The Point 2016 closed on Wednesday afternoon after a series of presentations from financial services thought-leaders and breakout streams focusing on tech intelligence and the payments systems of Australia and the UK.
During the Keynote Breakfast, futurist Ross Dawson from Advanced Human Technologies advised payments organisations to take a ‘platform approach’ to business, by enabling others and maximising value creation for as many participants as possible. He also touched on the opportunity posed by blockchain technology – a recurring theme throughout the day.
VocaLink’s Paul Stoddart described the growth in demand for real-time payments and the opportunities presented by mobile-based fintech. He had a clear position in the debate over the necessity of instant transactions, arguing that consumers increasingly expect to be able to make and receive payments outside of normal business hours. He also highlighted that financial institutions are seeing substantial returns from investing in real-time.
Renee Zhang of Alipay began the tech intelligence breakout stream by describing how her company has evolved from a payment method into a “global lifestyle app” with its marketing, retail and social media services complementing its payments functionality. Delegates then heard an analysis of cyber-security and fraud by Dave Wilson of Cisco New Zealand. Criminals are now after data as well as money, and are increasingly crossing borders to steal it. A panel discussion on blockchain and distributed ledgers wrapped up this stream. The panel agreed frictionless payments bring opportunities, although they also cautioned that robust authenticity systems are needed at either end of a transaction.
In the payments system breakout stream, Paul Lahiff spoke about the progress being made in the development of Australia’s New Payments Platform (NPP) and the options for further development after its late-2017 launch. He sees NPP’s launch as a starting point for more ambitious developments in the future, which should allow it to meet its launch deadline. Victoria Richardson of APCA shared the work that industry groups are doing as part of delivering the Australian Payments Council future strategy on APIs and digital identity. Tim Yudin provided a UK-perspective on the work Payments UK is doing around their world class payments project on building system capabilities and enablers.
After lunch the streams converged to hear the Founder and CEO of Women in Payments, Kristy Duncan, emphasise the importance of diversity in organisations’ workforce. In respect of gender diversity, companies that employ more senior women tend to generate higher returns, but women continue to be underrepresented at the highest levels, and underpaid, she said.
Economist Shamubeel Eaqub and Stephen Jacobi of the NZ International Business Forum then discussed international trade and the economy. This was particularly relevant in the context of the US election. Whatever happens in the short term, both agreed that globalisation was here to stay, in part driven by international payments flows.
IBM’s Michael Aaron closed the final session of the conference by telling delegates that “now is the best time to be in payments” as banks and fintechs compete and collaborate to help millennials manage their funds. He also predicted that banks and fintechs would increasingly share data to enable them to analyse consumers.
Our Chief Executive, Steve Wiggins, closed the conference with the observation that the most powerful innovations seen in the payments sector appear to be the most simple. This was a theme that ran throughout the conference, as it was shown repeatedly that having strong, basic foundations and intuitive interfaces are critical pre-requisites ‘to taking it to the next level’.
Thanks to all our presenters, delegates and sponsors for making The Point 2016 a fun, insightful and engaging event. Speaker presentations and videos will soon be available on our conference website for those who want to delve into the detail.
Read the Day 1 wrap up