Disruption in Banking Nordics

Today I attended Disruption in Banking Nordics at Spegelsalen, Berns in Stockholm.The last time I was at Berns was in 2013 as a key note speaker talking about the web and the future.

But today I was sitting in the audience being wowed by some really eye-opening disruptive financial services, products and technics such as underbanking, blockchain and more that are challenging the traditional banking model.

The focus of the event was disruptive banking and emerging markets and featured entrepreneurial stories from founders of USD+100M revenue fintech companies, the latest trends in fintech, insightful panels and a nordic fintech growth stage startup competition. 

Here are my key take aways:

The day started with a presentation of global fintech hubs, the evolution of Fintech segments and trends i 9 cities . For instance in Beiging/Shanghai, Allibaba(allipay) and Tencent (wechat) is disrupting Fintech and Unicorn is challenging Sillicon Valley.
Stockholm was ofcourse also mentioned as a force to reckon  with when it comes to payments with services such as Klarna, iZettle & Bima mobile.

The presentation was followed by a panel disussion with the founder of iZettle, Jacob de Geer and the CFO of Bima, Ola Johansson talking about their entrepreneurial stories, regulations, compliance, millenials and more. 
BIMA is a leading insurance tech player that uses mobile technology to disrupt the global insurance industry and fuel financial inclusion offering affordable insurance and mobile health services for low-income families in emerging markets. The story so far with an impressing consumer base of 22 million i 15 markets.

”Think big, start small” , ”Be global, act local” are two quotes that clearly sums up their different stories.

My favorite key note was on the topic asian trends and underbanking and came from Shailesh Naik, founder of Matchmove. 

Matchmove is a virtual mastercard that offers consumers the convenience and safety to shop online or in-store without the need for presenting credit or debit cards. 

Shailesh presented a fantastic use case about a partnership with T2P in Thailand (micro payments) based on ptp-lending, enabling instant loans among friends that in normal cases would have bounced your purchase.

Other interesing key notes and use cases were:

Bluzelle– a canadian based, blockchain company that builds products that enable faster movement and access to money around the world.

Pavel Bains, founder and CEO of Bluzelle, demonstrated a live real time transaction between the Us and Japan, that normaly takes days, happening right before our eyes in seconds. Pretty neat!

Nigel verdon, co-founder of  Currency clouds skyped with us, from London, about his company that allows payment firms, banks and e-commerce companies to offer their customers access to foreign exchange through a simple API that links to Currency Cloud’s cloud service.

Giles Andrews, co-founder of Zopa also skyped with the audiance. Zopa is the pioneer of peer-to-peer lending and it brings together individuals who have money to lend, and individuals who wish to borrow money. Instead of going through traditional banks, borrowers looking for low rate loans are matched with lenders looking for better returns on their money. 

With the new EU regulations on payment services coming into effect-PSD2, it was really interesting listening to Daniel Döderlein, founder and CEO of Auka. Auka is a norwegian based tech firm, focusing on building and operating regulated and licensed end-to-end payments infrastructure connecting financial institutions, merchants and consumers.

To sum up and what I bring with me from this fantastic and amazing event is something Steve Jobs famously said;

“If you don’t cannibalize yourself, someone else will.”

Because it’s true that most businesses are protecting their existing products, services, and processes. They fear change and such fear comes at a great price. 

Who want’s to be the next Kodak or Blockbuster? 

The banking industry is changing  before our eyes and noone is immune or safe.

We need to innovate, evolve or die.

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