The vision of a bank to have a bot for every employee has two critical implications: a bank continues to have a human workforce, and the robot will be working together with the employees, not in parallel or independently.

How realistic is it to have a bot for every employee? Can we imagine bots assisting C-level, helpdesk employees and everything in between? And what is required to make the vision a reality?

We invited Paul Jones, Head of Centre of Excellence BPM, RPA and Intelligent Document Processing at NatWest Group, to discuss whether a bot for every employee is a…


Digital banks, what are they really? People think immediately about Revolut, Starling and N26, new banks that re-engineered the way people bank in a digital context, the ones that ‘disrupted the industry’. The industry veterans may argue that digital banking already exists much longer, with ING direct and the likes.

To avoid the semantic discussion around our virtual round table about digital banking on January 28, with Peter Theunis, Co-Founder and CEO of Radar Payments and Jeroen de Bel, Founder of Fincog, we started by defining what a digital bank is.

Half of the audience believed that a digital bank…


It is striking how discussions around automation have changed in the past few years. As Brian Burke, Research Vice President at Gartner, said: “We have seen an evolution from process automation towards automation at the business ecosystem level.”

In July, we had our first Automation Session, when we spoke about automation on an operational and tactical level, more specifically, we talked about RPA. RPA is what Huw Williams refers to as a point solution, a technology to fix a problem or implement a new service quickly.

Today this is no longer enough in the engagement with your customers. So we…


Open banking in a business-to-business (B2B) setting. A very underdiscussed topic. When it comes to open banking, the focus tends to be on the consumer side, and few pay enough attention to the corporate side.

So two years after the Regulatory Technical Standards (RTS) ran into force, we decided to delve into a different perspective. Not only did we bring together a bank and a FinTech, but also the Netherlands and Belgium in a session kindly sponsored by Isabel Group.

Marc Lainez currently leads the Ibanity team within the Belgian FinTech Isabel Group. Koen Adolfs is the Lead Product Owner…


Purely looking at ESG and sustainability from a regulatory point of view would be a serious mistake and an underestimation of the importance of both topics. In a world that pivots increasingly more to stakeholdership, banks hear equally important messages from customers, investors and society, in general, to dedicate more resources and attention to topics like ESG and sustainability.

How can banks anticipate rapidly to these messages? As Chris Skinner, one of the most influential voices in technology and financial services, said: “It’s not just talking the talk. It’s actually committing to walk the walk.”

Chris Skinner was one of…


6 years.

6 years ago, Deutsche Bank started building its API Program. It went live 2 years later, 2 years before the regulatory technical standards of PSD2 started to apply in Europe. Joris Hensen was there from the beginning. Still, today he is co-leading the program.

We invited him to talk about his lessons learned, and we realised that despite the many discussion on open banking, there is so much more to learn.

Regulation stimulates innovation

The regulatory technical standards of PSD2 apply since September 14, 2019. That is the moment every bank needed to provide a narrow set of APIs to help…


On October 17, 2011, I wrote an email to Scott Thompson, CEO of PayPal back then. I didn’t know him, he didn’t know me, but I needed to get this vision on payments out of my system.

For long, I thought I lost the email, but I found it back today. We are now almost 10 years later, and except for the language mistakes, and the name change of the CEO, I don’t think I would change a lot in this message (yes, I left them in in the below text to keep it authentic).

Before you start reading, keep…


With a net value of $ 170 billion, the gaming industry is bigger than Hollywood. On August 26, we invited special guest Bjorn Cumps, Professor Financial Services Innovation and FinTech at Vlerick Business School and secret guest Chris Skinner, author and commentator, to discuss the unexplored territory of gaming for banks.

What are the opportunities for financial services? How can they contribute to the thriving community of gamers? Is there room for financial services in the so-called Metaverse? Equally important: are there any learnings from the gaming industry for banks?

At least one thing I learned after this session: one…


Rik Coeckelbergs: After many talks on automation, I am excited to be here with Nitin Purwar, Director of Banking Industry Practice at UiPath, for a chat on automation for good. Having organised many virtual roundtables with The Banking Scene myself on banking for good, I know that today, banks struggle to apply the vision and ambitions they have to improve and grow their contributions to a greener and better society.

Warm welcome, Nitin. According to you, and to the many conversations you had with your clients, how challenging are the new ESG and sustainability ambitions for financial institutions today?

Nitin…


About five years ago, I was asked if blockchain should be added to the list of priorities at the bank I work back then. I told them it would not impact retail banking within five years.

If they ask me again today, I would probably tell them to wait another three years.

And how about central Banking Digital Currency (CBDC)? We learned from Inge Van Dijk, Director Payments and Market Infrastructures at DNB, investigations of whether or not ECB will invest in CBDC are still ongoing. …

Rik Coeckelbergs

Independent advisor and opinion maker in banking and payments, founder of The Banking Scene #fintech #openbanking #PSD2 #banking #payments #digital #innovation

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