I was delighted to be invited by Infobip to attend their annual conference in Vodnjan, Croatia. The theme was right up our alley: Building a Better Banking Experience. Attendees at this event were predominantly senior bankers and telecommunications execs.
The agenda was made up of a series of panels, keynotes, activities and case studies. One of the first panels to take place, and the panel that I contributed to, was on the future of payments and banking – a topic close to my heart 😉
The other panellists were:
Miloš Nedeljković from Sberbank in Serbia, Dario Janković from First Data Serbia and Montenegro, Igor Strejček from Erste Bank in Croatia, Goran Bosankić from ABC Tech and Marko Koić, one of our hosts at Infobip, also their solutions marketing manager.
We discussed how digital channels and new technology is key to best-serving customers and keeping them happy. This was central to the discussion about how banks can prevent the loss of customer relationships to the likes of Facebook, Google and other powerful newcomers.
Miloš from Sberbank, in particular, agreed that the only way forward is through partnerships. This involves the fintech and the bank agreeing to share the opportunities by tackling problems together.
Everyone on the panel agreed that alternative payment schemes in Europe, including Croatia, will grow fast. Just as in China, India and, of course, in Scandinavia, they will spread through partnerships and easy to understand commercial models. Fintechs and banks can work together to mature the markets proactively rather than being reactive once competition arrives.
I also had the opportunity to briefly present the Settle model to attendees, leading up to an announcement later this month. Settle is one very attractive way in which banks and fintechs can most effectively (and mutually beneficially) collaborate to ward off competition from third-parties in the near future.
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