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Banks must learn how to do regulation and innovation

The best session of the week just took place in the main conference rooms, where the innotribe talked about the future of money.

I’ve already talked about it a little, and can’t say much more as I had to leave the session to do some virtual SIBOS TV (comes out next week), but you can get a clue as to how good this session was from the line-up of speakers:


Real disruptors discussing their disruptions.

The strange thing is that the very next session I went to was the mobile payments one, and it immediately deflated me.

This was because the excitement of the future of money was diffused by the reality of banking.

The session comprised:

  • A.P Hota, Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer, National Payments Corporation of India;
  • Tomasz Smilowicz, Global Head of Mobile Solutions, Citi;
  • Samee Zafar, Director, Edgar, Dunn & Company;

Ably chaired by Sirpa Nordlund, Executive Director, MobeyForum.


Why was this so discouraging?

I guess because my friend Samee – a regular FSClub speaker – was arguing:

  • that banks have missed the game with mobiles;
  • that it’s not about payments and paying for things, but addressing geolocation needs;
  • that offering a groupon style deal at an NFC point of activity will be far more likely to encourage payment than by offering a payment service;
  • that banks will just provide the plumbing for mobile but nothing the consumers or their merchants really want or need;
  • that …

… so many that’s.

He got a laugh when he made the comment that “the best way to kill a project is to do a pilot”, but followed this through by saying that the “issue is that banks are waiting for proof of demand, but people don’t do mobile paying right now and, if they all were, it’s too late”.

In other words, banks will only see mobile as important when everyone wants it but, when everyone wants it, they will have missed the opportunity and someone else will have taken it.

The two banks disagreed, of course, but it is the critical point and one that I made on the virtual SIBOS clip.

The core SIBOS banking audience are talking about risk, regulation, compliance and transactions, whilst the core innotribe crew are talking about innovation, disruption, future and forces of change.

Somehow these two streams, which are running in parallel waters, have to come together.

If not, then banks will just be driven by governmental overheads whilst losing the plot of how society is changing.

Anyways, that’s getting a bit heavy … time for some light lunch.



About Chris M Skinner

Chris M Skinner
Chris Skinner is best known as an independent commentator on the financial markets through his blog, TheFinanser.com, as author of the bestselling book Digital Bank, and Chair of the European networking forum the Financial Services Club. He has been voted one of the most influential people in banking by The Financial Brand (as well as one of the best blogs), a FinTech Titan (Next Bank), one of the Fintech Leaders you need to follow (City AM, Deluxe and Jax Finance), as well as one of the Top 40 most influential people in financial technology by the Wall Street Journal’s Financial News. To learn more click here...

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