Posts Tagged ‘millennials’

Each day the Innotribe programme will focus on a specific theme, throughout which both Millennials and Power Women in Fintech will play an important role participating in all sessions. In the next two weeks, we will produce a more detailed blog per theme of each day.

In a play of words on Kevin Kelly’s book “What Technology Wants”, we have four major themes this year, one theme per day:


Day-2 is about what society wants from financial institutions, covering topics from Millennials who are born digital and mobile, to refugees who are forced to be on the move and have no access to financial services, and financial inclusion for the 2.5 billion unbanked people. These issues will be intersected with a ‘what if’ session on re-inventing regulation for the digital era.


Our anchor-person for the day is Akhtar Badshah, PhD, Chief Catalyst, at the Catalytic Innovators Group. Akhtar will be with us the whole day, and will wrap up the findings of this society day. He is also an active speaker in some of the sessions. I met Akhtar at a Giving-conference in Minneapolis earlier this year, and besides the fact he has been Senior Director, Citizenship and Public Affairs, Head Corporate Philanthropy at Microsoft, Akhtar is also an artist and architect, and a wonderful and deep person to engage with.

Akhtar artwork

Artwork by Akhtar Badshah – Untitled - Acrylic on Canvas - 36"x48"

We have prepared and designed six sessions for you on Tuesday, including our Innotribe day opening at 09:15am in the Innotribe Space.

After our Innotribe day opening, we’ll kick off at 10:15am with a session about digital natives. During the session “Engaging with the millennial generation – A hands-on workshop for banks”, Claro Partners and Anthemis Group will share the key insights of research done with a consortium of financial institutions in six markets. The session will also feature key tenets of a whitepaper (PDF link) produced by Millennials from Wharton Fintech in collaboration with Innotribe. The circle will be powered by Millennials from Wharton FinTech and students from the Singapore Management University.

After the Big Issue Debate at 11:30am, we’ll continue at 12:45am in the Innotribe space on Financial Inclusion. Kosta Peric, Deputy Director, Financial Services for the Poor, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, will continue the conversation that was started by Bill Gates during the closing plenary at Sibos Boston 2014.

video leveloneproject

Video 1 Level One Project overview

Kosta will describe his work with the Level One Project and articulate the opportunity for banks to engage in financial inclusion, not as a CSR or philanthropic project, but as a very scalable business. He will be followed by Udayal Goyal, who will illustrate his work with Apis Partners, a catalyst capital for Financial Services in Growth Markets aiming to have a net positive impact in the communities they invest in. The session is set up as fully interactive session with audience polling, audience exercises and a call for action.

Just stay on the Innotribe stand for the next session about Re-Inventing Regulation starting at 14:00pm sharp. Risk and innovation don’t always go well together. Imagine what regulation would look like if we could start from scratch? Most of our regulatory frameworks are based on industrial era models. What if we could re-design regulation based on digital era models, and how would that inform our conversations with the regulators today. The three igniters from Anthemis Group, Silicon Valley Bank and Transferwise will plant some provocative seeds that will grow like trees on the big LED wall, and lead you into a conversation about the key tenets of a re-invented regulation landscape. We have powered our “circle” with thought leaders on regulation from leading institutions and new entrants. Again, a fully designed and facilitated session with audience exercises.

At 15:15pm, we have made our circular workshop space available to the team lead by Jesse McWaters from the WEF (World Economic Forum) Project on Disruptive Innovation in Financial Services: in 2015 the team explored the drivers and potential implications of innovation across core function of financial services. This invitation-only session will also give feedback on regulatory models for innovation, applications of decentralized systems, blueprint for digital identity, and the impact on society at large.

WEF poster

Graphic from WEF report on Disruptive Innovation in Financial Services.

Where we started the day with Millennials who are born digital and mobile, we will close the day with a session about refugees: people who are forced to be on the move and have no access to financial services.

The session “Leveraging modern payment platforms for accelerating social impact” (starting at 16:30pm on the Innotribe Stand) will be lead by Christine Duhaime and Sam Maule, who started The Banking and Refugees Project to address financial exclusion for refugee populations by devising or applying financial technology for refugee situations. They will be joined by Akhtar BadshahKosta Peric, and Daniel Marovitz as instigators in this interactive session with audience exercise.

UN VR film poster

Image: The United Nations has collaborated with filmmaker Chris Milk to make its 
first virtual reality film

The session will include the United Nations virtual reality film Clouds Over Sidra bringing viewers closer to the Syrian conflict by transporting them into the Za’atari refugee camp in Jordan – currently home to 84,000 refugees. The session is about refugee crisis in general, not zooming in on any particular region or population. We hope we can challenge you to become part of the solution of this pressing world problem.

refugees VR

Check-out this TED talk video with Chris Milk at minute 7 and imagine how this 
could work on our LED Wall.

In the coming days and weeks, we will familiarize you with the program for the remaining two days. We believe we have a fantastic line-up of speakers, igniters, instigators, contrarians, Millennials and Powerwomen in FinTech.

Hope you will find ample time to join us in these immersive learning experiences.

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A generational shift is underway, which is challenging and reinventing notions of trust in financial services. The Millennial Generation, comprised of those people born between 1982 and 2004 (average age 22), lies at the heart of this shift.

Millennials_option 2

A couple of months ago, i spotted the twitter stream and website of Wharton FinTech, the first student-led FinTech initiative committed to education, career development and idea promotion by connecting innovative, established, disruptive and proven FinTech enterprises with students and industry professionals.

WhartonFintech Logo

I got into a conversation over Skype with Daniel McAuley and Steve Weiner, the two co-founders of Wharton FinTech, and discovered a rich community of young Wharton MBA students who were passionate about FinTech. They organise study tours in the Valley and elsewhere, have a solid blog, and more importantly have a refreshing view on which financial services resonate with Millennials and which not.

We started an online collaboration to produce a research paper, and after a couple of iterations quickly decided that the underlying theme had to do with trust. A different kind of trust.

Trust is the most important currency in finance. It is fundamental to the smooth running of every financial system in the world, and that is always likely to be so. However, a generational shift is underway that is challenging and reinventing notions of trust in financial services.

Growing up during the global financial crisis and a sluggish period of recovery thereafter, the Millennial Generation is particularly mistrustful of established financial brands and institutions. The effect of this generational shift has been explored by a number of groups, including the innovation group, Scratch. Their Millennial Disruption Index concludes that banks are most likely to be disrupted by Millennial consumer preferences, and are facing massive challenges in terms of approach towards customer acquisition and user experience.

Millennials believe that the way we access money and pay for things will be completely different five years from now. But how do companies understand what trust really means to this generation, and more importantly, find ways to earn and retain it?

The paper explores three main themes:

  • Trust in technology: Millennials trust technology rather than face-to-face relationships and the traditional ‘bricks and mortar’ on-premises user experience. They want entirely new digital products that are relevant to their daily lives. However, there is a fine line between trust in technology and over-reliance on it, and information and identity security is an area of risk that needs to be managed.
  • Trust in networks: FinTech startups built on the back of social networks have a distinct advantage over incumbents when it comes to customer acquisition. By focusing on user experience and viral or ‘word-of-mouth’ marketing, these young firms are often outperforming their better-funded rivals. For those financial services firms looking to gain market share within the Millennials segment, this is an extremely important approach to master.
  • Trust in social causes: Millennials demonstrate a stronger likelihood to buy a product from, or indeed work for, a company with a defined social or environmental mission. They trust companies with social or environmental objectives more than those that are perceived as operating solely for profit. While declaring affiliation to a social cause can attract customers and improve engagement, companies must be careful not to mislead Millennials – they tend to do their research to make sure a company’s claims can really be justified.

Socio-economic and generational dynamics play a critical role in the evolution of financial services. As companies reinvent the way people interact with their money, finance is becoming faster, cheaper and more efficient for individuals and businesses.

The paper can be downloaded here (PDF) and provides valuable guidance on what financial services companies can and should be doing to capitalise on this major generational shift in consumer preferences, and create new opportunities for growth.

Together with Power Women in FinTech, Millennials will play an important role in this year’s Innotribe programme at Sibos, taking place in Singapore from 12-15 October 2015. In preparation for the event and the discussions that will happen onsite at Sibos, the paper examines how the Millennial Generation will help shape the future of finance.

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