Sibos 2018: The future of money – from product to experience
Delegates attending the standing-room-only day three Sibos session on “The Future of Money” entered, “the era of contextual financial services, where what you’re seeking finds you”.
Moderator Udayan Goyal, co-founder and managing partner of financial services consultancy APIS Partners, framed the session by explaining, “we’re moving away from a product approach to an experience approach”.
This is being driven by access to massive amounts of data. But the question is at what point data may prevent people from being able to access financial products.
Additionally, the tug-o-war between traditional financial services businesses and technology companies when it comes to collecting and using financial data, alongside tech companies’ moves into financial services, is intensifying.
“Tech companies have lots of data and they want to customise experiences using this data,” Goyal said, explaining the big risk for banks is tech companies’ zero cost of acquisition of their customers.
Panellists said the solution to this challenge is collaboration between the Googles and Facebooks of the world with financial services businesses.
“Collaboration will result in the consumption of experiences, with products embedded in the experience,” Goyal said.
Panel member Brett King, CEO and founder of mobile financial services business Moven, agreed. For instance, he predicts credit cards will disappear in the future. “Banks just need to provide access to credit – they need to strip away the product to provide the utility,” he said.
The first step of this process, according to panellist Neal Cross, chief innovation officer, DBS is, “trying to mask the complexity” involved in financial services.
One business that is excelling in this area is Ant Financial. Senior director Jie Song explained how the business is providing a mobile payment solution to a customer selling tents at base camp at Mt Everest. Previously he had to travel for a day to get to a bank. That’s no longer necessary now he’s able to take mobile payments. Which means he doesn’t have to bother with coins and change and he can access his funds immediately.
“This means his life is much easier,” said Song.
There is, however, a dark side to data. “We need to explore its nefarious consequences,” said Goyal, who questioned how much data is too much and what happens if people become uninsurable or unable to access credit because institutions have too much information.
“There’s a danger in taking humans out of the equation, you can’t put everything in a box and replace humanity with a digital substitute. We will always need human interaction, it’s not all about ones and zeros,” said Cross.
This message should give comfort to the many people working in financial services concerned about the future of their roles.
By Daily News at Sibos contributor Alexandra Cain
This article is also featured in Daily News at Sibos 2018, our flagship daily publication at the Sibos conference.
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