The ongoing success of the vaccine rollout across the US, the UK, and much of Europe has brought the much longed-for lifting of Covid restrictions.
While the first wave of excitement is invariably about the ability to connect with family and friends, the increased freedoms also bring other benefits, including re-igniting face-to-face professional networking and events.
Fintech Week London will be one of the first events to kick-start the events calendar in the fintech space, allowing professionals across the industry to convene in person for the first time in more than a year.
It will take place over five days on July 12-16 in the British capital, where some of the world’s oldest financial institutions work alongside disruptive fintech startups and challenger banks.
Fintech Week London is back this year with a new team and a new format. Conference planners are gearing up towards welcoming over 2,000 delegates from over 25 cities, who will spend five days listening to over 100 speakers.
The lineup of presenters and keynotes includes representatives from government, traditional banks and fintech startups, as well as other fintech experts from the media and marketing world.
The program is categorized into four key topics, which will drive the focus of the sessions and which speakers are allocated to them.
Up next for fintech
The “Next Big Things in Fintech” stream will focus on new and emerging developments within the fintech market. An increasing number of verticals, including wealth tech, insurtech, blockchain, and more, show significant potential for new products and services.
Martin Boyd, President of FIS Fintech Solutions, believes that there are great challenges and great opportunities ahead. “Artificial intelligence, cryptocurrency and ESG are creating new areas of focus for the finance sector, and this brings fresh opportunities for fintech innovators,” said Boyd in anticipation of the event.
“The value of human connections and collaborations in these growing areas cannot be overstated. I’m looking forward to participating in ‘in-person’ events again, and let’s hope that Fintech Week is the first of more to come,” he continued.
“We see events like Fintech Week London as a further opportunity to solidify London as a centre for the development of fintech innovation.”
Alongside Martin Boyd, David Brear and Susanne Chishti will also be joining the “Next Big Things in Fintech” stream as speakers. Brear is the CEO of challenger digital banking consultancy 11:FS, and Chishti is the CEO of FINTECH Circle, Europe’s first investor network focused on fintech investments.
Finance that’s wide open
The second segment will focus on “Open Banking and Banking-as-a-Service.” Banks have undergone significant changesover recent years, forcing traditional banks to transform their customer services models to keep up with the emerging competition from challengers.
Adi Engel, Chief Marketing Officer of small business management platform vcita, is one of the speakers leading the open banking stream.
Engel asserts that the pandemic has created an imperative for small business entrepreneurs, banks and fintech firms to refresh their focus on customer experience.
“The digitalisation of SMEs is a win-win-win situation for the SMEs themselves, the communities and consumers they serve and the financial ecosystem that backs them. Therefore, we see a growing interest of financial institutes in becoming more involved in this transition that was greatly accelerated during Covid,” said Engel.
“Unfortunately, perhaps even more so, Covid illustrated to us that we are not yet where we need to be,” she added, “and I am looking forward to the opportunity to meet partners and colleagues face to face, finally, to work together and address this challenge.”
Engel is joined in the open banking stream by Sophie Guibaud and Imran Gulamhuseinwala. Guibard is the Chief Growth Officer at OpenPayd, and Gulamhuseinwala is Implementation Trustee for the Open Banking Implementation Entity.
Tech and banks teaming up
The conference’s “Big Tech and Big Banks: Coopetition” track will explore how tech giants and startups are increasingly stepping into finance, how neobanks are threatening the norm for traditional banks, and global developments in fintech.
In a way, it’s a stream more focused on the back end of banking than the open finance one, which takes more of a consumer view.
Dr. Leda Glyptis is the Chief Client Officer at 10x Future Technologies and is among the speakers who will be leading the Coopetition stream. “Covid threw the need to accelerate digital transformation into sharp relief: both in terms of the capabilities we build to serve our communities and the tools in which we invest to empower our teams,” she said.
“As we come together for the first time in almost two years, the thrill of being together again will be matched by the shared urgency to continue our work,” Glyptis elaborated. “If the pandemic taught us anything, it’s that digital capabilities in banking are non-negotiable. The time to double down is now.”
Glyptis will be speaking at this stream together with Lord Chris Holmes, MBE, a member of the UK Lords Select Committee on Science and Technology, and Theodora Lau, the founder of Unconventional Ventures.
There will also be a fourth stream under the banner of “Digital Identity,” an increasing area of focus for banks and payment providers. Speakers in this stream include John Abbott, Chief Business Officer and Chief Marketing Officer at digital identity and biometrics firm Yoti, along with Dave Birch, Global Ambassador at Consult Hyperion.
Fintech Week London is open for registration for its in-person and virtual events. Anyone interested can find out more at the event website.
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