabled conversational banking. Finastra’s collaboration with nbkc bank tap into an opportunity for the financial services industry. Consumer adoption of voice devices is growing rapidly due to the on-demand access they provide. But that’s not to say other channels will fade away. More chatbot functionality and ability to bank via Siri, Cortana and Alexa will be increasingly important.

13:52: Two examples were explored. The first, mortgage workflows showcased by Shuki Licht, chief innovation officer and Steve Hoke, VP, product management consumer and SME lending at Finastra. The Fusion Mortgagebot, which is built on Microsoft Power BI and PowerApps, uses AI and data visualisation to add analytics, uncover trends and spot business opportunities.

13:48: Kilroy: “Data is the new oil” – but Kilroy points out how this is not a cliché – it’s about monetising data with AI and showed a diagram of the self-reinforcing effect. He also states that realistically, we are a decade behind Big Tech companies and how companies such as Netflix are using data.

13:46: Afternoon sessions start off with a discussion on the power of intelligent data and delivering actionable insights through business intelligence and artificial intelligence – introduced by Tom Kilroy, chief operating officer for Finastra. Setting the context ahead of a couple of showcases, Kilroy questions the audience whether they had changed their primary bank account provider in the past five years – and how banks can use data to ensure that the customer experience is efficient, so that they don’t.

12:50: Off for lunch, back at 13:30!

12:32: On financial inclusion and wellness, there are a number of untapped markets such as women, those in debt and so many other groups – McGuinness explains.

12:31: McGuinness: “Has regulation stifled innovation for the generation before us? The boot is on the other foot now. How can we continue this and export what’s happening in the UK to other countries. Let’s play for the world.”

12:27: McGuinness: Trend we’re seeing now is the fragmentation of financial services, but also involvement in different areas. Hirt points to investment into UK fintech, which is due to collaboration but also the open nature of the FCA, and its own sandbox.

12:24: The conversation around fintech has shifted from competition to collaboration, but as Hirt explains there is a long way to go. We are seeing startups partner with each other and the third player in the room: the Big Tech. The UK is also unique in this respect.

12:21: Laura McGuinness, fintech programme lead at Accenture and Janine Hirt, COO of Innovate Finance come together on stage to explain their backgrounds and relationship with building fintech startups.

12:18: Callies: “We see the wave of innovation coming and we see FusionFabric.Cloud being part of that next wave, which is invigorating.” On competing with community banks in the US, Callies says that this product will allow for faster speed to market.

12:05: The power of open ecosystems will now be delved into during a panel session focused on driving financial participation for everyone, everywhere, in addition to how to expand industry collaboration and market acceleration. Panelists are Graça Carvalho, strategic alliances director, UCL; Rik Krieger, co-founder, Sonect AG; Jayson Callies, CFO, EVP Finance, Seattle Bank; Tomi Soininen, VP PSD2, Gemalto, who will speak about supporting developers and driving financial inclusion.

12:00: There are opportunities for everyone. Banks get faster innovation at lower costs, a sandbox for internal development and the opportunity to build new business models. Fintechs and ISVs get exposure to a global market place, connectivity to core banking systems, free access to APIs and the developer portal. System integrators get easier integration of products via REST APIs, mature underlying infrastructure at scale and better project margins. Students and academics gain real access to banking infrastructure, kickstart relations to banks and fintech and drive innovation and hackathons. Last but not least, independent developers drive financial inclusion, create new business opportunities and overcome finance problems during the kick-start process.

11:54: He goes on to say that open banking needs to be expanded to other areas of finance, not just payments and retail banking, but we must also learn from Big Techs and consider the emergence of new super apps. “If they cannot connect to banking infrastructure, it’s just not going to work.” Haering promotes incorporating other company’s services on a banking infrastructure – this will enable the next generation of fintechs and build a more diverse financial system. Partnerships with diverse groups would also be beneficial.

11:42: Haering welcomes delegates back from the coffee break and explains the four new growth opportunities available to financial services executives with FusionFabric.Cloud which, as a reminder, are: open ecosystems, intelligent data, connected experiences and financial marketplaces.

11:07: Off for coffee, back at 11:30!

11:03: Guthrie: “Enabling digital transformation, it’s not just about technology, it’s about transforming how you engage with customers, optimise operations, empower employees and transform products. Data is key to this digital feedback loop and as you start to leverage APIs offered by Finastra, together with other capabilities that Microsoft offers, it will enable you to transform organisation in profound and new ways.”

11:02: Azure Cognitive Services allow users to deploy and run AI anywhere using containers, Guthrie explains.

10:55: On the power of data and AI – “data will be at the core of the transformation banks want to deliver.” Guthrie spends a little time talking about operational database services available on Azure. The cloud allows data to be scaled – which can be supported with Azure Hyperscale Databases – and to be able to deal with data not on a server – available on SQL Database Serverless, for example. Scaling to “planet scale” can also be done with Azure Cosmos DB, allows you to run data services concurrently in any Azure region.

10:53: Guthrie explains that with Azure Migrate, workloads can be moved and fully take advantage of what the cloud provides. Azure Stack also provides an extension to deploy your existing data centres in other areas.

10:48: Windows Virtual Desktop, Azure VMware solutions, Azure SQL Database Managed Instance - all available to dramatically lower TCO.

10:45: Azure policy and blueprints are provided to enable developers to build fast, but also meet regulatory requirements. Guthrie explains key features that could be beneficial for those in financial services, one of which is Hybrid apps with Azure – allows developers to integrate tools with existing environments.

10:39: There is a tremendous amount of use in financial services. Examples Guthrie points to include UBS data centres, which run on Azure and HSBC’s Penny service which was launched in Asia – the fastest growing payment service in the world, Guthrie claims. Deutsche Bank, Société Générale, Santander, JPMorgan Chase, Clear.Bank and Deutsche Borse have all also partnered with Microsoft on a wide variety of services based on the cloud.

10:37: Azure is deployed in 54 regions across the world, more than AWS and Google combined – Guthrie explains. He goes on to discuss how much Microsoft has invested in security and trust (around $1 billion.” 95% of the largest 500 companies in the world use Microsoft Azure – largest global footprint.

10:35: Guthrie: “[PSD2 and open banking] are going to transform banks in entirely new ways,” and the partnership between Microsoft and Finastra will power this.

10:33: The “father of Azure”, Scott Guthrie, EVP Cloud + AI Group at Microsoft, takes to the stage to discuss how the Microsoft system is powering FusionFabric.Cloud and is redefining design, build and consumption.

10:32: Rosner asks attendees to come join them – “we don’t make money until you make money. The demand for fintechs is high, banks are working with us too. It’s going to be fun.”

10:26: Finastra already has 30 developers already building app, 10 apps in beta, 19 banks with registered developers and 300 registered fintechs. Rosner predicts there will soon be 0’s on the end of those figures. He then shows a demo of how to build an app in five minutes – no coding knowledge necessary.

10:24: What can you do today? 61 APIs have been made available that cover all areas of the financial institution. In addition to this, Finastra have provided 11 “sandboxes” or connected products. And it’s free and delegates are encouraged to test the developer app.

10:19: Finastra is opening FusionFabric.cloud for public access today. There are three components: FusionCreator, where you can browse APIs, creates app and test them; FusionOperate, where you run the planning of app and take the pain away and finally; FusionStore, the app store where you put the app.

10:16: Finastra serves 8,500+ banks worldwide. “We have the know-how to take those emerging technologies and take away the pain of using them in depth. We have a value proposition for you because our platform addresses the key challenges the industry has,” Rosner says.

10:12: Rosner says that they looked at Big Tech companies, which have a very different DNA – but also took a look at Asian tech giants, which have invented the emerging technologies that exist today. Finastra want to take these technologies and use them to help financial institutions. On the other side of the spectrum, we have challenger banks “and cloud and mobile is all they know. They are growing at 20% a year, you cannot ignore that.” There is a solution to this problem and Finastra understand the challenges because they “are in the same boat and recognise that they have to make investments from the inside, changing ourselves.”

10:08: Rosner: “We are opening a new chapter for Finastra.” He goes on to say that the market trends and challenges are the same for all and banks find it difficult to open up. At the same time, the platform-based model has emerged, where multiple parties come to the table to innovate. “Coopetition is healthy. We firmly believe that ‘business-as-usual’ or ‘let’s-wait-and-see are over.’ Action needs to be taken now. We have a solution for those challenges.”

10:06: “The system is open to all,” Paris says and explains that this is the why – but will now pass on to Eli Rosner, chief product and technology officer, Finastra to discuss the how.

10:01: Discussing PingAn, Paris discusses how if he allows the company access to his health data, the service that he is provided with will be personalised. Moving on to PSD2, which exposes account information and payment data, Paris explores how the point of the regulation is not for banks to obtain this data, it is up to the financial institution to help them with their house search, mortgage application etc. All these services may not come directly from the bank at the moment, but this is the point of PSD2.

9:58: Finastra has been in the business of building software for financial services for 35 years and they know that there is a legacy challenge. Thinking differently about collaboration and innovation could help solve this problem. Paris uses the automotive industry as an example, BMW specifically – which has been competing against the same companies for hundreds of years, but now are up against self-driving cars. “Big Tech has disrupted automotives.”

9:55: Paris points out that innovation can come from anywhere. Finastra aims to support fintechs, banks and universities and their mission is to “do well by doing good. Unlocking the potential of people and businesses everywhere.”

9:52: He goes on to explore how the event will focus on financial marketplaces, open ecosystems, connected experiences and intelligent data, before introducing CEO Simon Paris to the stage.

9:49: Haering encourages delegates to download the FusionONE app to vote for their favourite to win following the Hackathon held at the weekend.

9:46: Martin Haering, chief marketing officer at Finastra, welcomes 400 delegates and 1000 online viewers to FusionONE, an event that promises to open minds with their open platform. He explains that the banking industry is opening up for collaboration and in turn, innovation and FusionFabric.Cloud is how Finastra will transform the sector.

9:00: Good morning and welcome to Finextra’s live coverage of FusionONE 2019. There is a packed programme to look forward to today, following on from yesterday's announcement revealing the firm's new FusionFabric.cloud platform for mortgage and loan workflows, deepening its partnership with Microsoft. The vendor also contracted with nbkc bank to build a conversational banking app on the platform, and released some 61 new APIs to the developer community. Proceedings will kick off at 9:30am, so check back then!

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