The long awaited fifth edition of the Fintech Talents Festival is underway. A short walk from the Barbican centre, the cozy venue that is the Brewery is an apt place to hold one of the most important Fintech events in London this year. Attendees, Sponsors and Speakers were at the venue early on a Monday morning, hoping to catch the most important soundbites at the commencement of the two day event.
The venue has a total of three stages, of which the Fintech Talents Stage is the largest. And this was where Elizabeth Lumley, Deputy Editor of the Banker, kicked off proceedings by introducing Prakash Pattni, Managing Director – Digital Transformation, IBM Cloud for Financial Services, and Layla White, CEO & Founder of TechPassport.
Lessons to be learnt from the early pioneers in the Technology Space
Prakash started by describing the history of co-operation and rivalry between IBM and Apple. A rivalry that goes back to the early 1980s, if not even earlier.
“Fast forward 20 – 30 years and you can see that today Apple and IBM are now strategic partners and have had an alliance for many years. The companies work together on software development, machine learning, artificial intelligence, and they use each other’s hardware,” Prakash explained.
“Both these tech companies have gone through significant transformations and one of them has jettisoned its PC business and is now focused on artificial intelligence, quantum computing and hybrid cloud. While the other is synonymous with smartphones, tablets and computers.”
Prakash explained how the story of IBM and Apple offer interesting lessons about partnership. Partnerships that he believes banks and fintechs can use to their benefit. He believes that partnerships between banks and fintechs is increasing. He also shared how banks are less likely to consider a fintech as a competitor today then was the case a few years ago.
The unbanked is where Prakash believes that fintechs have been doing an amazing amount of work. Using Kenya as an example, Prakash explained how fintech solutions like M-PESA have helped raise financial inclusion levels from 20% to 80% in the East African country.
Prakash also mentioned Tink’s efforts in working with banks and elaborated further by highlighting the valuable work that Metallicus is doing. The fintech has recently signed digital asset custody services deals with Citi and BNP Paribas, he shared.
“I can do things you cannot, you can do things I cannot. And together we can do great things,” is the famous quote from Mother Teresa that Prakash used as an example of how fintech and bank partnerships should look.
More about partnerships
Following on from this warm introduction to partnerships, Layla from TechPassport joined Prakash on stage.
TechPassport are helping to solve one of many friction points felt by fintechs and banks today. Specifically, the time it can take to onboard a fintech as a supplier to a bank. Layla explained how when she was working at HSBC, she saw firsthand the frustration that onboarding of suppliers caused.
Layla works with fifteen banks as part of a think tank to find solutions to this problem. She doesn’t believe this is a small or big bank issue, it is an issue for all banks.
“It’s a sector wide issue,” Layla elaborated. “It’s not a problem for banks to find fintechs. The problem is to find the RIGHT FINTECH.”
Layla continued by explaining how startups are often overwhelmed when they first start talking to a potential banking partner. Banks are keen on saving time for the startups they are looking to engage. She pointed to the ‘Fintech Pledge’ as an example of how hard the banks are trying to work to make things easier for startups:
However, things can still be difficult for startup founders. Layla’s biggest piece of advice for startup founders today is to be very sensitive towards the topic of regulation.
The Fintech Talents Festival, the premium event for banks, building societies, fintechs and digital assets companies
The festival has just started, but larger than life influencers in Fintech abound. Ghela Boskovich, Balbir Judge, Bullish Dumpling are just some of the names to look out for.
Keep tuned to our social media pages to follow more news from the event.
Author: Andy Samu
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