Monthly Posts: June
Solid ground for dream products
Of course EBADay was again highly SEPA centric. If I need tochoose a spiritual comment on this subject I will choose ECB WiebeRuttenburg’s joke who made an association with religion – the enddate is something expected by everyone, nobody knows exactly how itwill look, nobody knows exactly when it will come, but everyone issinging now the SEPA gospel.
SEPA took the king’s crown, and I’m not going to insist on thedetails, maybe just to mention that Ruth Wandhöfer, Citi, announcedthat EBF will work on the SEPA guidelines and will come withclarifications on national products which at the first glancedappeared to be niche products, to which appropriate transitionalperiod might be applied, but at a closer look are just flavours ofcredit transfers or direct debits. So… keep an eye on the EBFsite!
Other interesting subjects were discussed there, and I willmention just those debated in the sessions I could attended, as Ialso had duties in our stand as part of being an exhibitor. Iwill mention the discussion on the convergence of the trade financeand corporate payments, where Enrico Camerinelli, Aite Group, madea classification of the supply chain finance instruments and addedto traditional documentary credits and open accounts the “other”category, in which he included leasing and project financing. Thetwo bankers, members of the panel, agreed that in the new landscapebanks will lose the payments business if they are going to focus onspecific processes without approaching the entire chain andoffering their corporate customers a better visibility on all theirprocesses.
In the same top with the SEPA gospel we now have the innovationblues. It has even a broader audience and its rhythms willaccompany us longer, especially after the regulation and the enddate will drive the SEPA discussions from the elaboration phaseinto trivial maintenance. Guy Moons, Clear2Pay, had a verypractical remark that instead of trying to guess who is going to bethe winner scheme, banks should focus on implementing robustsolutions, built on open standards, which will allow them to buildwinner products, a link to Standard Charter dream pack offering.You might have a banking answer to your own dreams here!
Hays Littlejohn, UBS AG, came with the front office view on whattechnology can bring to payments, one of the points being theleverage of the social networks as a means by which social friendscan bring their own references to banks. I started to smilethinking at one of our customers, a microfinance institution whichoffers group loans to its Kenyan clients and who has alreadyimplemented a similar model: instead of collateral they are usingguarantees offered by “social friends”, in their case a group ofrelatives and friends.
Let’s see how gospel and blues are evolving in the European spacewhere, right now, Sirtaky is on the spot…
EBADay from the outside
EBADay – actually it would be moreappropriate to call it EBADays, as it lasts for exactly 2 days – isan annual forum organized by the Euro Banking Association andFinextra Research, which gathers payments experts from Europe andthe rest of the world. Some, such as Gary Wright, even dare say that EBADay”has grown enormously and now rivals SIBOS for quality of speakers,delegates and exhibitors”. This where I have to strongly agree, aswe happen to be in that number, having been both Sibos and EBADayexhibitors for quite some time now :).
This year Madrid was chosen as the town fit for hosting such anevent, the conference and exhibition taking place at the beautifulFeria de Madrid convention centre.
We have by the past exhibited at this event with our formeridentity, Business Information Systems, 2011 being a premiere forpresenting ourselves under the new trade name of Allevo.
There is a very rich amount of information on EBADay, which hastravelled over Twitter with the speed, well not with that of light,but with that of web 2.0. Even our AllevoDaily was 50% taken over by EBADay stories, tweets,pictures & videos.
It is very interesting to get to see stories reported throughsuch diverse pairs of eyes. Of course the Finextra guys did theirutmost and came forward with a professional very Sibos-like TV:the EBADay TV, which could easily takemore than just 2 days to fully follow. Then a whole lot of peopleshared insights plus their own understanding and opinions in eitherthorough blog posts or simple tweets. For someone who onlyvirtually observes the event, such as myself, this type ofcommunity is a real gold mine. There’s plenty of things to see anda-ha moments to catch.
Judging from outside, the main word on everybody’s lips was, asannounced and expected, the one and only: SEPA. Itcomes as no surprise that people calling for an end date of the enddate have lately started to multiply.
My colleagues temporarily dispatched to Madrid confirmed thatthe main subjects of debate were centred around this topic: isthere need for two distinct end dates or only one? One end-date forSEPA credit transfers and another one for direct debits or would itbe possible to set one single *mandatory* deadline which couldcover both?
Aside from the star of the show, SEPA, and other collateralboring subjects, such as Basel III regulations and alike, the nextbuzz word the EBADay tweetcloud highlights is innovation. Andsomething that always comes up when talking about innovation iscollaboration. On collaboration I’m only going to quote JPMorgan’s James Barclay, whose line I picked up via EBAday 2011: the Sepa journey nears itsend: “Collaboration has driven me to a shrink – thelast stage of collaboration is an EBADay panel”.
So what my colleagues have shared of their own personal insightsis that there is hope for SEPA after all. EBADay seems to have madepeople very optimistic on the subject or anyhow, more than beforeJune 15th 2011.