The second and last part of the Fintech Summit, which took place on September 16th in the frame of the phygital edition of ICT Spring, focused on the democratization of banking processes and on the redefinition of finance, from digital payment to Fundtech. As usual, tens of local and international experts shared their expertise, views and vision with a digital audience.

The democratization of banking processes

The first part of the afternoon session focused on the democratization of banking processes. Master of Ceremony Frank Roessig (FinTech Lead - Head Digital Solutions for Finance, Telindus) officially introduced the topic and stated: “Who is a Fintech? Today, big financial institutions are practically Fintechs too. The major online players also in a way and so are tech companies. The scope is broad, it’s not only startups”. On the question “who is driving Fintech?” he answered “clients, clients, clients”. He also explained that there are more than 5 billion mobile devices active in the world, and that people spend an average of 6 hours online. “Clients are therefore the biggest driver: no client, no Fintech,” he underlined. Frank Roessing also discussed the impact of Covid-19 and the need for Fintechs to develop services aiming at seniors, with a specific user experience.


“Africa: one continent, different strategies” was the name of the keynote speech delivered remotely by Abderrahman EI Andaloussi (Strategy Deputy Director, Bank Of Africa). The expert first shared the example of M-PESA launched in Kenya as a transfer solution in 2007 and which has now many more services. At that time, 54% of Kenyan population already had a mobile and it enabled the younger generation to send money to their parents in the countryside: “it answered a particular need at the moment. The solution was even allowed by the central bank. M-PESA did not replace banks but rather created a new market”. The expert then shared the different realities across the continent with many parameters that need to be taken into account. He added: “there are 4 main categories: the nascent markets, the transition markets, the sleeping giants and the relatively mature markets. For instance in the nascent market, everything has to be done, there is no infrastructure, etc. And when it comes to the mature markets, they are almost like Europe and follow the trends of developed countries, at their own path”. Abderrahman EI Andaloussi concluded his presentation by focusing on the Bank of Africa’s journey on digital transformation: keeping its Panafrican footprint, putting customers first, leading an internal culture transformation, etc. And also, according to him, collaboration equals innovation.

According to Yves Eonnet (CEO & Co-founder, TagPay), “the banks strike back”. The expert focused on the impact of digital in the bank and shared the history of TagPay. “We first shared our vision on how banks were going to evolve and started working on a new generation banking architecture, mainly in Africa. Now, we are covering any need of the bank, also in Europe, notably to transform their operations,” he explained. The expert then shared the long history of retail banking which is now at the end of a long cycle as it is built on an architecture that is more than 50 years old. He commented: “it’s not the end of banking, but the end of a banking cycle. We are now entering a new cycle, with a lot of tech even if we don’t even know how far we will go. There are opportunities all over the place, with the three planets aligning: customers, threats and technologies”. According to him, everything needs to be reinvented: business models, culture, marketing, etc. The expert ended his presentation by explaining that banks need to make profitable and sustainable operations by going for a full replacement of the architecture, a progressive modernization or by creating a spin-off (designing a new bank next to the old one, and concentrating all the innovation in this new platform.

A fireside chat entitled "Innovation imposes collaboration" then brought together Jacques Putz (CEO, LUXHUB) and Sven Siat (Head Connectivity, SIX) as well as Mounaim Cortet (Senior Manager Strategy, INNOPAY) as moderator of the session. “The global phenomenon and trend is to facilitate innovation through collaboration. LUXHUB and Six Group just announced a partnership which allows Six to leverage the tech developed by the Luxembourgish startup. Together, they aim at offering new open banking products and services” first highlighted the moderator. As explained by Sven Siat, the market in Switzerland is market-driven and there is no regulatory requirement for open banking. Jacques Pütz then reminded the audience that we recently celebrated one year of PSD2 in production, with many APIs now working. “Yet, open banking is still a big challenge for banks who need to understand this new economy. And some are now thinking of adding more value services over it. PSD2 is actually an enabler for collaboration between financial players. With Six, we can learn from each other and innovate faster,” commented the CEO of LUXHUB. The experts then explained that they have a shared vision when it comes to scouting the market for interesting applications and getting new ideas together, that will benefit other partners and the final clients. Jacques Pütz concluded: “innovation imposes collaboration. We would like to push banks to collaborate more with Fintechs. They need to be ready when open banking becomes the new normal”.

The organizers then virtually welcomed Sophie Bialaszewski (Head of People & Capability Transformation, Lloyds Banking Group) who focused on curiosity, as the fuel for change. “At Lloyds, we are transitioning to a new way of working. And to inspire people, it is useful to use curiosity: people will much more likely engage” she first explained. Why curiosity matters: it helps individuals to be creative, helps leaders to inspire with motivation, teams to collaborate better, business performance and engagement increase. In other words, curiosity is good for individuals, teams and organizations. She then described the different people profiles (socially curious, unconventional thinker, etc.) and shared some of her main recommendations: “curiosity is just a skill, we can build and develop it, you need to be curious about the world around you, focus on motivation and on what inspires people, know the content and subjects they are working on, do they collaborate across the different areas, etc. She ended her presentation by explaining that there were different ways to promote and develop curiosity: create experience for people to feel the change, bring outside people in, create a platform to share their stories and build a community.

A round table discussion on the democratizing banking processes then brought together Nigel Verdon (CEO & Co-Founder, Railsbank), Jeremy Light (VP of EU Strategic Accounts, Ripple) and Matteo Rizzi (Unconventional entrepreneur, book author, venture partner and co-founder, FinTechStage). It was moderated by Frank Roessig. “The interaction with the consumer is going toward embedding the finance experience into the customer experience. We need to bring finance to the forefront of engagement. It will also reduce friction. We can now understand data and there need to have a data centric view of the world” first stated Nigel Verdon. According to Jeremy Light, the key word is digital inclusion. He also highlighted the fact that there is a strong growth in digital wallets. He added: “by 2024, half of the population will use it. It operates 24/7 at a lower cost. And consumers can make payments on demand”. Matteo Rizzi shared the example of Mozambique, highlighting the 3 ways emerging markets are doing finance: inclusion, engagement or reintermediation. He also insisted on the importance of last mile UX. Finally, the experts shared their wildest Fintech dreams. Nigel Verdon would like to see a mortgage that allows everybody to get housing, Matteo Rizzi a super low level entry insurance product which would for instance for farmers, and Jeremy Light would like to see payments become as easy as sending an email, with the background check, security, etc.

From digital payment to Fundtech: redefining finance

The second part of the session officially began with Thibault de Barsy (Vice-Chairman & General Manager, Emerging Payments Association) describing the current European payment landscape. To do so, he briefly analyzed the American and Chinese markets and notably stated that for instance, WeChat and Alipay were able to build up large domestic user bases in an environment that was not open to foreign competition. “In Europe, the landscape is fragmented. Cash is still king in Germany. 50% of Fintech investments are made in the UK, and in Benelux, Payconiq is a great example of a national network. It shows how a local champion was able to expand through mergers and partnerships,” highlighted Thibault de Barsy. He then focused on the 5 key trends in Europe: harmonization and Open Banking leveraged by regulation, passporting as a tool to nurture European champions, infrastructures allowing the rise of Instant Payments, Digital ID & Account-to-account (the Nordic influence is spreading) and finally e-commerce as a factor of digital adoption.

Andréa Toucinho (Country Ambassador for France of European Women Payments Network (EWPN)), Stijn van Brussel (COO, Payconiq International) and Jana Lvova (Head of Fintech (interim), Visa Europe) then focused on the re-definition of the payment experience. Thibault de Barsy moderated the discussion. According to Stijn van Brussel, one third of the population in Luxembourg uses the Digicash application and most use it to pay invoices. “It means less unpaid bulls and a lot more convenience. In Belgium most e-commerce payments are made with cards but we can replace the flow with a QR Code. Moreover, adding loyalty to payment through an API will allow to automatically collect loyalty points”, he added. Jana Lvova explained that the focus is on consumers: they drive the change. She then shared the example of a challenger bank that manages all the financial services and needs with one single tool. “The consumer controls and is powered. The solution is frictionless,” she underlined. Andréa Toucinho highlighted that regulation is a real asset to foster innovation, as, for instance, PSD2 is the perfect balance between security and innovation. “And GDPR is a recognition for data and will result in an evolution of client experience,” she stated.

“Digital-ID as FinTech enabler” was the topic of the round table discussion led by Frank Roessig, with the participation of Eric Weber (Project Officer, Ministry for Digitalisation) and Dr. Robert Norvill (Research Associate, SEDAN group). The experts first defined what digital identity was. According to Eric Weber, “if you ask 10 people you will get 10 different answers. It’s a collection of digital attributes, about a person, an organization, a device, etc.” Dr. Robert Norvill added: “it can be defined as a digital document and information of a particular entity”. When asked how those digital identities could be even more secure, those digital identities, the experts discussed trust anchors and blockchain. Dr. Norvill explained that if there was complete trust between the different entities, no blockchain was needed: “it depends on the customers’ choices and whether they decide to provide their documents to institutions or companies”. Finally, Eric Weber stated: “KYC processes are painful. On the short term, mutualizing the digital document collection might be a solution, but interoperability remains a challenge that needs to be addressed on the European level. On the long term, it will be about giving back control and privacy through a decentralized approach”.

Philipp von Restorff (Deputy CEO, Luxembourg for Finance), Andreas Kern (Founder & CEO, Wikifolio) and Frank Roessig (FinTech Lead - Head Digital Solutions for Finance, Telindus) then participated to summit final fireside chat, with a special focus on FundTech. As explained by the Deputy CEO of LFF, Luxembourg ranks second in cross fund distribution worldwide. “Fintech means of course the digitalization of finance but also of fund serving, with Fundtech, Regtech and even Blockchain. In Luxembourg, almost all fund companies are therefore active in Fundtech, addressing challenges like distribution, compliance, automation of fund documents, etc. They all digitize their processes to make sure operations are compliant and products are marketable in 70+ countries,” he added. Andres Kern then presented Wikifolio, a platform where experienced traders publish their trading strategies. Currently, more than 8000 active managed products are listed. “We have no sales people, all flow is online and it allows customers – private investors – to make the best decisions,” highlighted Andreas Kern. The two experts then discussed collaboration. According to Philipp von Restorff, fund companies and Fundtechs need to work together. “Thanks to our partners, and notably to the LHoFT, such collaborations work well. Common projects are also led at the industrial level, FundsDLT being a great example”. Andreas Kern added: “collaboration is key. It also makes sense for the Fund industry to collaborate with us as we have a cost-efficient strategy and have access to customers who are engaged in the product, which can be seen as a game changer: the ones who own the customers make the most money”. When asked about the major enablers of Fundtech, the Deputy CEO of LFF answered “consumer and investor experience”, and the CEO of Wikifolio added “the access to customers and convenient solutions”.


The conference ended with a keynote speech by Pierre Gramegna (Minister of Finance, Government of Luxembourg). Read more HERE.


Alexandre Keilmann

Photos: Dominique Gaul

Publié le 30 septembre 2020