In July I hosted the FIS Global Banking Perspectives 2016 conference in Rome, covering banking trends, banking strategy and particularly the impact fast-changing new technology is having on the sector
It is funny, because when I started out as a business journalist, there was one internet terminal in the office – and this was at a cutting edge, huge multinational news organisation. We could book 15 minute slots, but it often took that long for the page to download. It was one of the regular guests, a currency strategist who now lives in the Cayman Islands, who took time out to set me up with a hotmail account. What a game changer. We hadn’t communicated with sources via email then. Our team had to respond to breaking news, we were sent places at short notice, be reachable anytime, anyplace. But I had to fight the beancounters just to get a pager. I eventually upgraded to one of those little Nokia mobile phones. A mini brick. Lifechanging, right? Now we couldn’t live or work without our smartphones, wearable tech and all the other gadgets flooding the market. Technology has changed and has changed everything. We are all part of a technological revolution that is changing the way we live, work and interact with each other. That means financial services, along with other consumer facing industries, are facing a digital transformation. And that is so much more than a change in IT infrastructure. Its a change in mindset and a reinvention of services to be even more customer focused.
In Rome we talked about how todays financial services companies – big and small – face a vast range of challenges. They need to be nimble. They need to be secure, trustworthy, reliable, transparent. Digitally savvy. Probably ahead of the fast changing technology curve, as we – the consumer – become ever more demanding. And I haven’t even begin to factor in those geopolitical pressures. Brexit. Trump. This conference gave the delegates ideas, analysis, insight and solutions on how to navigate the digital jungle and help their businesses make the transition to the new generation of banking.