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International Cards & Payments Conference


With populism on the rise, Lafferty Group looked to see how the cards and payments business will negotiate the new world disorder. Digitalisation is playing a significant role in cards and payments; there's a sense that banks in particular have digitised, but not digitalised, and are yet to grasp the import of the new world.

Delegates heard from regulators, payments systems operators, fintech challengers, established banks, AI specialists, and big tech firms, and agreed that fintech is now being regarded with less alarm than a couple of years ago, as bank-fintech partnerships become commonplace. Instead it is 'Big Tech' that is the new challenge: from Google to Alibaba, the top ten big tech firms are investing vastly in AI, a game-changing technology in cards and payments. One speaker reminded the audience that Amazon, a giant in AI, lent $3 billion to merchants last year. AI, for instance, is already embedded in everyday programmes such as Outlook. As Nick Ogden explained, the ClearBank proposition would hardly be possible without Microsoft as a partner, due to the billions it invests in AI, anti-fraud measures, and the biometric security behind instant transfers.

Now, the big challenge is this: how much can the cards and payments industry learn from Big Tech without losing its DNA?

Our speakers and panelists included:

  • Nick Ogden, Executive chairman, ClearBank
  • Kartik Teneja, Global head of credit cards, Standard Chartered
  • Richard Peers, Banking Industry Lead EMEA, Microsoft
  • Vladimir Komlev, Chief executive, NSPK
  • Agada Apochi, Chief executive, Unified Payments
  • Marcia Clay, SVP Market Development, Mastercard
  • Paul Smith, Head of Policy, Payments Systems Regulator
  • Paul Stoddart, Chief executive, Vocalink
  • Nick Kerrigan, MD Future Payments, Barclaycard


International Retail Banking-Fintech Forum 2018


The 2018 International Retail Banking Fintech Forum gathered executives from banks and leading fintechs to share their real-world experiences of bank-fintech partnerships and collaboration. Driven by a focus on case studies and practical examples, the conference presented opportunities to learn from business leaders who have been driving the digital transformation of retail banking.

The speakers and panellists included;

  • Martina King, Chief executive, Featurespace
  • Paul Taylor, Chief executive, Thought Machine
  • Joao Abiul Menano, Chief executive, James Finance
  • Steve Le Roux, Chief executive, Envel
  • Jay Sidhu, President, Bank Mobile
  • Sunil Dixit, MD, BBVA
  • Charles McManus, Chief executive, ClearBank
  • Samuel O'Connor, Chief executive, Coconut
  • Steve Round, Founder, Saascada
  • Laurent Herbillon, Head of Open Innovation & Startups Cooperation, BNP Paribas

Using the theme of 'Striving for successful business models', this conference aimed to cut through the hype around digitalisation and new models, and looked to find out the difference between the ideas and the realities. The conference focused on those initiatives that are offering a genuine and realistic bottom-line contribution. Specifically, we looked in detail at the technologies, methods of collaboration and the cultural shifts needed to thrive in the new digital banking ecosystem – a result that led to us consider SME business banking as the apex of change during 2018 as new digital ecosystems and digital lenders upend traditional models.

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