CFTE at Money20/20 Asia

It was a spectacular few days for the CFTE team at Money20/20 Asia, with our CEO Huy Nguyen Trieu, and Head of Entrepreneurship Janos Barberis making full use of their time to launch CFTE’s new Extrapreneurship product, announce the start of the Singapore chapters as well as hold various workshops and moderation alongside industry experts.

Most important of all, we are also very excited to have launched our Extrapreneurship programme which has already received plenty of interest from both consumers and corporate clients! The team has worked impressively to put together this 8-week programme in a short span of time, which we believe will have a massive impact on those that take it.

Day 1

The first day of action for CFTE was the crucial one for us, as we had a full day of events, talks and panels lined up.

Huy also gave a short speech about “The Innovation Conundrum” where he led a discussion on whether it was possible for banks to build and innovate internally or whether they should partner with an external agency or start from scratch completely. He explored both sides of the argument, highlighting that companies “need the right people” as the key ingredient for to cultivate and champion innovation efforts.

Another key takeaway was from Rick Striano (Deutsche Bank) during a panel session, with the quote “Innovation starts with a change of mindset” standing out to us. He also highlighted how for incumbents to innovate from within, it requires plenty of support from top and mid-level executives in order to run or start trials. Coming from a top banking executive, this was extremely refreshing to hear as it also ties in with Huy’s view that banks are in dire need of innovation.

Akiko Taguchi (Lumenlab) was another participant on the panel with insightful views on the matter, highlighting that banks could learn more, solve their problems and continue to innovate through collaboration with startups. This is especially true as startups tend to move and pivot at a faster pace due to not having as many restrictions placed on them compared to large financial institutions, allowing for an environment of cultivation that encourages innovation.

The CDO of Westpac, Macgregor Duncan, also stated that one of the biggest challenges of a bank is to access innovative and entrepreneurial training, while suggesting it as a potential business model to improve productivity. This ties in with Akiko’s views above, as collaboration would help banks in the innovation department, without having to compromise too much in terms of structure and legal obligations.

Later in the day, Janos and Huy shared the stage for an interactive CFTE workshop, where the audience was challenged to think about how they would push for innovation in a bank. Topics covered include the barriers to innovation within banks, as well as what it would take to change this.

For Huy, one of the challenges is that banks often “put safety first”, with a focus on preserving their customer base. The importance placed on this means that innovation is left by the wayside, which is a key reason why many banks still appear to be lacking creativity or future-focused mindsets. Those in attendance for the workshop participated through the Slido app, with many sharing similar concerns and frustrations regarding innovation within banks.

At the end of the workshop, Janos and Huy announced the launch of CFTE’s latest Extrapreneurship programme, which is an eight-week programme aimed at upskilling aspiring leaders who want to make an impact in the new world of finance. It also falls in line with the key takeaways of the day’s sessions, where upskilling employees was deemed to be key in order to push innovation efforts, as well as bridging the gap between talents and evolving job scopes.

Day 2

Janos acted as the moderator for an engaging panel session titled “When to Move to the Cloud?” where the speakers, Nilanshuk Haldar (Head of Financial Services Partnerships, APAC, Amazon Web Services), Francisco Fernández (Founder & Group Chairman, Avaloq) and Kaspar Situmorang (Executive Vice President of Division Digital Center Of Excellence, PT Bank Rakyat Indonesia, Tbk) discussed business cases and implementation hurdles.

Throughout the many panel sessions and talks across both days, there were a few key traits that continually cropped up as key to making changes in the new world of finance – innovation, collaboration, people and training.

Other key highlights that we noted from Money20/20 include:

  • Henry Ma (Vice-President and Chief Information Officer, WeBank) suggesting that AI, blockchain, cloud computing and data are the four key pillars of FinTech
  • CFTE contributing expert, Melissa Guzy saying that user interface would be the key to getting QR-based payment systems to go mainstream quickly, and challenges for AI being clean, compliant data of a certain benchmark in quality
  • Jesse Lund of IBM, explaining how crypto can help reach the unbanked across the world and give them access to financial services
  • Tokopedia’s Patrick Cao speaking about how a customer’s digital payment profile will shape the future of FinTech

In short, it is very clear what banks and financial institutions need to invest in and focus their efforts on if they are to catch up with disruptors in their space. What we moderated and listened in on at Money20/20 is testament to that!

Last, but certainly not least, we’d like to thank Money20/20 for having us at their spectacular event at the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore. The conference was extremely well organised, with clear areas outlined for specific niches and interest. We’re already looking forward to the next event and we certainly hope to be invited back again!

About CFTE

We are a platform supported by senior leaders from the largest institutions, startups, and universities. We address the needs of professionals in finance to upskill in a rapidly changing industry being transformed by emerging technologies. More than 50,000 participants learn from our online courses, such as AI in Finance, Fintech Foundation or Extrapreneurship, a mini-MBA with fast-growing startups such as Revolut or Shift Technology.

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