Finance Sector Insights from Q1 2024 Conferences

Małgorzata Sikora
Malgorzata Sikora
April 29, 2024 | Business Insights

As we bid adieu to the first quarter 2024, the financial sector has been abuzz with discussions, debates, and insights. In February and March, we spent 8 days on 5 conferences in 4 different cities: 

Each event offered a unique lens into the financial sector‘s challenges and opportunities. That’s why we’ve collected all of the key takeaways from these events. Here are the finance industry trends and topics shaping Q2 of 2024. 

AI: Beyond the Buzz 

Of course, one recurring theme during many discussions was the role of AI in banking. While there’s consensus among C-level executives that AI holds promise, its implementation remains challenging due to the need for concrete strategies and rapidly evolving tools. However, there’s a growing interest in showcasing simple AI use cases that demonstrate tangible benefits, particularly in back-office solutions. Compliance with regulations like DORA is becoming a focal point, influencing supplier-bank relationships and communication efforts. Additionally, unified cloud storage for AI applications is recognized as a crucial factor for maximizing its potential. 

“It’s clear that it’s time to move beyond vague claims of being “AI-powered” and instead focus on showcasing practical, data-backed use cases.” Adam Rasiewicz, Business Development Manager  @ Speednet 

Technological Challenges and Innovation 

The push for digital transformation and innovation is evident in the financial sector. It seems like everyone’s on a quest to enhance customer service, streamline operations, and stay competitive. Key themes we’ve noticed during the conferences include:  

  • the development of modern financial products,  
  • automation of processes,  
  • the evolution of regulatory frameworks to foster innovation while ensuring security and compliance.  

Moreover, discussions revolved around leveraging technology to build global banking ecosystems, collaborate with non-banking entities, and address emerging cybersecurity threats. While challenges remain, such as the need for regulation flexibility and overcoming barriers to implementing new solutions, the financial sector is ready for further growth and evolution through strategic technology investments and collaboration. 

Customer Needs: Enhancing Mobile Banking 

The industry is driven mainly by consumer demand for convenient and accessible banking services. Recognizing the needs of different generations, efforts are concentrated on enhancing mobile experiences and leveraging digitalization accelerators like mObywatel (a Polish app that serves as a citizen’s assistant, catalogue of ready-to-use e-services, and wallet for digital documents). From intuitive mobile applications to AI-powered chatbots for customer support, banks are prioritizing innovation. 

Furthermore, using AI and data analytics, financial institutions are gaining deeper insights into customer behaviour, allowing for more targeted product development and personalized experiences. 

Banking & Insurance  

Collaborations between banks and insurers are becoming increasingly common. Both sectors seek to utilize each other’s strengths to deliver integrated solutions, enhance value propositions, and drive innovation. These range from co-branded products and bundled services to joint ventures and platform-based ecosystems. By leveraging each other’s strengths and expertise, banks and insurers are better positioned to address customers’ holistic financial needs. Moreover, integrating insurance products into banking platforms and vice versa enables cross-selling opportunities and fosters deeper customer relationships. 

“Collaborations between banks and insurers present exciting opportunities to deliver integrated solutions, such as VAS, to mobile banking apps.” Michal Grela, Head of Sales & Marketing @ Speednet

Regulations, regulations 

Amidst the discussions on technological innovation and customer-centricity, regulation and data security have a significant impact on the future of the financial sector in 2024. Conversations about regulation, particularly in the context of open banking and buy now pay later (BNPL) services, highlight a delicate balance between supporting innovation and protecting consumer interests. The comparison between regulatory approaches in different countries, such as the UK and Australia, offers valuable insights into potential frameworks for regulating emerging fintech sectors. Striking the right balance will be vital in building trust, ensuring market integrity and driving sustainable growth. 

“Ensuring regulatory compliance while driving innovation requires a thoughtful approach, and it’s encouraging to see industry leaders actively engaging in such discussions.” Barbara Bednarczyk, Sales Development Representative @ Speednet  

What’s ahead?  

Looking ahead to the remainder of 2024, one thing remains certain—adaptability and innovation will be the basis for the financial sector’s success. With the challenges and opportunities highlighted in the first quarter, the industry is set to prioritize practical implementations of AI, focusing on tangible benefits and regulatory compliance. In essence, we see that the financial sector’s trajectory in 2024 will be defined by its ability to adapt, innovate, and meet evolving customer needs while paying close attention to data security & regulations. 

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