NZ Fintech Summit offers a journey of discovery!

Chantal Thomas
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FinTech

Last month’s highly engaging NZ FinTech Summit hosted a diverse range of speakers taking everyone on a journey of discovery and opportunity. Binu Paul, Finnotec shares the common themes that emerged from the summit:

AI presents endless opportunities

Advancements in Artificial Intelligence (AI) have created endless opportunities, limited only by our imagination. The emerging tech appears to be on the cusp of dramatically shifting the way we do business, including financial services.

In an era of connectedness, dominated by data, the ‘World According to Google’ was a fascinating look into how AI is being used in clever ways to solve problems.

Customer engagement using AI has become the new battleground for gaining trust and loyalty from consumers.  Speakers explored how teams were being structured around addressing innovation in this area.  This session also included a deep dive into designing the best customer experiences. The importance of gaining consumer trust was perhaps the most recurring theme of the day.

It has been estimated that in the next 10 years only 15% of business interactions will be with humans.

When making an emotional connection, the spoken word accounts for only 7%, with facial expression, 55% and the remaining 38%, tone of voice. Attendees experienced a live demo of a new age digital assistant.

Calls for a funding framework

There was an urgent call to action to review the commercialisation and funding pathway for New Zealand businesses, within the context of venture funding.  As a nation we face the risk of quickly becoming irrelevant. Innovation needs strategic funding and ideas regarding accessing large pools of capital such as the KiwiSaver sector were raised. The Hon. Minister Kris Faafoi lent his support to the FinTech sector with a vision to create the right ecosystem for innovation.

Avoiding the hype of open banking

The day concluded with discussion on what a cashless society might look like, followed by a lively panel session on open banking.   Undeniably, the impact of open banking will be significant, but will differ greatly across the ecosystem.

Sometimes first mover advantage is over-hyped; however there is merit in learning from their challenges. For example, the approach to open banking principles in the United Kingdom and Australia will deepen our ecosystems understanding.

In summary, technology will always only be an enabler and not an answer in itself.  Whether it is blockchain technologies or AI capabilities, what matters most is the quality of the solution being created and how it is commercialised.  This is more important than which technology is being adopted to execute the solution.

Finally, a personal thank you to all the sponsors, speakers and attendees of the NZ Fintech Summit 2018, for making the day a success.  The FinTech future in 2019 and beyond certainly looks bright, from where I stand!

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