Focuses on AI, API, big data, branch banking strategies
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>> Visit: 2017 WSBI-ESBG Business Forum
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BARCELONA, Spain, 21 September 2017 – Some 100 bankers and banking technology experts came together today for the 2017 WSBI-ESBG Business Forum in Barcelona to delve into all aspects of 21st century banking.
A forum to share insights
Discussions during panels and breakout sessions brought insights on redesigning the branch experience, integrating channels by combining technology and a human touch, streamlining the customer experience, using analytics and big data, tapping into Artificial Intelligence, reimaging bank staffing and business model, fuelling innovation and picking the best technology from top retail banking innovators.
Breadth and depth of topics allowed like-minded institutions as well as retail banking and innovation frontrunners to grab hold of the latest progress made by savings and retail banks from Europe and around the world.
Comment on the event, WSBI-ESBG Managing Director Chris De Noose said: "This year’s Business Forum focuses on real-life applications. It focuses on how new technology, changed customer behaviour and a new financial ecosystem affect retail banking. It seeks answers to the question: “How can concrete solutions be found to develop the best products and services to serve the client” – “How do we get there?”
A keynote address from CaixaBank's Antonio Massanell (pictured right) gave the audience with a clear message: "Explore your strengths plus exploring new ways equals long-term success for banks. Reducing customer effort and gaining insights from the digital footprint of the customers are key for today’s retail banking transformation."
Bank of East Asia's General Manager Vincent Hui gave his insight into branches, sales and omnichannel transformation. He echoed a theme expressed at the conference that branch banking is and will be transformed, but people continue to need branches to handle more complex financial services like mortgages. Physical and digital channels have to be developed with new technological means to reach the customer wherever he wants in a format which the client chooses with trust and security at the core. Scale 360’s Hubert Knapp suggested new ways of approaching the client contact including digital branch pods that feature virtual teller machines.
The “API and Open Banking" panel brought a look at one of the biggest trends in banking: API, collaboration and open architecture. That panel included members Kirstine Nilsson of Swedbank, Mario Brkic from Bee One / Erste Group, Figo's Chris Scheuermann and Marten Nelson from Token.
A session on “AI and Big Data” included an update on both topics and how they can be applied in banks from WSBI member State Bank of India's Rajesh Kumar. Glenn Brouwer (pictured, right) from IBM Watson, shared insights into using AI and big data for regtech using technology to facilitate regulatory compliance and customer insights.
Breakout sessions allowed for in-depth discussions on mobile banking and onboarding – including E-ID, KYC and biometrics – channels and branches as well as how local banks can apply robotics and smart applications. Jalal Douame from Erste Group, Javier Mas of CaixaBank, Jordi Vinas from GDSCUSA/CaixaBank, as well as Finance Norway's Ole Morten Geving shared their insights and fostered discussions.
The Innovation Spotlight highlighted the latest in customer experience tools and technology – Oscar Sala from Strands, Samanta Boero of FinReach, and Appway's Oliver Brupbacher held 10-minute "rapid fire" presentations showcasing their solutions and view on finance.
Finding a balance between technology, human touch
Participants agreed that innovation nowadays means a partnership between human contact and technological means. That means financial institutions have to find a balance how to not follow only IT and the industry, but take into consideration the best solution to provide the most convenient and secure service for clients by bridging the physical / digital gap. Innovation goes beyond Technology and encompasses organisational change, skills and a reimagining of the customer journey.
De Noose (image at left) concluded: "The Business Forum is about listening, but it's also about exchange – asking questions and adding your two cents. The reward for attendees is they go back to work armed with new ideas and solutions. The forum provides two days to take away insight and get inspired."