Terence Singh, Fintech Account Manager at KPMG Matchi, attended SIBOS 2018 in Sydney, Australia. “The networking opportunities at this annual banking conference are key, with 8 000 delegates attending from all over the world, most of whom are correspondent bankers,” he says. Terence notes that over the past three years, the number of emerging tech companies attending has increased substantially, from a handful in 2016 to an entire conference floor dedicated to tech exhibitors in 2018, which is encouraging. “The scaling of the tech side of banking has been absolutely exponential,” he says.
Terence says his highlights of the event included the opening keynote by Brett King, SIBOS CEO and Founder. “It was a fantastic, visionary opening address that set the tone for the whole conference. His point was that the future is going to look very different from what it does now.”
Other highlights included a motivating talk from Australian cricketer and former national cricket captain, Steve Waugh on his foundation and on leadership insights, and (of course!) the launch of KPMG’s Fintech 100. “Outside of the conference, I had a chance to tour Stone & Chalk, Sydney’s independent, not-for-profit Fintech hub,” Terence says.
The incubator is producing great results, with 140 start-ups, 680 residents and 27 corporate partners currently, and 142 start-ups graduated already and 26 companies exporting.
KPMG also had a stand at SIBOS for the first time, and Terence says it was well resourced and garnered much interest.
Terence also took part in a panel discussion on the rise of fintech as a representative of Matchi, alongside other emerging tech experts from around the world.
He says that the conference creates an atmosphere that extends beyond the event itself and there were many interesting things happening outside of SIBOS. “The KPMG Fintech 100 showcase was one of those, as was KPMG launching its own fintech,” he says. “There was also a networking event at Stone & Chalk on the Sunday. It was a very busy week!”
Adoption of emerging technology was a core theme of SIBOS Sydney 2018. Specifically, Terence notes, payments had a big presence. “This is in recognition that payments in many different forms are going to be key in enabling other industries.”
Fintechs were given substantial airtime and were able to operate on a level platform with the banks. “What was clear for the banks and financial services in general when it comes to tech is that if you’re not in it, you’re going to be out of it,” says Terence. “The conversation wasn’t about ‘what shall we do?’; it was about ‘we have to do something’. Partnering was very much the name of the game, and I got the impression that it was partnering on an equal basis rather than large corporates bullying small tech companies.”
He says that it was encouraging to see the confidence of some of the tech companies. “The world is their oyster. They are born global and they can talk to anyone in any country. It’s now a case of these small companies leading the way for established financial services companies.”
Here’s a video that SIBOS produced, which gives some clips on key themes and discussions emerging from the 2018 Sydney event: