EVENTS Digital to the core

Ireland’s Fair City played host the latest leg of the Temenos Community Forum, where 1,500 arrived to bear witness to developments from the prolific Swiss vendor. Novelty leprechaun hat equipped, Alex Hamilton took in the sights

Senior Fintech Reporter Alex Hamilton


emenos continued its European tour this year, as the company’s yearly Community Forum event rolled into Dublin, Ireland. The city is undertaking somewhat of a

fintech revolution, and has been experiencing increased financial investment for a few years, no-doubt rising sharply after the Brexit referendum in the UK.

Temenos, of course, has a major reason for selecting the “Silicon Docks” of Dublin. Some of its major clients, including KBC and Bank of Ireland, are in the middle of technology projects with the vendor. According to Temenos CEO David Arnott, a lot of what Ireland stands for matches up to the firm. “Ireland has changed to become an open, dynamic and growth-focused nation,” said Arnott. These values, he added, are at the heart of what Temenos is trying to do.

The event was certainly larger than previous years, with a 20% increase in attendance equating to 1,500 people from 101 countries filling the auditorium at the Convention Centre Dublin. Digitisation was the theme, and Arnott opened the show by arguing that banks can still take advantage of a customer base that’s ready to be offered new digital products.

Despite the threat to the industry which many feel the GAFA companies – Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple – can create, the tech companies lack the depth of knowledge inherent at existing players.

Arnott added that being a successful bank is much more than just offering a fancy customer interface (thought that is important, too). Privacy, regulations, risk, balance and more are all factors that banks need to take into account.

To snap up a customer base willing to be offered digital-first and convenient solutions, banks must become challengers in their own market, said Arnott. For that to happen there needs to be a change in technology, culture and business models.

Temenos, said the CEO, is prepared to offer a “truly front-to-back”

solution which can help banks to “improve customer journeys” and learn more about what makes them tick. Platformification is a “crucial” play, he added, and the centralisation of systems is inevitable.

Arnott highlights a quote from Warren Buffet – that people can only stand in the shade of trees that were planted long ago. Banks in the modern day, he argued, need to start planting those trees by grasping the opportunity which is in front of them.

The Temenos CEO added that the conference’s host city of Dublin, Ireland, mirrors the company’s strategy and the way the industry needs to move. Ireland, he said, is a country that has emerged as a forward-looking, technology-first and open society.

Industries, especially the financial services sector, needs to take a leaf out of this book and begin to look into opening themselves up, as well.

To demonstrate a series of new updates to Temenos software, Dharmesh Mistry, its chief digital officer, offered up a series of live demos, acted out by various members of the vendor’s management. | © IBS Intelligence 2018

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