Swift Business Forum Nordics 2019 - live blog

Welcome to Finextra's coverage of the Swift Business Forum Nordics 2019, live from Copenhagen. This event has a focus on accelerating digital transformation, and will look at how the financial community in the region is harnessing technological change to deliver a digital customer experience.

10.45: Participants in this discussion on fast and frictionless payments are Dag-Inge Flatraaker, SVP Payment Infrastructures at DNB, Martin Georgzen, head of Payments Development with Danske Bank, Hans Van Den Bosch, global sector head of Consumer Brands, Retail and Healthcare, Global Liquidity and Cash Management at HSBC, and Swift's head of Instant Payments, Carlo Palmers.

10.27: That concludes the opening plenary. There will now be a short break, and we'll be back in a breakout session looking at delivering a fast and frictionless payment experience in around 20 minutes.

10.26: Steve Jobs knew that smartphones weren't just about a touchscreen, they were a platform that brought together apps from all sorts of contributors, Seres says. Banks need to think about how they can act as a platform in the world. It is too late to catch up, it is a great time to leapfrog, she adds.

10.23: The really profound changes from PSD2 will come from areas we don't know about today, Lie-Nielsen says. The real innovation could come from non-banks who incorporate banking into what they do as a way to serve their customers. Banks could hire people from a non-banking environment who may ask 'stupid' questions that will actually get banks thinking differently.

10.20: Ahman asks if open banking is living up to its promise. Zingmark says it is, but with PSD2 requirements from last year, the time plan for what they could commercialise was set back a little. He says open banking is very important not only for banks, but also for the community as a whole. Lie-Nielsen adds that PSD2 could create a lot of solutions looking for a problem in the next couple of years.

10.17: In the banking sector we talk a lot about legacy IT systems, but Lie-Nielsen says that it is the organisational structure that is a legacy problem too. Compliance teams are doing their job if they say 'no', but this needs to be challenged - how can you change that culture to get them to help advise and support new projects along the way.

10.14: Culture is a challenge for banks to tackle if they are to be agile. Zingmark says that the most productive team he has is 'shielded' from the bank, giving them a full focus on innovation. At the same time, innovation needs to be balanced with compliance and risk as this is essential. The challenge is to take care of the customer need while transforming the culture.

10.11: Traditional banks are scared of the SMB sector, Seres says. She notes that new 'disruptor' banks are arriving in the market that place the customer experience at the centre of everything that they do. Incumbent banks should look at dedicating a certain percentage of their development budgets to developing an approach that would work in this sector.

10.07: Lie-Nielsen makes the point that banks tend to only invest in the solutions that their big customers want. He says that any bank in the room could have created Klarna, for example, but nobody did as it addresses what is perceived as an marginal business area.

10.04: In banking, the Nordics is well placed in the digital revolution, Zingmark says. This is not enough, however. He is thinking about how banks can understand and utilise data - with the information flows and trust that banks have, how can they innovate in this space?

10.02: It will take time for people to understand how new payments systems work, for example. Seres says that you need to find ways to show customers how you know them better than others, and bring them with you as you leapfrog others in the market. Some cannibalisation in the industry is necessary, but are you doing it or is it one of your rivals?

9.59: Zingmark says that banks tend not to see disruption that much in the Nordic region, they haven't seen fintechs come in and challenge banks directly. However, he notes the cautionary tale of how Nokia was usurped by the smartphone, meaning that banks need to be aware of what is happening in the digitisation arena.

9.56: Ahman now introduces Henrik Lie-Nielsen, entrepreneur, investor, and advisor at Tripod, and Erik Zingmark, head of Transaction Banking with Nordea, who join Seres on stage for a panel discussion on accelerating digital transformation.

9.54: Companies need to find new relevance in this changing world, as well as identifying who your competitors are. You need to think beyond the limits of your industry to truly identify who your competitors are. Seres notes that the CEO of Netflix said that their main competitor is sleep.

9.49: Humans can never imagine a world very different from today, so don't rule out any of the possible technologies that are emerging today. Seres' advice for delegates is that you don't need to know how new technologies work, you just need to know what they can do for you today.

9.47: The 4th industrialisation is also polarising, where the winner takes it all. You can get the best, globally, in real-time. It is Adam Smith's hand on steroids, Seres says. It is also combinatorial, with digital marketplaces and enabling technologies being the two sweet spots. In the Nordics there are world leading technology skills, she adds.

9.44: Data is the new competitive resource that is powering the 4th industrial revolution. The computation data network runs our society tody, Seres says. The 4th industrial revolution is all about cyber-physical systems. It is exponential - cost cutting won't give you this exponential growth, only disruptive technology will.

9.36: The biggest technology companies in the world are now the biggest companies in the world, full stop. This means that they will be moving into areas beyond their traditional remit. Seres notes the recent announcement of the Apple credit card as one example, and that other areas such as healthcare will be attractive to them. She also notes that people give away their data too easily, and need a better understanding of the importance of their personal data and how this grows over time.

9.33: The amount of innovation that China has done on innovation and AI is remarkable, Seres says. The likes of Amazon and Google find it difficult to compete there as a result. Understanding local knowledge and capabilities is critical for success, something that Seres should also be applicable to the Nordics.

9.29: Seres says that technology is changing business models and the need for regulation at a supersonic speed. But she says thinking of this as a problem is like thinking of gravity as a problem... you just have to deal with it. WIth technology and digitisation, you need to identify where the opportunities exist for you.

9.27: There is a digital transformation going on in the financial services industry, Ahman says. She then welcomes Silvija Seres, CEO of Technorocks to the stage who will set the scene with a Ted-style talk.

9.25: Kemp now introduces Erica Ahman to the stage. Ahman is the head of Nordics at Swift.

9.18: Legacy technology is a challenge for financial institutions. At the same time, developments in new and evolving  technologies are creating a wealth of opportunities, but also a wealth of challenges.

9.17: Those that threaten us are using the same technologies we are using to innovate against us, Kemp notes. The sharing of threat data across the community is essential.

9.15: Kemp begins by noting that we're moving into unchartered territory. Whoever you work for, fintech, bank, or corporate, customer demands are greater than ever before. Regulators are playing a role in supporting this, with Kemp citing PSD2 as an example of a driver of new customer experience.

8.49: The welcome address this morning will be given by Cate Kemp, Swift's Head of UK, Ireland and Nordics. Throughout the morning our focus will be on digital transformation, faster payments, and banking on platforms.

7.00: Good morning and welcome to Finextra's live coverage from the Swift Business Forum Nordics 2019. Delegates will be arriving in around an hour's time, with the packed day's  programme getting underway at 9am local time.


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