DIGIT Fintech Scotland 2017: Conference Review

DIGIT Fintech Scotland 2017: Conference Review

DIGIT Fintech Scotland 2017: Conference Review 860 472 Border Crossing UX

Dynamic Earth once again provided a unique but intimate location for Fintech Scotland 2017. Fintech leaders and innovators from around the UK attended the conference exploring technology and regulation within the financial services sector.

As UX sponsors for the event we had a great two days exhibiting and attending as much of the talks as we could. Some great conversation took place between attendees who were all there to show their support for the Fintech community. The enthusiasm in the exhibition area was matched in the talks also.

From consumer behaviour and robotics to GDPR and PSD2, Fintech was covered from all angles. Each of the talks was just as intriguing as the next. That said, I’ve highlighted the talks from both days which really stood out to me. Check out the full list and agenda.

Fintech Scotland 2017 logo

Fintech Scotland 2017 Day 1

Turning Technological Innovation into Real Service Improvement
The morning saw Julian Sawyer, COO, Starling Bank take to the stage. Julian focused on how people have not experienced the same technical innovation from banks that they have elsewhere in their lives. That’s the driver behind Starling Bank’s decision to be purely cloud based and mobile only. The changing customer behaviour means that banks need to be really targeting the mobile generation. Hence, Starling are now one of the major disruptors in the financial sector.

Customer vs Tech-Driven Innovation – Designing a Proposition that Works for Your Audience
Next up was Mary Harper, Head of Strategy for Customer, Digital & Data at Standard Life Aberdeen. Mary reminded us not to forget about the customer by getting caught up in the technology. Fintech organisations must adopt a customer-first mentality. The customer journey is often more complex in a highly regulated and highly competitive market. Therefore, the importance of the Voice of the Customer within a Fintech organisation is imperative to deliver value to all your customers.

Securing the Fintech Journey
The afternoon saw four breakout sessions, one of which was Martin Budd from f5 Networks. In a world where customer behaviour is influencing technology and vice versa, the security risks become greater. The increase in APIs which technology firms can utilise results in the growth of hacking risks. As more channels means there are more ways to access user data. Hence, Martin showed us how easy it can be to gain access to these APIs and your personal data.

Fintech Scotland 2017 Day 2

Capitalising on the 4th Industrial Revolution
The kick-off to day 2 was left to Mark Bailie, COO, RBS who explained that at the end of the day nobody cares about banks! As consumers we only want the outputs that matter to us. Technology is impacting our behaviour at an exponential rate, so then how can banks capitalise on this? We are being trained by technology to expect our needs to be satisfied without friction and so the banks should adhere to this.

Seizing the Opportunity: Scotland’s National Fintech Strategy
Next was Kent Mackenzie, Director at Deloitte UK who presented Scotland’s National Fintech Strategy. Scotland has grown into a hub for Fintech startups and the strategy aims to grow this. Through FinTech Scotland, the strategy aims to utilise Scotland’s core strengths:

  • academic output
  • financial services experience
  • innovation and engineering
  • quality of life
  • geographic footprint.

Our infographic below illustrates how these core strengths can collaborate to grow Fintech in Scotland.
Infographic – Fintech in Scotland 2017
Download the Infographic


The Future is Human: Becoming a Living Business
Abbie Walsh, Group Director at Fjord, and Louise Smith, Head of Design and Transformation at RBS, began the final afternoons talks. They presented the idea of a ‘Living Business’. Really hitting home, the message of cutting the silos of business and working together. The key to success for Fintech’s is collaboration and incorporating user-centred processes. Successful businesses in all sectors exhibit acute awareness of these vital signs.

Closing Thoughts

With a 50% increase in turnout on last year it’s a clear sign that the conference is growing well. Equally the growth in the Fintech community in Scotland is evident as it continues to stamp it claim as a global leader in the sector with FinTech Scotland at the forefront of that charge. A massive thanks again to DIGIT who organised the event and we look forward to seeing even more faces next year!

You can view more of our thoughts from the day on our Twitter channel. And learn more about FinTech Scotland on their website.

Or you can get the slides from both days of  FIntech Scotland 2017 here:

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