Innovation & Inclusion: Finovate Europe 2019

by Tram Anh Nguyen, co-founder of CFTE

FinovateEurope 2019, held February 12-15 in London, was a strong demonstration of the industry’s potential for inclusiveness and innovation. Even the scenery was a story of progressiveness, the event nestled in the Tobacco Dock of London’s Wapping. An area once infamous for storing 19th century imported tobacco was now hosting global thought leaders explaining their financial technology innovations.

Talks at Finovate made it very clear that the future of Finance is very much to do with further adoption and maturation of AI. The demo and panel discussions alike showed that this technology is not stuck at the conceptual level, it is already impacting the industry in a big way. This means there is an urgent need for startups and institutions to upskill, which agrees with our own work as leaders in education and our recently revealed Fintech startup ecosystem.

sinequa cfte

Tram Anh Nguyen (left) with members from Sinequa on the show floor.

With established heads from Finance mixed with ambitious startups from Fintech (including the AI-powered insight platform Sinequa whom I met on the show floor) the conference had four notable themes:

  • Diversity
  • Fintech innovation
  • How the future of finance will redefine the customer experience
  • The need for finance to upskill its talent

Thursday the 14th saw Dave Birch, Global Ambassador of Consult Hyperion, deliver the opening remarks.

Dave birch finovate

A major highlight of the conference was the rapid-fire demos from enterprising startups like appello, Nordigen, Monobank, zabo, and many more (see below). I congratulate all those who pitched, it was a very commendable effort by you all! The endless ambition of startups is a factor we want to cultivate and foster, as seen in our recent announcement of our Fintech startup ecosystem.

Also, I want to commend the winners of the Best of Show awards for FinovateEurope 2019!

  • Dorsum
  • Glia
  • iProov
  • Launchfire
  • PayKey
  • W.UP

Later on, Sohail Raja of Société Générale provided the following telling look into the future of finance:

See what Alibaba and Amazon have done, the [technology] cycle is getting faster and shorter – need to take that on board for what clients want and what we offer… We are following what Fintechs are doing [being agile] but that is a culture that we have, Singapore supports this philosophy and approach at a senior level

Additionally, it was impressive to see the issue of diversity in finance taken seriously. Panels had guests of diverse backgrounds, which is important for such a grand stage. As a female figure in the industry, I can’t overstate the need for gender equality in the industry, not just as a debate but as initiatives.

One of our contributing experts, Tanya Andreasyan, moderated a panel on Mobile Payments & the Customer Experience. Meanwhile, the panel on the “best practices in onboarding innovation” featured many strong female leaders in Finance: Emma Huntington, Valentina Isakina, Kaushalya Somasundaram, Wendy Wattebled, Wincie Wong – these women proved that we can have a vital role in play in the discussions of the industry’s most important issues.

Strong female representation on a panel at Finovate Europe 2019.

It was inspiring to hear Wendy mention the importance of “motivation and engagement to innovate” in finance, and this begins at the foundational levels of any company.

It was also a pleasure to witness the live recording of Breaking Banks’ Power Hour Podcast, which featured a familiar name to CFTE in Jim Marous. Jim had recently visited our offices for a live webinar, and it was fantastic to see him discussing similar financial themes.

On the panel, he was joined by Brett King, CEO and founder of Moven, Greg Palmer, Vice-President of Finovate, and JP Nicols, Managing Director of FinTech Forge. The foursome went through plenty in the hour, from the issues with the US’ regulatory scheme to the impact of Brexit – with Jim saying there’s “plenty of potential” for UK fintech even if Brexit occurs!

For further coverage of Finovate Europe 2019, read our major highlights here. For more conferences and one-off days to further your core knowledge in Fintech, check out our Events Calendar here!

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