FinTech Connect Europe has returned for its ninth year in 2022. Across three stages, industry experts from traditional banks, fintech startups and more met to discuss all things fintech.
Fintech leaders from all parts of the industry came together at FinTech Connect Europe to discuss all things fintech. Throughout the event, panels covered AI, open banking, CBDCs, embedded finance, digital transformation and more.
Angela Yore, founder and MD of SkyParlour, opened the Paytech Connect stage at ExCeL London. She explained why she believes the fintech industry has a positive future.
Yore explained: “We’ve all landed in such an incredible sector. Cross-border payments are set to increase by £150trillion to £250trillion by 2027. So, we are a little bit recession-proof.
“We also know that some investment has started to slow but, on the other hand, perhaps a tempered approach for the best small businesses isn’t such a bad thing.”
Collaborating is required for innovation
Layla White, CEO and founder of TechPassport, moderated the first panel on the Paytech Connect stage titled ‘Collaboration for innovation‘.
- Gordon Knowles, head of technology procurement at Fidelity International, explained how corporation mindsets have changed. He said: “We started with the mindset that these fintech companies were competitors. But that’s breaking down now.”
- Manuela Sedvartaite, innovation manager for Banco Santander, explained the extra agility that fintech startups offer. She commented: “It’s not a secret that banks can be very complex and slow. It’s basically very difficult to get anything through them. Right now, the payments market is around £2billion in market size and is expected to grow to £20billion over the next five years. We, as a bank, process million of payments. We decided to build a platform. API-driven, cloud-based and easy to integrate for ourselves. We can then process more volumes, be more agile and deliver faster. But we can then also help others to process their payments as well.”
- Martin Tyler, head of innovation delivery for HSBC, explained how many fintech startups are born out of similar situations. Tyler said: “This year, I’ve noticed lots of people coming from traditional banking backgrounds and they’ve had enough of a problem. They think ‘we’re going to start a fintech that’s going to solve this problem’. There’s lots more appreciation of these people because they were on the other side of the fence.”
Rethinking payments with J.P. Morgan
Both from J.P. Morgan, Hubert J.P. Jolly, global co-head of corporate sales and solutions for payments, joined Veronique Steiner, head of EMEA high growth tech and head of EMEA technology media and telecom for payments.
He said: “I think fintechs are critical because they essentially go after pain points that we’re not going to address as a bank.”
Jolly also addressed greenwashing in the industry. He explained: “What we’re watching out for in the fintech industry is greenwashing. There are some products that we’ve seen, where we don’t see the green aspect.
“Green deposits, for example, what makes the fact I’m putting money in the bank green versus not green? So we’re trying to understand exactly what we can do to stop that. We want to be clear that whatever we do, there’s a real ESG aspect to it. Not just marketing for the sake of marketing.”
Profitability in Web3
Anette Broløs, founder and director of Finthropology, moderated a panel which discussed the future and potential profitability of Web3. Joining her, were experts from varying backgrounds:
- Laurent Marochini, head of innovation at Societe Generale Securities Services
- Dotun Rominiyi, director of emerging technology at LSEG
- Mark Hipperson, CEO and founder of Ziglu
- Mariya Brown, head of EMEA innovation at BNY Mellon
Rominiyi gave his views on what tokenisation currently offers and what the future could hold. He said: “When we look at tokenisation and the benefits it provides, it isn’t all about infrastructure. Web3 is a technology that enables you to really narrow and collapse the costs of the delivery of that infrastructure that brings these things to life.”
“It won’t just be the banks that enable this access to new types of assets. Banks are at the top end, providing value and supporting some of the infrastructure components, but also some of the legal infrastructure.”
“In the front end, you have the fintechs, private companies and startups, coming in and driving innovation. They are pushing distribution and access to these assets for everyday people. It’s going to have to be a joint collaboration.”
Payment Services Directive
One of The Fintech Times‘ own, journalist Tyler Pathe, moderated a discussion titled ‘Open Banking – where are we as PSD2 heads for PSD3?‘. A number of industry experts joined the stage to discuss the future of the payments services directive.
- Alex Yang, director of connected Finance at the Bank of America.
- Leigh Garner, director of industry relations for Discover Global Network.
- Jeremy Takle, co-founder and CEO of PennyWorth.
- Stephen Winyard, chief sales officer at Salt Edge.
- David McHenry, managing director, and head of global treasury and payments advisory in EMEA for Silicon Valley Bank.
The group discussed regulation in detail, including what regulators need to focus more on in the future.
Payments in the metaverse
Tyler Pathe moderated his second panel of the day covering payments in the metaverse. The panel included:
- Joan Cuko, global product owner of Vodafone
- On Yavin, managing partner of Cointelligence
- Matteo Gamba, product group lead at Wayfair
- Andrea McGeachin, CEO of Neosurf
Each panellist gave their view on what ‘metaverse’ really means. Yavin explained: “A metaverse is something you have an avatar in; where the avatar constantly changes according to your actions.”
Cuko said: “If users share data with different platforms, they should be rewarded for that. So we have to get payments from the business either in digital wallets first for the consumer, but also they should be able to convert it into real fiat money.”
Female leadership in payments
FinTech Connect also turned its attention to human-centric topics. Rema Rao, head of strategy and planning in payments for Uber addressed female leadership in the industry. Rao was unable to attend the event, but FinTech Connect showcased the discussion via a pre-recorded session.
Rao explained her experiences as a woman in the industry. She said: “I don’t think there has been much positive change for women recently. Maybe one per cent. Being a woman puts you 10 steps behind, and being a woman of colour is 10 more steps behind.”
“Every time women are up for a promotion, it’s the same story. Women have to try 10 times harder to convince their managers that they are worthy of a promotion.”
“Fintechs set out entry requirements such as ‘you must have a qualification from STEM’. But if you are a woman that studied in STEM, you might not get in. The barriers for entry are still higher for men than women.”
The fintech industry
Across the second day of FinTech Connect, experts continued to discuss a range of topics. Panels discussed the likes of challenger banks, open banking, the future of payments, regtech, crypto and more before wrapping up a successful conference.