Money 2020 in 5 quotes worthwhile sharing

03 July 2018

Early June, the Money2020 circus landed in Amsterdam. One should take this literally since “circus” was the major theme for this year’s European edition of the Greatest FinTech Show on Earth, as the organizers themselves tend to call this event.

With stellar speakers and panels on 8 different stages for 3 days long and a buzzing expo hall with over 250 start-ups, scale-ups and mature corporates presenting their services, wrapping up the take-aways is a challenge.

Let me share the 5 quotes that resonated the most to me.

Money 2020


“Doing the same thing you’ve always done but slightly better, isn’t going to work. You must do things differently.“

The panel moderated by Chris Skinner, well-known independent commentator and blogger on the financial markets and fintech, was uni-sono around the fact that if for a big bank the goal is to really change instead of sticking to preserving profit and market share, there’s definitely a logic to set their challenger bank apart. Doing things differently requires a different style of leadership and an embedded culture of staying curious.

“Uber, booking, Netflix... platformification is all around giving end-users acces to services form different providers. Why should this be any different in finance?“ 

The number of FinTechs focusing on providing one single service in the best possible, most customer-centric way is huge. The fair question was raised on whether the platform role is one for the incumbent banks, hence being the channel through which the users gains access in an easy and customer friendly way to all these new fintech services. And if the banks don’t pick up on this role, surely someone will. For the customer the most important is to get the service that meets his needs, fits his behavior and provides a seamless experience. Whether that service comes from a bank, fintech, bigtech or other, doesn’t really matter. Traditional banks continue to think and act as if they ‘own’ their customers. In a “platformificated” world, brands will be killed. The customer experience happens in apps which have a different link to brands. Someone once said a long time ago that ‘people need banking, not banks’.   “Voice first” will only accelerate the complete change in the way customers interact with financial services and particularly their providers. 

Who will be the winners and losers around the world in financial services? The one with a business model combining the dynamics of an aggregation of relevant value creating services and an eco-system with a high degree of personalization and an ultimate experience.

“We've gone from being Homo sapiens to homo taskiens.“ 

The increase of “self-services” in banking and finance will provoke this change according to the CEO of Klarna. He pointed that, according to the Happiness Index, consumers are more stressed and unhappy than ever before. The reason being that digital transformation of products and services in a fragmented way, creates a whole series of tasks for the customer, rather than creating a coherent and seamless customer experience. More than ever, the customer is worrying about administrating and decision taking. Are we moving toward the “age of assistants”, giving back to the customer control, time and joy?

“Dreams cost money. We all know that. So why do we procrastinate?“ 

Whether one calls it financial literacy or financial health, does not really matter. The reality is that action is required in everyone’s financial live. We tend to think that procrastination finds it origin in the fact that information is unstructured, that knowledge is lacking. But what about the fact that we just don’t like things that aren’t fun, exciting, urgent, give satisfaction and which we master? Isn’t that the exact reason why people like games? Providing financial services including the fundamentals of gaming, i.e. flow, motivation and fun, could improve  involvement substantially and increase financial fitness of a very broad group.

“The objective of building platforms is not to make money but to solve problems.“

Data are often quoted as the most valuable asset nowadays to identify the needs of customer, hence deliver valuable services. Banks sit on a huge amount of data. Having these data is not what will make the difference. It will be all about the capacity to structure and verify the data, distract the data on ‘How ?’ and ‘Why?’ of customer behavior, rather than using data on ‘What?’ a customer does. Turning the right data into knowledge and intelligence is what will make financial services providers win … or, for the banking pessimists amongst us, survive.

The above statements where gathered from different keynotes and panels which were captured respectively from David Brear -11FS, Sophie Guibaud – Fidor Group, Sebastian Siemiatkowski – Klarna, Leitha Matz – Zuper, Nihil Kumar – Indiastack.  

Leen van Wambeke

Written by Leen van Wambeke

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