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TCF 2024 day 2: ESG, AI, and the market outlook

TCF 2024 day 2: ESG, AI, and the market outlook

Benjamin Ensor, director of research and strategy at 11:FS, moderated the first panel of the day to look at a market updates. He was joined by Kanika Hope, chief strategy officer, Temenos; Dan Broten, chief technology officer, EQ Bank; and Rob Keijsers, chief digital and information Officer, ASA International.

Regarding the slowdown in the number of digital banks being launched, Hope commented: “We're entering unchartered territory with the rising interest rate and inflationary environment, because we're facing tightening funding and incumbent fight back. Funding levels have fallen by 80% since 2021, because investor scrutiny has shifted from growth to profitability.”

She added on the reasons for the lessening interest in challenger banks, stating: “The issue really is that these challenger banks, the customers that they have are not as profitable, they tend to be younger, they tend to be less creditworthy and the primary relationship they still maintain with a conference who have a broader range of products.”

Keijsers: “From a divergent strategy 10/15 years ago, people want to go back to converging financial services, but then with the quality of those specific service providers combined into one.”

Looking to the future of embedded finance, Hope commented: “Twice as many banks want to keep the customer relationship and orchestrate digital ecosystems themselves. So whether they succeed or not, it's a different matter, but they want to be able to create superapps themselves and have their brand name out there in the marketplace.”

Broten commented on their decision to embrace cloud and SaaS as a business: “The main benefits we were chasing were scalability, resilience and security. And we achieved all of those in a very, very short order.”

He added: “Now that we're not focusing on the infrastructure and managing that, we can redirect some of that energy in terms of our DevOps capability and our engineering capability on how fast we can build. How fast we can learn? How fast we can deliver value?”

Looking to the patterns in the next five years, Keijsers commented that many of the markets they are in may not be on cloud yet, but predicted African mobile banking “leapfrogging” the West. Hope argued that AI and generative AI will likely make the biggest impact, while Broten sees an increasing emphasis on big data.

Driving ESG on the cloud

Kalliopi Chioti, chief marketing and ESG officer, Temenos took to the stage to discuss some of the ESG measures the company wanted to highlight.

Chioti specified four reasons to focus on ESG:

  • Regulation and reporting requirements
  • Reputational risks
  • Competition and customers
  • Cost and efficiency

Chioti moved on to say it is important to think about sustainability on the cloud and sustainability of the cloud.

Broten then came back on stage with Chioti to elaborate on the experiences of EQ bank.

He emphasised the importance of the company to measure all of their emissions. He said: “We can only do that with the right data and partnerships. So that's where we had the opportunity to get together with Microsoft seminars and ourselves to come up with a way of solving that problem.”

Regarding how they embed sustainability into their operations, Broten said: “It factors into the core decisions across the bank. That's one of the principles that kind of weaves across everything we do. So we think about our investors, our shareholders, our employees, and our customers.

“This becomes one of the themes that we look at when we consider decisions. So maybe it's where we're lending and the type of investments we may make and how we finance factors directly into them. But also in terms of the type of technology decisions that we're selecting and making.”

Reality of generative AI

Prema Varadhan, president product and COO, Temenos, introduced the “super demo” of Temenos’ new AI software. She stated this demo was to show an “end-to-end user journey that is seen through the lens of a customer, explaining how with all of these capabilities and technologies, you can drive that customer growth and satisfaction.”

Ermes Dajko, senior cloud solutions architect, Temenos, showed the first part of this demo. He said: “The way we look at personalisation now is outdated. If you think about it, if you have a second look, personalisation in today's world is more or less analysing data of the past and trying to predict customer behaviour and preferences of the future. On the other hand, product offerings are one size fits all and tailoring is limited to just pricing.”

Dajko illustrated a situation of asking the Temenos AI product questions about specific users with the scenario of finding a new segment to target for products.

Stelios Makrinos, senior product solution manager, Temenos, took over the demo at this stage to show how the AI can be used to further develop a product for a the target market. He claimed this tool would enable users to build a product in under five minutes per product.

Finally, Arun Thallapelly, global head of BSG, Temenos, finished the AI demo. He said: “We are transforming the way we distribute products. We're moving away from one size fits all to truly tailored products solutions for our customers.”

Thallapelly concluded the session: “This technology is not just an enhancement, it's a revolution. It is poised and promising to take and redefine the landscape of customer service, personalisation and financial efficiency.”

Temenos Leap

In one of the final breakout sessions of this year’s conference, Terry Page, director of global client delivery, Temenos, went through Temenos Leap, the programme of updating users to the latest platform and technology.

Page said: “Its latest technology, security performance, and it's accelerated… We're talking about doing this in months.”

He concluded: “It begins the process of preparing for cloud, it doesn't mean you go to cloud. You will have your own views on where you need to go within your business and where you get the value, but when you when you engage with Leap and Leap programme, these are the key values that you're going to get.”

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