“Reduced Cash Usage, Identity Considerations, Managing Risk, Navigating Change, Sustaining Coexistence, and Directing Flow: Perspectives from Specialists”

Evmark Business Solutions

During the Finance Magnates London Summit 2023, industry leaders gathered for a panel discussion on the future of finance under the theme “Banking Reimagined: Disrupting the Future.” Moderated by David Gyori, CEO of Banking Reports, the conversation focused on innovative strategies that will shape the future of banking and payments.

The panel included luminaries from various sectors of the finance industry, including Michael Nelhams, Senior Director of Open Banking and Payments at EPAM, Alex Phillips, Senior Vice President at Marsh, Andrea Bacioccola, General Manager at Igea Digital Bank, Russell Sopp, Business Development Director at Solaris SE, and Deepak Raj Colluru, Director of Product Management at GoCardless. Each offered unique perspectives on the evolving financial landscape.

One of the main topics of discussion was the future of banking, with contrasting viewpoints driving the conversation. Colluru argued for a swift transition to a cashless society, citing technological advancements and changing consumer behavior. “Nowadays, very few people rely on cash stored under their mattress, thanks to the evolution of value transfer methods. When we consider how value is moved between individuals, from individuals to businesses, or between businesses, it becomes clear that we are addressing a problem. In the past, cash was likely the only solution available with the technology at hand. However, the landscape is changing,” Colluru explained.

However, Nelhams cautioned against a hasty shift, citing concerns about inclusivity and regulatory frameworks that could delay the UK’s journey towards a cashless society. The debate highlighted the complex considerations surrounding the feasibility and timeline of achieving a cashless future.

Another key theme was digital identity, with discussions centering around Central Bank digital currencies and the associated risks for banks. Nelhams emphasized the challenges of implementing a digital ID system in the UK, given political resistance, and instead advocated for a composite ID approach drawn from various sources.

“I don’t see us getting rid of cash in the UK for at least 30, 40, or even 50 years. It’s just not feasible given the current environment of inclusivity. Look at checks; we’ve been trying to phase those out for decades with little success. The European Central Bank is also committed to providing cash across Europe and ensuring merchants accept it. So, while other countries might adopt cashless systems sooner, I can’t see it happening here in the UK any time soon, despite the available technologies. As technologists, we may be early adopters, but realistically, it’s not happening in the UK,” Nelhams stated.

The panelists also discussed the customer-centric evolution of digital banking apps, highlighting the importance of user experience and convenience in driving adoption. The discussion concluded with a call for collaboration and innovation in the finance industry to shape a more efficient and inclusive future.  

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