Fintech Scotland 2017: Luke’s Thoughts

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Luke Kelly

Dynamic Earth once again provided a unique but intimate location for Fintech Scotland 2017. Fintech leaders and innovators from around the UK attended the conference exploring technological innovation and regulation within the financial services sector.

As UX sponsors for the event we had a great two days exhibiting and attending as much of the talks as we could. Some great conversation took place between attendees who were all there to show their support for the Fintech community. The enthusiasm in the exhibition area was matched in the talks also.

From consumer behaviour and robotics to GDPR and PSD2, fintech was covered from all angles. Each and every one of the talks was just as intriguing as the next. That said, I’ve highlighted three talks from both days which really stood out to me. The full list and agenda are still here.

Fintech Scotland 2017

Day 1

Turning Technological Innovation into Real Service Improvement
The morning saw Julian Sawyer, COO, Starling Bank take to the stage. Julian focused on how people have not experienced the same technical innovation from banks that they have benefited from elsewhere in their lives. That’s the driver behind Starling Bank’s decision to be purely cloud based and mobile only. The changing customer behaviour means that banks need to be really targeting the mobile generation. Hence, Starling are now one of the major disruptors in the financial sector.

Customer vs Tech-Driven Innovation – Designing a Proposition that Works for Your Audience
Up next was Mary Harper, Head of Strategy for Customer, Digital & Data at Standard Life Aberdeen. Mary reminded us not to forget about the customer by getting caught up in the technology itself. The problem of not adopting a customer-first approach mentality is exacerbated for fintech’s. The customer journey is often more complex in a highliy regulated and highly competitative market. Therefore, the importance of the voice of the customer within a fintech is imperitive. Only this way can you really begin to deliver value to all of your customers not just a proportion.

Securing the Fintech Journey
The afternoon saw four breakout sessions, one of which was Martin Budd from f5 Networks. In a world where customer behaviour is influenceing technology and vice versa, the security risks become greater. The increase in APIs which tecnology firms can utilise results in the growth of hacking risks. As more channels means there are more ways to access users data. Martin continued to show us how easy it can be to gain aceess to these APIs as they trasnfer personal information such as credit card details and addresses through a system such as Uber. Definitely a consideration of fintech’s entering the market!

Day 2

Capitalising on the 4th Industrial Revolution
The kick-off to day 2 was left to Mark Bailie, COO, RBS who explained that at the end of the day nobody cares about banks! As consumers we only want the outputs that matter to us. Technology is impacting our behavoir at an exponential rate, so then how can banks capitalise on this? We are being trained by technology to expect our needs to be satisfied without friction and so the banks should adhere to this.

Seizing the Opportunity: Scotland’s National Fintech Strategy
Next was Kent Mackenzie, Director at Deloitte UK who presented Scotland’s National Fintech Strategy. Kent explained that Scotland has grown into a hub for fintech startups and through the stategy aims to continue to grow this. Through FinTech Scotland the strategy aims to utilise Scotland’s core strengths; academic output, financial services experience, innovation and engineering, quality of life, geographic footprint.

Our infographic below illustrates how these core strengths can collaborate to grow Fintech in Scotland.
Infographic – Fintech in Scotland 2017
Download the Infographic

 

The Future is Human: Becoming a Living Business
Abbie Walsh, Group Director at Fjord and Louise Smith, Head of Design and Transformation began the final afternoons talks. They presented the idea of a ‘Living Business’. Really hitting home the message of cutting the silos of business and working together. The key to success for fintechs is collaboration. And incorporating human centric processes will be a defining business trend in the future. Successful businesses in all sectors exhibit acute awareness of these vital signs.

Closing Thoughts

With a 50% increase in turnout on last year it’s a clear sign that the conference is growing well. Equally the growth in the fintech community in Scotland is evident as it continues to stamp it claim as a global leader in the sector with FinTech Scotland at the forefront of that charge. A massive thanks again to DIGIT who organised the event and we look forward to seeing even more faces next year!

You can view more of our thoughts from the day on our Twitter channel.

Learn more about FinTech Scotland on their website.

Slides from both days of talks are here:

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