Data and process are the new black

Retail Banker International Conference and Awards soundbites and highlights

Data and Process are the new black


Is Big Data a Big Myth? It did not seem to be so at the Retail Banker International annual conference and awards in London. And collaboration was further repeated.

Collaboration is a bit of a buzzword at the moment. In payments, bigger industry players are teaming up with smaller innovators in a reverse-parasite strategic move to keep up. In fact, it’s much more mutually beneficial. Smaller players can benefit equally from partnering with the big banks and accessing their customer base. We’ve already had Zopa teaming up with Uber to offer London-based drivers financing for new cars. This week we’ve had further announcement of Metro Bank and Zopa; at EBADay there was so much talk about collaboration you couldn’t move for the word being uttered.

During his session, Daryl Wilkinson, head of group digital development at Nationwide, impressed the delegation by having his presentation be ‘Shazamable’. A nifty trick to allow your audience to download your presentation to their phones by way of it being detectable by Shazam through a unique ‘white noise’ in place of music. It worked, despite the Waldorf Astoria’s dodgy wifi signal. And everyone was impressed.

Sophie Guibaud, vice president of the European expansion of Fidor said, based on the bank’s recent research, 70% believe that financial services will be completely different in five years’ time.

And Vernon Hill, in the keynote, reinforced the importance of net promoter scores. He had never seen a negative one until he hit the shores of the UK and never wants to see one again. The shock. The shame. And yet the business environment in Britain outshines that of the US by a long way. “The Americans have lost their minds,” he shouted from the stage.

Further heated debate brought up the rear of the day’s sessions as the CEO panel got underway. Anne Boden of Starling, Anthony Thompson of Atom and Alex Letts of Ffrees disagreed so adamantly on the question of profitablility within current accounts, and indeed the thorny issue of competition within the British current account market, it made for great conference action.

However, as Google’s Andrew Moody eloquently put it, data and process are the new black.