The second day of Money20/20 Europe proved just as busy as the first one for the Pismo team, as more arrivals to the show made their way around the RAI in Amsterdam and found themselves drawn to the Pismo booth.
The talks and discussions also continued around the conference centre, and we made sure to catch the buzz and conversations from the show floor. The day’s focus shifted towards the future of banking and the role challengers play in the ecosystem.
Focus on the customer
In a session focused on what traditional banks can teach newer entrants, Andrew Ellis, CEO of Mettle – a NatWest company – reveals his firm came under a “significant” cyber attack. NatWest stepped in to help its digital offshoot, he adds, which made him recognise the resilience of traditional banks.
He says that established banks have already been there and done that and have become used to dealing with problems large and small, as well as weathering criticism. “You can get bashed by customers on social media, government politicians, and clients,” he says. “My advice would be to develop a thick skin.”
Yorick Naeff, CEO of investment start-up Bux, says that the way forward is to make products and processes as lean and digestible as possible. “What you want to do is focus on the customer,” he says. “Mistakes made in the past by traditional banks can be examples, mistakes you don’t have to make.”
Naeff also points to legacy technology, which he says results from mergers and acquisitions. “This doesn’t translate into a good product. How can you be a product-focused company if you’re unsure how to deal with pitfalls?”
Cloud and culture
Later, Deutsche Bank Head of Technology, Data, and Innovation, Bern Leukert, spoke alongside Google Cloud EMEA Vice President Daniel Holz. The two men focused on their partner’s role in changing how culture operates at a large institution.
Holz, asked by moderator Karen Tso about working with a monolithic bank and its tech stack, redirected the question towards people. He says it is important to take staff at a large bank and help them become experts in using and deploying the cloud rather than focus on old technology.
He adds that institutions need to bring their people together with their partners, especially their tech partners, and allow these combined teams to “work on the business, rather than IT.”
“Building a partnership is new to the DNA of Deutsche Bank,” adds Leukert. “We thought about what makes us strong – financial services – and realised we’d rather have a partner for technology [rather than build in-house].” He says that finding a technology partner was a “key decision” when it came to a culture change.
Technology is the easy part
Another main stage event saw Sifted’s Amy O’Brien interview Standard Chartered Global Head of Digital Channels, Kahina van Dyke.
The StanChart executive started her talk by mentioning she had been to the Amsterdam RAI before – for a Nokia World conference. Van Dyke says she spoke there before the launch of the iPhone and talked about using mobile phones for payments. “People thought I was crazy,” she says.
Asked whether her time working for a large bank with her experience at fintechs and tech firms is challenging, van Dyke stresses that technology is “the easy part” of her job. The hard part comes when getting people to “believe in things they have never experienced before.”
She says that banking is an industry full of people who believe they must be experts in everything and cling to the technology they know well. “The answers are now coming from the 25-year-olds at the table,” stresses van Dyke. “But are they being listened to, are they being empowered?”
When it comes to fintechs, van Dyke believes they’re not entirely the answer. “Some fintechs didn’t learn the basic stuff,” she says, “like AML and fraud functions.” There were plenty of harsh lessons they needed to learn when scaling.
“Equally, banks are fintechs,” she concludes. “If you’re working for a bank that doesn’t realise it’s a technology company, that bank won’t be around in 10 years.”
Are you at Money20/20 Europe? Visit the Pismo stand (G60) to sample some of our great Brazilian coffee or try one of our delicious Pismo shell chocolates.
Not there, but want to learn more about Pismo’s attendance at Money20/20 Europe?
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