Fintech Week London, taking place in-person and online this week from Monday 12th to Friday 16th July 2021, has opened, celebrating some of the biggest and most exciting names in the sector.
Fintech Week London Focus
Content for the week, curated by some of the industry’s most respected experts and B2B influencers, includes Sustainable Banking and Green Finance, CryptoCurrency, Big Tech & Big Banks and Digital Identity.
Deputy Mayor of London for Business, Rajesh Agrawal, addressed the online audience from Barclays Rise on Monday 12th July as the opening Keynote speaker, along with a welcome from CEO of Fintech Week London, Raf De Kimpe.
Fintech expert and author Chris Skinner spoke about the future of Fintech in London. Prior to the event he said: “During the last year, we have seen an extraordinary move from physical to digital, as evidenced in every part of the economy from airlines to online. In finance, we can see how this has changed when you consider the rise of cryptocurrency values from bitcoin to ethereum to dogecoin.
“This is a bigger and deeper change than anyone imagined and heralds a new world order. FinTech Week London will delve deep into what is that new world order and how it works. From nascent technologies like quantum and AI to core systems changes in the form of cloud and ‘as-a-service’ structures, this week will cover it all. And, as a first physical event that I’ve been involved with for a year, it will be nice to have a chance to network, meet and talk physically and digitally once more.”
On Tuesday 13th July, Fintech Week London opened to a live audience, as well as online, and welcomed eagerly awaited Keynote speaker, Ron Kalifa, to discuss the recently published Kalifa report.
Ghela Boskovich and Imran Gulamhuseinwala lead the morning session on Open Banking/Banking as a Service.
Ghela Boskovich, says: “Open Banking is the reality in which all banks and fintechs will operate, and lessons learned from the UK experience, shape who, what, and how finance evolves. It frames what innovations materialise and how consumers are empowered to take better control over their financial lives. For Fintech Week London, we’re examining this evolution and how the UK can continue to set the gold standard for delivering competition, innovation, and better outcomes for consumers.”
David Birch (Consult Hyperion), honorary president of EEMA, the European e-ID Association and Matt Warman MP hosted a session in the early afternoon around UK Digital Identity Framework, discussing any new requirements for businesses.
“The UK has found it extremely difficult to develop a fit-for-purpose digital identity, so perhaps the fintech sector can provide some new thinking, some new ways to approach the problems of identity that could deliver both improved security and better privacy in a more practical way”, said David Birch ahead of the conference.
“This is why I thought it would be interesting to explore both the identity and people and the identity of things at Fintech Week London. If London is to remain a preeminent financial centre and an engine for the wider economy, then it needs to reinforce the need for this missing pillar of the economy and drive forward its construction.”
On Wednesday morning 14th July, the panel curated by Theo Lau, includes Joy Macknight, Dr Leda Glyptis, Adizah Tejani, Kate Rosenshine and Joanne Dewaran, leading the discussion on Big Tech and Big Banks.
Theo Lau says: “If we think back at our habits in the past decade or more, we’d have noticed the increasingly dominant role that smartphones — or rather, big techs — play in our day-to-day lives. From connecting with friends and family to ordering groceries and entertaining, we rely on our digital devices to keep track of everything for us.
“In parallel, we have seen an explosion of funding towards fintech startups. From Wise and N26 to m-Pesa and Nubank; from Ant Group and Paytm to Grab and GoJek, thousands of fintech startups around the world have made great strides in building new digital products and experiences from lending, payments, investing, and beyond.
“Do banks still have a place in this digital economy? Absolutely. But for regular consumers, can they conduct their day-to-day lives without incumbent financial institutions? The answer is increasingly yes as well.
“Perhaps the right question to ask isn’t so much so, “Do we need to be banks to offer financial services”. Rather, who will customers trust with their money and their data and why?
“Now that’s a billion dollar question — especially for those entities who are banking (literally and figuratively) on the vast amount of valuable data they stand to gain from the consumers.”
Wednesday afternoon will see the Next Big Things in Fintech, hosted by Chris Skinner and Suzanne Chisti looking at the power of fintech founders and the importance of diversity in a changing world, as well as how the pandemic and fintech have impacted each other.
The breakout sessions on Thursday will be hosted at Level39, and will focus on hot topics including raising capital for fintechs, cybersecurity, payments and AI. In the afternoon, together with Market Across and main partner crypto.com, the topic will be cryptocurrencies and blockchain, looking at innovations such as DeFi, NFTs and what is happening to Bitcoin.
Speakers throughout the week will also include Alex Marsh, head of Klarna UK, Dan Morgan, policy lead – Europe, of Plaid and Sophie Guibaud, chief growth officer of OpenPayd.
Guests, media and conference attendees will be treated to an industry party on Tuesday 13th July and The Open Banking Expo Awards will take place on Thursday evening, 15th July.
As a minimum, all visitors will be asked to scan the NHS Track & Trace QR code at the reception and temperature checks will be performed on entry. All visitors will be asked to wear a mask as much as possible and wash hands regularly. There will be extra hand sanitising stations throughout the venue and common areas will be disinfected regularly.
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