Why Digital Transformation in Finance is Accelerating
The industry is ripe for disruption. A fast-changing ecosystem means that the digital transformation in finance is being spearheaded by many FinTech startups and FinTech companies. The situation of FinTech in the UK is no different, and our co-founder Huy Nguyen Trieu recently moderated a panel discussion titled “The Past, Present and Future of AI” at the annual Digital Money Symposium, organised by Citibank.
A separate panel discussion moderated by Ronit Ghose, was led by Dr. Leda Glyptis, Megan Caywood and Michal Kissos, discussing how opportunities have seen three types of challenger banks appear. The first type is the standalone challenger bank, which are usually FinTech companies streamlining banking services to offer more convenient at a lower cost. Incumbent-led challenger banks are the second type, which are launched within traditional banks through investment in technology. The third type are the BigTech created banks, originating from companies such as Google or Tencent, leveraging on their far-reaching network to quickly acquire users when they branch out into finance.
It is also extremely encouraging to see an all-female panel, highlighting how amazing women in finance are spearheading this change in banking for the better!
Data is key
One of the key takeaways highlighted by Alex Manson of Standard-Chartered is that data is a huge asset, but timing is a big challenge, a notion echoed by Huy, David Robson of IBM and Cristina Alba-Ochoa of OakNorth. Jonathan Larsen, the CIO of Ping An also shared a nugget of wisdom that foresees “a whole raft of new technology that will not only have impact in finance but the whole workforce in the world”. This could not be truer, and it is only a matter of time before the first leaders in the digital transformation in finance pull away once they have figured how to process and use data assets efficiently.
AI is helpful, not harmful
Another takeaway from the session was David highlighting how AI is not designed to take away valuable jobs, but only to replace mundane ones which allows more focus in key areas. This also led to another point he brought up, citing the importance of adapting to AI in order to keep up with the pace of change. In order not to be part of the lost generation, he tells others to “dip your toe into AI, build your skills, bring value” and put it into a machine-learning algorithm. This is very much in line with the work of CFTE contributing expert and CEO of Starling Bank, Anne Boden, who described her mission to transform banking forever.
A huge thank you to Citi and Ronit for inviting us to Citi’s Digital Money Symposium, and Megan, Leda, Michal, Vanessa Colella, Annerie Vreugdenhill and Philippe Gelis for sharing their wisdom.
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