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This house believes your next bank will be a GAFA (Google, Apple, Facebook or Amazon)

21 Mar, 2018

The Digital Banking Club Live Debate was held on Wednesday 21st March at the Law Society, London.

This house believes your next bank will be a GAFA (Google, Apple, Facebook or Amazon)

Read the whitepaper by Simon Cadbury here.

Discussion points included:

For the last decade, the GAFAs have systematically built capabilities in areas such as digital wallets, payments, and comparison engines. These activities, as well as their reputation as the most disruptive firms in the market, have increasingly left many digital financial services executives worried about potential new rivals.

  • Could we ever see a GAFA applying for a banking licence?
  • When people are still more likely to change spouse than bank account, just how real a threat do they pose?
  • Who is better positioned to leverage the opportunities of PSD2 and Open Banking – the banks or the GAFAs?
  • At what point will the financial institutions fully immerse themselves in services such as WhatsApp, Amazon Alexa, Facebook Messenger and Google Maps as channels of engagement?
  • What parallels can be drawn from the rise of Ant Financial and Tencent in the Far East?

 Our panel for this debate: 

The debate was chaired by Douglas Blakey, Editor, Retail Banker International and Chair of the Digital Banking Club. Joining Douglas were:

  • Alessandro Hatami, Founder, Forestreet
  • Nick Ogden, Founder,  ClearBank
  • Oliwia Berdak, Principal Analyst, Forrester
  • Tom Blomfield, Founder, Monzo
  • Simon Cadbury, Director of Strategy and Marketing, Intelligent Environments
Douglas Blakey

Douglas Blakey

Chair of the Digital Banking Club & Editor at Retail Banker International

Douglas is Group Editor, Consumer Finance at Verdict, chief of judges for the annual Retail Banker International Awards and lead market advisor for Verdict’s retail banking research division. This division produces and maintains more than 50 market leading research reports and has undertaken bespoke consultancy projects for banks, vendors and their advisors. Douglas practiced as a solicitor in Scotland before moving into business information and analysis. He maintains an editorial advisory board of leading bank executives and is a regular guest banking analyst with BBC, NBC, New Statesman and other leading media.

Alessandro Hatami

Alessandro Hatami

Founder of Forestreet

Alessandro Hatami is a corporate serial entrepreneur and digital financial services expert. He has a track record of delivering growth through digital at some of the world’s most respected companies in the financial service industries. Alessandro is the co-founder of The Pacemakers, a company that helps large financial services, banking and payments firms go from simply thinking digital innovation to implementing it. He has an extensive back¬ground in international general management, product development, marketing, business development, and strategy.

Nick Ogden

Nick Ogden

Founder of ClearBank

An entrepreneur with over 30 years’ experience in banking, payments and fintech, Nick Ogden is the founder of ClearBank® and the bank’s Executive Chairman. Prior to ClearBank®, Nick founded and led a number of other companies. The most notable of these is WorldPay, which he founded in 1997. The first internet payment service to guarantee transactions worldwide, Nick helped WorldPay grow to over 270 employees, 20,000 customers across 120 countries and e-commerce transactions in excess of $2billion per year. The company was acquired by The Royal Bank of Scotland in 2002. Nick also founded Multi Media Investments Limited, a research and development company, in 1993, and Voice Commerce Group, the UK’s first non-bank payments institution, in 2009. Nick has been recognised for a number of industry awards including: The UK Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award, the Computer World Global IT Leaders award, the ID People Awards and the National Business Awards UK Entrepreneur of the Year.

Oliwia Berdak

Oliwia Berdak

Principal Analyst

Oliwia is a principal analyst serving digital business strategy professionals. She leads Forrester’s coverage of digital disruption and digital innovation in financial services. Her research explores changing customer expectations and behaviors and fintech and insurtech startups that seek to capitalize on these opportunities. She helps digital leaders respond to these changes and adapt their companies for the digital age. During her four years with Forrester, she has worked with numerous clients to develop their digital business and innovation strategies. Oliwia is routinely sought after to speak at global industry events, including the EFMA Congress, Finovate, and the Mobile World Congress, and to comment for American Banker, Bloomberg, the Financial Times, and Finextra. She has also been recognized as one of the "Rising Stars" in the European Digital Financial Services Power 50. Prior to joining Forrester, Oliwia held a number of research positions in both business and academia, working with a variety of methodologies to deliver insight. As a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Edinburgh, she collaborated on a large research project investigating Europe’s changing citizenship regulations. Oliwia also worked for six years as a freelance analyst for Euromonitor International, drawing on macroeconomic data and statistics to analyze the latest economic, social, and political developments in Europe and to explain their significance to businesses. Oliwia is a Polish national with extensive international experience. She has lived in six countries and is fluent in four languages (Polish, English, German, and Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian), as well as having limited working proficiency in Dutch. She has a keen understanding of how different national contexts influence consumers and businesses.

Tom Blomfield

Tom Blomfield

Founder of Monzo

Tom Blomfield is CEO and co-founder of Monzo, the digital mobile-only UK bank. He previously founded GoCardless, a fintech start-up that has gone on to raise $25m. In 2013, he was nominated one of the top five entrepreneurs aged under 30 by the European Commission. During 2007–2008, Blomfield completed an MA at Oxford University, specialising in corporate finance, corporate insolvency, European business regulation and international financial law. He previously obtained a law degree at the same institution.

Simon Cadbury

Simon Cadbury

Director of Strategy and Marketing at Intelligent Environments

Simon is a product marketer and strategist with 18 years’ experience working for a range of major international brands. Simon’s role is to work with Intelligent Environments’ investors to set and deliver the company’s mid and long term strategy, as well as overall responsibility for the product development and management of Interact; the company's core product offering. Simon joined in 2013 from Lloyds Banking Group where he was responsible for payment technology and also sat on the Credit Card divisions leadership team. Prior to this he worked on the launch of a number of firsts in new technology – the Blackberry (BT Cellnet), BT Openzone (BT Retail), 3G Live! (Vodafone Australia) and Sky HD (BSKYB).

Cards International
Credit Strategy
Electronic Payments International
Life Insurance International
Motor Finance International
Private Banker International
Retail Banker International

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