Takeaways from Finovate Europe 2020

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Finovate Europe 2020

Thursday marks Day Three of Finovate Europe, one of the world’s leading fintech conferences. Among the throngs of innovators who have descended on Berlin is Missive’s own Gemma Dunn, seeded to scout out the updates that matter most to Missive and our clients.

Finovate Europe 2020 – Day 1

As is the case with any major conference, Day One commenced with some punchy statements from keynote speakers, who were keen to set the tone for the ensuing conversations. On the Digital Future track, banking was compared to oxygen – an essential that nobody thinks about but is vital. As banks move to platform models it is increasingly likely they become back-end infrastructure, allowing their own in-house startups and initiatives or selected fintech partners to take centre stage with customer-facing interfaces. 

Andrew Vorster, CEO of Innovation Catalyst, used his keynote in the Digital Future Track to discuss how diversity accelerates innovation in organisations, arguing that “you can’t solve the problem if everyone has the same insight”. With McKinsey reporting that 92% of business owners don’t believe their business will survive digital transformation, broadening innovation initiatives to different types of people could provide the silver bullet in keeping pace with the disruptors.  

In the afternoon, Mel Tsiaprazis, COO of Crown Agents Bank, joined Theodora Lau, Martin Goodson, Paulo Morales Castillo and Clara Durodié to discuss data management and governance in the development of ethical AI. There was an interesting discussion around the purpose of an Ethics Board in organisations, with some panelists querying why the actual Board couldn’t think ethics-first. Perhaps it’s because they don’t fully understand AI? 

Mel argued  that the industry needs to come together when it comes to data sharing, much like an airline would following an incident, or hospitals would when it comes to public health. When asked to describe AI in two words, Mel said it was “humanity’s hope”.

Outside of the speaking stages, Manuel Silva from Santander InnoVentures was busy chatting to Robin Wauters, Editor of Tech.eu, about his views on European fintech and what’s hot right now. Stay tuned for the podcast to be published soon!

Finovate Europe 2020 – Day 2

Day Two saw fascinating talks on the disruptive nature of 5G in banking (think speed, low latency and the ability for consumers to make transactions quicker than ever before), the empowerment of consumers through Open Banking, and a run down of what’s hot in German fintech right now. 

Demos from regtech innovators have highlighted the scale of fraud and compliance issues in the market, outlining how financial institutions can move to tackle these issues head on and reduce the $1.3 trillion lost annually to fraud. (Incidentally the demo by identity verification platform Trulioo – a standout demo from the day – ruined the plotline of Breaking Bad for Gemma who is still living in 2009 and only on Series 2…).

In the afternoon Manuel Silva Martinez taking to the Demo Stage to discuss the future of VC investment in fintechs. Joined by senior figures at Transferwise, Citi Ventures and Octopus Ventures, the panel explored the key reasons why 50% of European capital funding in the sector still flows into London despite Brexit looming large.

It’s been another incredibly exciting conference and a pertinent reminder of the depth of innovation within the fintech industry. For anyone that missed out in Berlin, the show rolls into San Francisco in May. 

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