Over 850 attendees and 150 expert speakers from the financial industry came from across the globe to the Queen Elizabeth II Centre in Westminster, London to attend MoneyLIVE Summit 2023.
With speakers spread across five stages, experts discussed all things financial. Banking, payments, regulation, the future of the industry, loans and open finance were among the many broad topics covered on day one of MoneyLIVE Summit 2023.
Celebrating female leaders
With the event taking place on Wednesday 8 March, also International Women’s Day, Kristy Duncan, founder and CEO of the Global Association of Women in Payments, also took to the stage on International Women’s Day, to discuss ‘the power of inclusive leadership‘. Duncan referenced a recent report by the World Economic Forum to stress the continuing disparity between men and women in the financial industry:
“At the current rate of progress, it’s going to take over 100 years to close the gender gap in financial services,” she said.
Despite the worrying prediction, Duncan explained her belief that the industry “can shorten that timeline” by addressing “underlying structural and cultural barriers that prevent women from entering and thriving in this industry”. She highlighted how initiatives such as “mentorship programmes, networking opportunities, and targeted recruitment efforts that promote finance and fintech as a viable and rewarding option for women” could all contribute to closing the gender gap.
The future of banking: Updating legacy systems
Abhishek Bhattacharya, group vice president of technology, financial services international, joined Zachary Scott, associate managing director – both of Publicis Sapient – in discussing the “Coreless Revolution“.
Scott explained the need for traditional banks to evolve to meet customer needs: “The gap that you’re seeing between what customers are expecting and where the best in class performers are able to reach – versus where a lot of banks are able to reach, given their current reliance on legacy core systems”.
“You want to be better able to customise your offers based on what the customer’s needs are. In order to do that, you need the ability to get constant data flows from how you’re engaging, what they’re liking and what they’re not liking.”
Bhattacharya also discussed the benefits fintechs can bring to banks that adopt coreless architecture. He said: “Fintechs have matured. They are no longer startups – they are handling billions of pounds. The capabilities they provide you can really leverage that with coreless architecture.”
The future of banking: environmental and big tech
When considering the future of banking, it is also important to consider the environmental impacts on banks. The next panel looked at ‘banking strategies for a new era‘ and discussed regulation, environmental considerations and more.
Hacina Py, chief sustainability officer of Societe Generale, also discussed the opportunity presented for the evolution of banks: “We are focusing very much on climate because that’s where the pressure is. However, it also represents a huge opportunity as well. We’re talking about trillions of investments each year, especially in the UK. It’s a once in a generation opportunity in terms of business.
Przemek Gdanski, CEO and president of management board at BNP Paribas, also discussed the role big techs could play in the banking space: “Seventy-five per cent of Apple users have downloaded Apple Pay and use it actively. Buy now, pay later is now the area where many have actively moved into. The jury is still very much out on whether big techs will take a meaningful slice of banking revenues – or whether banks will be smarter, faster and technologically advanced enough to defend it’s territory.”
Cameron MacQuarrie, head of customer transformation at ServiceNow, offered his view on big techs in the industry: “When thinking about working with big tech, we see it is an opportunity to co-create and collaborate to be able to find a path through to the actual customer experience that’s required with the right platforms.”
Regulation of the payments space
The important topic of regulation was ever-present throughout the day, as José Manuel Campa, chairperson of the European Banking Authority (EBA), took centre stage virtually from Paris. He discussed the Payment Services Directive Two (PSD2) legislation and how the regulation should potentially be revised in the future.
Campa discussed proposed changes to regulation to prevent fraud: “We propose a combination of additional measures, such as enhanced educational and awareness programmes to payments service users; investing in efficient transaction monitoring mechanisms; and increasing cooperation between payment service providers in relation to known cases of fraud and specific fraudsters.”
“Innovations should not pose a risk to the security of payment transactions. It’s imperative for PSPs to continue being responsible for the security of transactions and subsequently the authentication of their customers,” he said.
“I believe that streamlining and simplifying the legal requirements is crucial to ensure effective regulation and compliance. It should also decrease the cost of the industry – due to the the decrease in administrative burden.We strongly support the merger between PSD2 and the electronic money directive.”
Aman Kohli, chief technology officer at Thoughtworks and David McHenry, managing director and head of global treasury and payments advisory in EMEA for Silicon Valley Bank, spoke about the next steps needed to bring ‘open finance to fruition‘.
Kohli discussed the future of open finance, particularly in the UK: “To make open finance succeed, we have to mimic what’s worked in terms of open banking. One of the reasons why open banking succeeded was because we took a pretty dry regulatory framework, PSD2, and in the UK we worked as a community – across from PSPs, financial institutions, but also people who are going to be using and building solutions around them.”
McHenry said: “When you start talking about open finance, it’s all the stuff that isn’t payment account related. It’s pension pots, its mortgages, it’s all these other areas of information.”
Kohli also discussed the potential of the industry to change and adapt: “One think we’ve learned through lockdown and this big portion of internalisation is: nothing is set in stone. We’re talking about architecture for banking and financial systems, you’re not putting concrete down and building a 50 storey building which isn’t going to change for a century.”
The future of mortgages and lending
Meanwhile, stage three placed its focus on the mortgage market, first welcoming Paul Wootton, director of existing customers and mortgages at Lloyds Banking Group, to deliver a keynote address. Wootton discussed ‘meeting the challenges of today’s mortgage market‘.
“As lenders we need to seek out our customers requiring our support. Consumer expectations are changing, consumers don’t want a mortgage – they want a home. We need to stop thinking of mortgages as a product,” he said.
The stage also hosted a fireside chat between Esther Dijkstra, managing director of intermediaries at Lloyds Banking Group, and David Morris, CEO of Yorkshire Building Society.
Esther Dijkstra discussed they importance of inclusion in the lending and homebuying journey: “You interact with the customer in the way they want in their journey. You have to make sure you create a very inclusive society because not everybody’s online, not everybody’s digital and, even if they are, they might not have the confidence to do that in a homebuying journey. So I think you have to be very aware of that as well not to exclude people from certain parts of financial services like that.”
The future of payments
The evolution of payments was also a hotly discussed topic across the many stages at MoneyLIVE. Tyler Pathe, journalist at The Fintech Times, moderated a panel on the ‘BNPL Takeover‘.
Bahareh Zand, CPO at Sileon, said: “Customers have a lot of trust in their banks. It’s a long-term relationship that lasts a generation. If a bank can offer ‘buy now, pay later’ – the customer would love to use that. What a lot of banks are searching for is a partner that can give them that capability to be able to go fast to market and offer that to customers.”
The panel also discussed the evolution of the regulation surrounding BNPL. Zand explained that fintechs “do not have anything to be afraid of” as the focus should be placed on “developing a modern product that can evolve over time”.
Madhusudan Kejriwal, MD and head of cards, consumer lending and BNPL at HSBC, expanded on this point: “Looking forward, I think regulation is a sign of maturity and a sign of confidence. Some of the existing models will not survive new regulation – and they probably shouldn’t.”
Following the panel, Kevin Dearing, product director of NatWest Bank of APIs, explained the potential of VRPs to change the payments landscape in the UK. He explained his belief that VRPs are “the best thing about open banking”.
He explained that of NatWest’s nine million digitally active users, around 1.8 million had used its VRPs offering. Of the 7.4 billion payments that VRPs facilitated in five years, 60 per cent took place in 2022, highlighting significant growth for the “game-changer”.