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Live: FusionONE 2019 - day two

Live: FusionONE 2019 - day two

Welcome to Finextra’s live coverage of FusionONE 2019. The second day of the conference will tackle issues that concern the developers before breaking into streams, focusing on different products.

17:38: Rosner highlights that the winners in the industry are those who operate on platforms and have built entire ecosystems. He goes on to say that there will be space in the market for platform providers and niche banking services providers that will feed into the platform. Who will win if Amazon buys a bank tomorrow? Will Amazon win or the bank?

17:31: On open banking, Smith states that is very easy to say that the big banks aren’t doing enough when you’re on the outside looking in, but it is a struggle. There is a lot of education that needs to directed on both sides of the fence – fintechs and banks need to learn about the challenges that the other faces. “Banks are the victim of their own success,” he says.

17:25: Being open is key to ensuring that that developers are at the helm of financial change. Boyd says that it is important to share information and build an ecosystem.

17:19: Is there a skills gap? Rosner says yes. If you look at different generations of technology, banks are “way early in the adoption cycle of technologies – a general statement. They don’t want to change because they want to protect their job.” Is cultural change needed?

17:15: Kocianski: Let’s address the point that banks are being encouraged to operate like tech companies. Is this the future of finance? Rosner says that traditional banks are wannabe technology companies and there is a DNA problem. They had privileged access to our data and they took advantage of that. Taylor asks Rosner, why can’t they take advantage of that? Rosner answers: they haven’t had to be creative until now. This is particularly true for AI, Kocianski asks Boyd.

17:10: All delegates are now requested to make their way to the main room for the 11:FS Panel: Fintech Insider live podcast. Sarah Kocianski and Simon Taylor from 11:FS introduce Eli Rosner, Eric Boyd and Andrew Smith, CTO of Clear.Bank.

16:22: Cash is fundamental and the centrepiece to any business – says Ritesh Jhingan, global head of cash management, Finastra. Cash management is a market-leading business opportunity and has 20+ years of intellectual property behind it, fintechs can now build value on top of that. Encourages attendees to innovate further than Finastra have done themselves.

16:18: Why Finastra? Announced as the best E2E corporate banking provider by the IDC, Pull explains. 67% of the total syndicated loans market is on the platform and 6-10% of daily trade finance – “changing the game and are a household name when it comes to innovation.”

16:15: What’s changing in the environment? Bankers do not want to use third party providers, but may have to in the future. What started as a threat to them is being seen as an opportunity as banks are worried about Big Techs now. They can only innovate fast enough if they partner with fintechs. Customer experience with a corporate is different to their experience with a retail bank.

16:10: The final breakout session that we decided to go to focused on the open APIs that FusionFabric.Cloud provides for the corporate banking landscape. Torsten Pull, general manager, corporate banking, Finastra starts off with a short guide to corporate banking and explains that it can cover a large field, but normally starts with cash management and as it gets more sophisticated, involves cash forecasting and so on.

15:25: The first payment application was built in The Phillippines in 2002 – preceeding mPesa by five years, which preceeded Apple Pay by seven years. The potential is limitless. We are now in the fourth generation of banking. The first was barter, the second was the bank, the third, digital//mobile/online banking as we know it. The current generation is open banking where a third party provider has access to your data - the consumer has control over the data and banks are being disrupted.

15:20: Anand Subbaraman, VP and general manager, retail banking, Finastra says he will cover open banking and PSD2, how easy it is to build applications on the platform and preview branch APIs, with Ramy Elkhoulany, lead product analyst, Finastra and Radoslav Ivanov, R&D manager, Software Group.

15:06: Now, a focus on EMEA and APAC retail banking and how to tap into the potential of PSD2 and open banking. No core banking experience is needed to build your first retail banking app.

14:50: Fintechs who want to interact with APIs, do not need a UI or need to be authenticated can use the developer portal in this way - a B2B scenario. A B2E situation would be if a fintech makes use of one API without the intricacies to serve an employee at an institution e.g. a loan officer at a bank.

14:42: APIs for this are based on lending, such as loan origination or payment calculation, for example, and consumer banking, the transfer, balances etc - Danny Piangerelli, senior director, engineering, Finastra explains.

14:40: Pugliese says that Finastra serves all those core banking systems without having to change them. What this means for a fintech is that they can use an API and get access to all interpretations that have been performed. Integrate once and gain scale because you don’t have to integrate against those cores.

14:38: Lots of innovation to be done in account opening – sweet spot and areas to be thinking about in terms of problems to be solved. Previously, in order to innovate for banks, they had to make changes to their core system – this costly, time-consuming product. Now, the FI and the way we enable the institution has changed and digital sits at the heart.

14:35: Vincent Pugliese, SVP and general manager, US retail and lending, Finastra opens the session and highlights that there are 10,000 community banks and credit unions, who spend $5.5 billion on technology a year. Finastra does business with over 4,200 of them, which presents a unique opportunity with FusionFabric.Cloud. Community banks and credit unions are different, the former for profit, they are in business to return profits, but the latter are not for profit and have members – a different perspective of the relationship here. But all have similar problems that they are trying to solve: digital transformation, retain/grow accounts, lending/mortgage resource, revenue via product and service sales and compliance.

14:24: Following demoes of Finastra FusionFabric.Cloud’s payment APIs, the next breakout session we’re attending is focused on open APIs for North American retail banking.

13:45: Dagan Osovlansky, global head of product management, transaction banking, Finastra: “Speed of innovation = speed of change.”

13:43: 64% of consumers plan to use a mobile wallet in 2022. 20% of banks have already invested in open banking-related initiatives, 77% will do by 2019. 66% of bank execs believe open banking will help create new revenue streams for their organisation. PSD2 will change the way the consumer and banks interact with each other – moving into an unlocking situation. Where is the opportunity? To enable a connected experience or ecosystem that can be brought to market, payments that are inexpensive and banks can innovate in a much faster way.

13:39: Greenspan: Customer expectations are always changing because of the digital era, which affects the market speed and cost. When talking about technology trends, we’re talking about open APIs and the cloud – FusionFabric.Cloud can connect and integrate products quicker than ever before – in days. In terms of regulation, PSD2 and open banking – which is a subject everyone is talking about across the world. The combination of all these factors means we can do something completely different.

13:35: Sagive Greenspan, SVP and general manager, payments at Finastra, kicks off the session with some context about where the market is and potential evolution. In addition to this, he will discuss what enables the API economy and the opportunity that FusionFabric.Cloud provides. The payments system has evolved from packaged software to a product that is a more cohesive solution, but is now transforming into a platform. What enables an API economy? There are five key trends, which are market trends, customer expectations, regulations, technology trends and company vision.

13:32: The event now splits into breakout sessions and Finextra have opted for a talk focused on the payments marketplace and how Finastra’s 61 new APIs can be scaled for optimum innovation.

12:36: Publishing your application and standard validation costs $4,000 and revenue share is 20%. No API consumption fees for six months. Finastra are also today announcing an Appathon, which will reward the best apps that solve a US retail banking pain point – validation costs on Finastra and the apps will be used to showcase FusionFabric.Cloud with clients. The top three teams will be invited to demo on stage at Finastra Universe in Chicago. The deadline is the 1st September 2019.

12:26: After registering and building the app, Finastra can support developers in the community forum and see latest updates from the Finastra platform team. A Slack channel can also be set up where product experts are on hand, as well as a platform advisory board. But how do you publish your app? Developers would need to submit a short application and Finastra will take the time to validate your app, ensuring that security is a priority. This saves time and money, giving the app more credibility in the bank’s perspective. Once validated, it will be put on Fusion Store and advertised to the financial institutions on the platform – however, you get to keep the IP and are able to sell the app to non-Finastra members.

12:18: The first step is registering, which takes under five minutes and is free. What does free get you? It gives you the ability to test the APIs, get and post data, but also receive responses from a sandbox. It also allows you to create apps using your preferred IDE, for example PowerApps, and get access to a support structure.

12:16: After hearing from the winners of the Société Générale hackathon Push Finance, Sadiq Javeri, senior director, strategy and operations PaaS and Felix Grevy, VP, product management at Finastra discuss FusionCreate, the developer program. “The future of finance is open and the secret sauce for industry renewal sits in this room,” Javeri says. This is why Finastra are offering everything for free and without having to build any formal relationship with the company.

12:14: Zaied: First, open data, then educate the participants about the challenges before sharing them and then collaborate. It was also important for the hackathon leaders to have good participation from women, to end up with innovative solutions.

12:03: The challenges experienced involve cash breaks, but more so on predicting team workload which could result in the deal being declined – not satisfactory from a business standpoint – and this would also reduce engagement.

11:57: Highlighting a recent hackathon that took place with support from Societe Generale, Finastra focused on students and young graduates to create an app that leverages machine learning to predict a tangible future use case. Why a hackathon? This environment provides a perfect environment to seek skills and ideas, which can be transformed into mature solutions on FusionFabric.Cloud.

11:52: Zaied explains how they were able to provide deep customer insights with explainable AI which resulted in 30% uptake in customer trading, with support from fintech company Acuity – the first collaboration story. The second was with Société Générale. 99% of complex banking innovation has not been creating outside your bank, it has been created inside.

11:44: Zaied explores the Sales Workstation which provides customer insights, new trade ideas and a chatbot assistant. Lieberman adds more on how the process works, and reiterates the importance of data. Using data, neural networks were built so intelligent conversations can be had with customers to explain why the machine made the decisions that it did = explainable AI.

11:40: Licht then talks about the 90 day innovation lifecycle, the process starts off with an idea ahead of the hackathon and before the product is tested in the lab. “From concept to cash, from solution to platform to marketplace.” He then introduces Chirine Ben Zaied, director, innovation and Adam Lieberman, senior data scientist and computer engineer – both at Finastra, to discuss how to collaborate with banks and exploring the example of a commercial lending hackathon with Societe Generale.

11:38: Licht: We cannot only use universities for research, because they see themselves as businesses now.

11:35: Haering welcomes delegates back after a short break and encourages them to download the app to get a free hoodie! He then welcomes Shuki Licht, Finastra’s chief innovation officer, to the stage to discuss the company’s innovation labs. “Everything we are doing in innovation needs to see the light of the day, at the end of the day. Everything in innovation starts and ends with the customer.”

10:57: Boyd: There are a number of financial use cases: effective customer engagement, decision services management, risk and revenue management, risk and compliance management and recommendation engine.

10:48: Boyd explores Machine Learning on Azure – which simplifies solution development, simplifies model development, builds advanced deep learning solutions, empowers data science and development team and accelerates deep learning.

10:45: On knowledge mining – customers talk about how to get data out of documents. With Azure Search, information can be ingested and extracted = cognitive search capability. For use cases beyond Search, what Microsoft released recently, data can be analysed with Power BI or the Knowledge Store. 

10:42 Boyd: You can do a lot quickly with Azure Cognitive Services. New updates include Decision, Speech, Language, Vision and Web Search. All of these together combine to be the most comprehensive pre-trained AI – you can take these cognitive services and deploy anywhere using containers wherever your data resides, on prem or edge, for example.

10:40: Microsoft Azure AI’s investment principles: 1. Productive: any language, any developer, any skill level; 2. Built for enterprises: optimised to work at any scale with existing systems and processes; 3. Trusted: You own and control your data.

10:37: What does an AI transformed bank look like? Ethics are enshrined in company strategy, there is a data driven culture, employees are focused on customer relationship, data quality and sources are continuously evolving and employees reskill continuously.

10:34: Diving deeper into Microsoft Azure, Eric Boyd, CVP, AI platform, Microsoft will now speak about how the power of this program in collaboration with FusionFabric.cloud can drive digital transformation and the future of finance. Boyd explains that banks are moving away from the traditional model to becoming the digital banks of the future. “Rather than throwing people at the problem, banks are using technology.” 37% of Gen Y customers are using non-traditional banks, but traditional lenders are restricted by regulation.

10:29: Partnering with a bank? What does that mean? For White, that means facilitating an agreement and ensuring that the financial institution is given enough information to get through the application validation process. Finastra do everything they need to do for the "bank to accept your app in their environment."

10:26: Working in financial services, there needs to be a strong focus on security. White explores the NIST cybersecurity framework which detects, responds, recovers, identifies and protects – a lifecycle that creates resilience.

10:22: White: “We have taken full advantage of Microsoft.” Finastra and Microsoft partnered and worked together to ensure that Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) can manage a financial workload now – so you can build cloud-native systems that work for fintech companies now.

10:20: The conflict between operating well and operating fast is managed by FusionFabric.Cloud – “we are going to take that burden for you, we are going to keep those APIs integrated in our core systems for you. Lifecycles will be monitored in a well-managed manner. While you get to operate at your speed, the bank gets to operate at their speed,” White explains.

10:17: White: “We want the fintech to be able to grow fast. It allows a small organisation to deliver in a modern way to a large organisation; because our platform is multi-regional, it allows those who are focused on one region to expand out.”

10:13: To tackle the problem of not being able to test APIs, White explains that when a developer makes a call, Finastra will support it. This means that developers can test in real-life through the sandbox tenant. “We realise that banks gotta find you and understand how to work with you.” They need to see what the developer is doing and verify what they’re doing.

10:11: White: “It is difficult to get access to the things you need to innovate: it’s the chief challenge. The environment is so restrictive in financial services.” This is where the APIs come in. The Finastra developer portal has a well understood lifecycle, there is consistent interaction and a trusted delivery channel.

10:09: Joseph White, SVP, chief enterprise architect at Finastra, will now provide a technical review of the FusionFabric.cloud architecture. He explains that Finastra will help deliver apps quickly, change with ease and partner with confidence. The partnering is not just with the bank, but also with Finastra, as the solutions provider will ensure all developers are supported in a way that helps their business to grow.

10:07: Finastra will also support developers on their community website and via Slack, because as Rosner highlights, the generation of developers today is different to his generation. Everything needs to be completed today. “This is a call to action, we are open for business.”

10:01: Rosner reassures the audience of developers that their jobs are secure, even though FusionCreator allows users to create an app in five minutes. The product will only enhance what developers are already capable of.

9:59: What the apps created during the weekend Hackathon revealed was that a staggering 70% of the projects used AI or ML – including Hyber, the winner.

9:57: The market is already talking and there are 30 developers already using it, as well as 19 banks and 300 fintechs. Strong interest from two sides of the network. Today, the developer delegates will be able to see the 10 apps that are on FusionFabric.Cloud.

9:55: What’s unique about Finastra? A reach of 8,500 banks worldwide, a market leader in every segment and can provide 90% of the functionality needed to run a bank. This week, Finastra have released 61 APIs and 11 connected products – “this is just a number, but behind the number is a multi-million dollar investment. We put our money where our mouth is – this is free. We make money when you make money. When your business grows, we grow,” Rosner states.

9:52: Rosner explains that FusionFabric.Cloud enables you to connect core systems to the rest of the ecosystem – “multiple participants come together to create results.” Uber is used as an example; consumers can become producers with the Finastra product.

9:49: There are three parts to the product: FusionCreator, where you can browse APIs, create an app and test it; FusionOperate, where you can run the planning of the app and take the pain away and FusionStore, where you can release your app to the public.

9:45: Eli Rosner, Finastra’s chief product and technology officer, takes to the stage explaining how historic the launch of FusionFabric.Cloud is and how transformational the product will be for the technical community. Finastra’s business serves five areas of a financial institution and FusionFabric.Cloud will help increase agility, accelerate innovation, protect investments and reduce the total cost of ownership (TCO).

9:41: Haering says today “we will zoom into the technology and learn how it works,” with a focus on AI and discuss what Microsoft brings to the table in this space.

9:30: Martin Haering, CMO of Finastra, kicks off day two of the inaugural developer open banking conference at Tobacco Dock in London, with Jasmine Campbell, global strategic initiatives, Microsoft lead at Finastra.

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