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MoneyLive Summit 2024: Day One Roundup

Just a stone’s throw away from the Houses of Parliament as Jeremy Hunt revealed his new Spring Budget, MoneyLive Summit returned to London with its annual offering of presentations, panel discussions and insights centred around all things banking and payments.

Returning to the QEII Centre in Westminster for another year, MoneyLive welcomed over 1,000 industry participants gathered to set the agenda for the future of banking and payments. Once again, The Fintech Times returned to bring you some of the highlights from a busy day one at MoneyLive.

Jayne OppermanCustomer-centric design and personalisation were the order of the morning, as Jayne Opperman, CEO, consumer relationships at Lloyds Banking Group, kicked off proceedings with a focus on utilising data, AI and other technologies to deliver exactly what every customer needs.

She discussed the importance of inclusive principles, and how technology can be used to support “humans being more human”.

Moving forward, OneSavings Bank took to the stage later in the morning, as representatives Matthew Baillie, group chief transformation officer, and Clive Kornitzer, group chief operating officer, discussed what the bank had learnt and the challenges it had faced while embarking on its digital transformation journey.

The theme of customer-centricity returned, as Baillie offered advice to fintechs and financial organisations considering beginning their own transformation journey: “You have to be really clear what the ‘north star’ is, and what your goal is. The big thing for me is to be clear on not only what you can do, but also what you can’t. What is a realistic timeframe to complete the things you set out to achieve?

“With everything, put the customer, not the technology, at the heart of everything you’re trying to solve. Let the technology be the enabler. The closer you bring those two together, the greater alignment your clients are going to get across the different divisions of your organisation,” Baille explained.

Regulatory remit

The challenges surrounding customer centricity weren’t the only hurdles discussed at the event. In the past few years, regulation in the UK has been a hot topic, with 2023 marking the first full year organisations have had to abide by the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) Consumer Duty regulations.

Discussing how firms have evolved this past year, David Geale, director of retail banking at the FCA, said: “We have seen firms eradicate jargon, move clients to less bespoke and perhaps cheaper options where it’s a better fit.”

The future of banking

Banking and payment strategies dominated discussion on the main stage, as several banking experts debated how the space is likely to evolve in the future.

Nick Fahy, CEO at Cynergy Bank, explained how difficult macroeconomic conditions, including high-interest rates, had impacted both banks and customers alike: “I think we all know it has been a pretty tough economic environment for a couple of years at this time. Rapidly rising interest rates put pressure on the banking industry because the cost of funding has risen.”

Francesca Carlesi, CEO at Revolut, also offered her view on making sure its customers remain at the centre of all of its decisions: “We believe that innovation is an instrument, which can be used to serve the customer, but it must go hand-in-hand with trust. We focus on listening to customers and understanding what they need and being there for them – giving them a safe place to manage their money.”

Saif Malik, CEO, UK and regional head, client coverage, UK and Turkey at Standard Chartered, also revealed his expectations for the future of the banking space: “I think we expect the interest rates to soften within the next six to 12 months, which will drive banks to be a bit more innovative. I think we’ll see more non-interest income, especially in institutional level and retail banking. And this leads to say, what else can we do from the bank’s perspective? Can we offer more advisory services?

“I think the advent of technology is very critical. Over the last few years, we’ve seen the physical bank structure, which we’ve enjoyed for many years, have been disappearing. We have great example of neo-banks and digital banks that don’t need that. We are seeing generative AI playing a big role in offering products and services.”

MoneyLive panel

Fintech funding

During a panel entitled, ‘The Future of Fintechs’, Isa Goksu, CTO at Globant, Saira Khan, head of innovation and partnerships at First Direct (HSBC) and Ruth Foxe Blader, partner at Foxe Capital, covered the fintech funding landscape.

Foxe Blader explained: “Venture capital funds dedicated to fintech never raised as much money as they did in 2020 and 2021. I don’t think there’s any reason to think that funding is going to stop abruptly.

“But we’re now seeing recalibration and correction, and certainly a much slower market which is positive because you need time to do due diligence and companies are coming to market with more substantial revenues and unit economics profiles that are more interesting. So overall, I find myself optimistic and I believe that we will continue to see funding and certainly, as investors will continue to see interesting deals.”

Of course, AI was also touched on during the panel discussion, as Goksu discussed the hype surrounding the emerging technology: “AI is a technology being adopted by fintechs and is also tremendously shifting our customer behaviour expectations. So the customers are now expecting more hyper-personalisation and the fintechs providing these things are getting better funding.”

Ensuring cyber resilience

As new technologies like AI emerge, it is of the utmost importance that firms feel they are well-equipped to protect themselves from growing threats.

Neil Robinson, head of cybersecurity and networks at Virgin Money, identified four ways organisations can do this: they must be able to prevent attacks, withstand attacks, a culture that is able to adapt quickly to new problems, and “the hardest one for any business: to acknowledge that you’re never going to be able to stop cyberattacks and that you’re going to need to build a recovery capability.”

Robinson went on to create an analogy on how firms should create a cyber plan, explaining that they must be built to be resilient, much like a honeycomb. Further elaborating why this is so necessary he said: “On a regular basis I turn on my computer, and there’s another AI function, that I as head of security, had no idea was getting turned on.” It goes to show things are “really changing, very quickly” and firms must be prepared.

Concluding his keynote, Robinson highlighted that keeping it simple and having an engineering mindset were two ways to prevent cyber attacks. However, he also noted that firms must work backwards from their offerings, from right to left.

Insurance is playing catch up with payments

No stone was left unturned at the event as the topic of insurance and its digital identity was also discussed by Parker Crockford, CRO at Qover. “Payments and digital identity have gone through a nice process where they have developed to become more seamless. As the next pieces move into place, we believe that insurance is going to be on that seamless trajectory too.”

Cross-industry collaboration can prevent fraud

A panel featuring James Hunt, SME – payments at Feedzai, Peter Derek Bayley, chief executive officer, and senior consultant at Floating Blue and Tom Pilling, chief risk officer at Trust Payments explored how cross-industry collaboration can combat card fraud.

Clear communication was the top thing prioritised by the panellists as both Bayley and Pilling agreed poor interactions should indicate a new acquirer is needed. Pilling said: “Make sure you speak to your acquirer, get the data that you need. If there’s a problem, they will hold that data… and if they don’t want to speak to you, go get another acquirer!”

The sentiment was shared by Bayley who expressed that showing data was the most important thing he looked for when looking to partner. “When I used to do reviews of issuers, acquirers and merchants, the first thing I always asked for was to show me the numbers, and show me what you’ve done off the back of them. If they couldn’t show me anything, I knew I was in for a rough week.

“If they could show me stuff, then you could recognise that there was a business on top of their game that would work efficiently.”

Authors

  • Francis is a journalist and our lead LatAm correspondent, with a BA in Classical Civilization, he has a specialist interest in North and South America.

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