The ingredients behind Banking 4.0
Entering the new year we look back on the key ideas brought over by 2022 in digital banking. Last year, Bucharest was the meeting place for the most influential voices in banking and finance. The 7th edition of Banking 4.0 – Embedded is the answer! has gradually become the reference reunion for international financial experts and local bankers. The most recent edition of the event came with a series of innovations, both in terms of thematic content, development format, and management structure.
For those of you who haven’t managed to join or you were an attendee and would like to remember the great experience you had for two days in the oldest bank in Romania, The Marmorosch, Bucharest, here is your summary.
24 discussion topics to suit every taste
Topics covered in the conference ranged from the impact of the metaverse on banking to the development of Web3 services and how to recruit and retain talent, without which any technology, capital, or strategies are useless in the digital transformation process.
The panels and presentations covered the emerging technologies and the issues specific to digital banking: the automation of banking processes, Banking-as-a-Service, cloud computing, digital onboarding and digital identity, the impact of blockchain and SoftPOS technology in the payments industry, the role of artificial intelligence in personalising offers at the customer level (and not by customer category), Open Banking & Open Finance, instant account-to-account payments, cybersecurity.
‘It was the third time for me to be at Banking 4.0. We had a great programme on embedded finance, embedded payments, embedded banking, and all the opportunities that are there. The good thing about embedded finance is that it is a very broad spectrum. The speakers were great – from consultants to Romanian authorities to fintechs’, Gij Boudewijn, General Manager at Dutch Payments Association.
Two market surveys presented their results
With the changes in the banking ecosystem and the transition to embedded banking, the relevant actors in the market are trying to analyse how customers perceive changes. The organisers have prepared in premiere two market surveys. One study was conducted by Banca Transilvania and focused on how people view remote banking in an almost fully online world. The second study was conducted by Lendrise and was designed to evaluate mobile banking applications in Romania – for banks that cover over 80% of the market – from the user’s perspective.
Four applied workshops were conducted
For this edition of Banking 4.0, the organisers put a lot of emphasis on workshops. For each day of the event, there were two workshops, on very hot topics: one of them, related to the electronic processing of checks and promissory notes, was presented by Mihai Babescu, Business Automation Manager at ASSECO SEE; another workshop was delivered by Mida Soft Business, on cybersecurity tips – choosing the right tools for an efficient security stack; as Managing Director of Transaction Systems In Hungary, Panos Chalkias was the lead on how specific PAX Technology POS terminals can help businesses from all industries address the challenges they face following the pandemic; since startups have become increasingly important in banking, the event couldn’t stay away from discussing financing opportunities for startups (Ronin’s CFO, Dan Berciu).
‘The Mark’ found its owners
It is said that in the `20s, The Marmorosch Blank Bank was the most powerful commercial bank in Romania. In 1923, Marmorosch, Blank & Co was a global institution, with over thirty representative offices, including those in New York, London, Paris, and Istanbul, which controlled business from England to China. As a result of the world economic crisis of 1930, the Marmorosch Blank Bank became insolvent. The National Bank of Romania intervened strongly to save it. Marmorosch Bank would be nationalised by the communist regime in 1948, 100 years after its foundation.
To celebrate this special edition, the organisers have launched a dedicated golden coin. Made of gold-blown alloy, the coin was launched right in the vault of the former Marmorosch bank, so that those present will be able to relive the experience of accessing the vault as it was a century ago.
Placed at an expert level, the 7th edition of Banking 4.0, the digital banking event of the year in Romania has gathered over 70 speakers from 23 countries. The 2 stages shared 24 discussion panels from the large spectrum of embedded banking, 4 applied workshops, and the premiere of 2 market studies.
‘The kind of things that you are doing in Romania for me is always a positive surprise. I see the rhythm, the evolution of topics, the number of companies, and the discussions are always up to date so I think there is a match with what is going on all over Europe. The event itself is one of the best I have been to. The lineup for speakers is excellent. All in all, for me, it was a great event and I’m looking forward to the next one’, Panagiotis Kriaris, Head of Business Development at Unzer.
Big plans are in store for 2023
Besides the growth expected for the fintech market in the next few years likely to triple its value, on the schedule of the organisers of Banking 4.0 there are also other large projects in store. To put Central and Eastern Europe on the map of fintech and blockchain innovation, important events that address a growing need for interconnection and cross-border collaboration are in order.
Unchain Fintech Festival, the regional event targeting central and commercial banks, financial service providers, technology companies, and the entire fintech and blockchain ecosystem in Central and Eastern Europe is awaited to happen on 22-23 June 2023, in the Oradea Fortress, https://unchainfestival.com/. As preparation for Unchain, a series of pre-events will be organised to engage the local ecosystem of each region – startups, investors, accelerators, incubators, and professional associations – thus creating a CEE fintech & blockchain innovation network for business and growth.
With the aim of a better engagement between banks, fintechs, startups, tech companies, and key ecosystem players all over the region, interested in collaborating with teams and conducting proofs of concept, starting new businesses, new partnerships, hackathons and regional events are expected to happen in 2023, but more about it, soon, here.
About Alexandra Pollack
Alexandra Pollack is a veteran of the tech events industry, having organised over the past 12 years large scale B2B trade-shows, innovation conferences, and startup programmes, ranging from a couple of hundreds to 15,000 attendees. She now focuses on the CEE startup ecosystem, specifically on strengthening the regional network in fintech, blockchain, and cybersecurity.
About Unchain Media
With its goal of putting Central and Eastern Europe on the map of fintech & blockchain innovation, Unchain Media brings to market a growing need for interconnectivity and cross-border collaboration that we have addressed through all our projects over the years.