The Bank + FinTech Conference and the CCX Forum arranged by Efma on 2 to 5 April in Barcelona came to a successful conclusion. The event spanned over four days, and was attended by professionals from over 60 financial institutions globally.
Senior executive bankers from some of the world’s most innovative financial organizations came together in April, at Efma’s Bank + FinTech Conference and the CCX Forum. Offering unprecedented insights into the latest developments, these two events had a huge impact on the industry and reached thousands of banks on social media.
“The challenge of innovation is to lead the organization to the unknown whilst delivering in the short term,” said keynote speaker Benoît Legrand, Chief Innovation Officer and CEO at ING Ventures, at the opening of the Bank + FinTech Conference.
To help them achieve this goal, banks are now partnering with fintechs. “Innovation doesn’t come from within because it’s very difficult to innovate when you are in the system,” explained Laurent Herbillon, Director of Open Innovation and Startups Cooperation at BNP Paribas. Indeed, if a few years ago, fintechs were presented as dangerous competitors for banks, it is clear that they are now seen as partners. “It’s no longer about fintech vs. incumbent. It’s about client success,” said one of the speakers.
Many examples of successful partnerships in different areas were presented by bank and fintech couples on stage, showing that even if collaboration can be challenging sometimes, it can lead to the fast creation of innovative initiatives that delight the bank’s customers. And this is exactly what the banks are looking for: prioritizing customer-centricity through innovation. This last sentence is also the leitmotiv of the GAFAMA’s, these bigtech competitors that everyone is talking about with concern in the corridors of the prestigious Hotel Catalonia Barcelona Plaza. “Will one of them sooner or later transform into a bank? Will they succeed in offering financial services and disrupt the financial services industry as they have already disrupted other industries?” bankers wondered. And the famous prophecy by Bill Gates “Banking is necessary. Banks are not” still appears in a presentation as additional proof of what prevents bankers from sleeping.
This question was also at the center of the speeches at the CCX Forum on channels and customer experience. And no doubt that this fear of the bigtech competitors was a real wake-up call to traditional banks that are transforming themselves as well as the customer experience. One of the best examples came from CaixaBank. The Spanish bank hosted the attendees in Dayone, in a new Caixabank store and also in imaginCafé, three places that show how Caixabank is reimagining the bank of the future. “We wanted to convert millennials into fans,” explained the Spanish bank’s representative, citing Apple and Nespresso as sources of inspiration.
After its traditional SME Summit linked to the Insurance Summit on 13 to 14 June in Vienna, the next big rendezvous will take place in Paris for the traditional Best Efma Week from 14 to 18 October. The week will include the Innovation Summit, the DMI Awards ceremony and the 47th Efma Congress where leading banks from around the world will explain how they are transforming the financial industry for the new world order.