The past two weeks have been a whirlwind of fintech conferences and event, and I have been clocking a personal best at attending each one of the following: Money2020 Europe, Innovate Financial, Temenos’ Innovation Jam, and StartupBootCamp’s Insurtech Demo Day.
Money2020 kicked off its first European tour mid-April and, unlike in previous years, this year’s event sent out one message loud and clear: banks and fintech must collaborate, not collide. In fact, that was the dominant theme that came out in every session. It was also the rallying cry of ING’s CEO Ralph Hamers call to other banks. Citing ING’s more than 40 fintech partnerships, Hamers drove home the message that real innovation came through partnership and specialization, not cut throat competition between financial services and financial technology.
At Innovate Finance, much of the discussion centered around fintech disruption and innovation, as well as the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority new regulatory sandbox. While these topics are, perhaps, to be expected, every panel focused more and more on the need for harmony and collaboration between banks and fintech.
Similarly, as startups pitched their ideas during the Temenos’ Innovation Jam and during the StartupBootCamp’s Insurtech Demo Day, team after team shared their tech value proposition to an enthusiastic audience. I found it inspiring to see the undercurrent of collaboration, coopetition, and collusion.
The Role of Open Banking Platforms in Collaboration
What was clear during all of these events was the role of open banking platforms in boosting collaboration.
Open platforms create the actual space for this collaborative tune to play out. Core systems keep the beat; fintech brings the trills, runs, and dynamics; Payment hubs, Merchant Services, Card systems, and the Digital channels all contribute to the melody. Together, they can create symphonies. But they need a conductor, and an open platform is the perfect maestro to coordinate the music.
For legacy and challenger banks alike, open platforms enable them to coordinate across systems to provide core banking services their customer base has come to rely upon. For fintech players, open platforms are the hub where they can plug into banking systems, in a simplified integration point, to bring the masses the sizzle and pop of innovation and intuitive user experience. For both, open platforms are a meeting point and, together, they bring a richer offering to the end customer. In short, it’s where the data aggregates, business strategy executes, and the future of banking begins.
This blog post was written by Ghela Boskovich, Director, Business Development at Zafin. You can email her directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
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