Leading fintech figures pool knowledge at UAE Banking & Finance Congress
International Data Corporation (IDC) has hosted its inaugural UAE Banking & Finance Congress at the Jumeirah Creekside Hotel in Dubai.
The event brought together a panel of BFSI industry leaders and champions to present best-practice strategies for going beyond digital and taking the customer experience to new heights. The event featured interactive presentations from senior executives of Emirates NBD, National Bank of Fujairah, Al Hilal Bank, Commercial Bank of Dubai, RAKBANK, United Bank Limited, Union Insurance Company, DGCX, and First Gulf Bank.
"Customer expectations are changing and traditional customer service is often regarded as unappealing these days, leading to poor customer experiences," says Jyoti Lalchandani, IDC's Group Vice President and Regional Managing Director for the Middle East, Africa, and Turkey. "This change is driven by a new generation of customers who are demanding better, personalized, and increasingly remote services, which in turn is prompting the need for organizations to provide timely and relevant information to client-facing units across multiple channels."
The event explored this evolution in customer demand in greater detail, offering advice on what it takes to triumph in the battle to provide the best customer experience. IDC also introduced its new digital transformation model called 'Leading in 3D', which is focused on providing the tools required to drive operational excellence in retail and corporate banking.
This intense focus on embracing the power of digital technology formed the backdrop to the IDC UAE Banking & Finance Congress 2016, and the event's high-quality, content-driven agenda leveraged IDC Financial Insights' extensive end-user research on the subject. This was complemented by the thoughts of widely respected public sector experts on emerging issues such as transforming customer experiences to drive growth, leveraging blockchain technology within the financial industry, and future proofing IT infrastructure.
"Over the last nine months, blockchain technology has been a much touted branch of science that is poised to change the entire financial landscape," says Thomas Zink, Associate Research Director, Financial Insights, IDC Central Europe. "However, its true capabilities and potential can easily be misunderstood. As such, our aim during this event was to explain how blockchain technology can be used to improve efficiency while reducing the cost of operations and serving as an enhanced, tamper-evident ledger solution that will form a major part of future banking systems."
IDC experts were joined by leading technology vendors at the event, including Hitachi Data Systems (Premium Partner), Misys (Workshop Partner), Vision Solutions (Exhibit Partner), Western Digital (Raffle Partner), and Oxford Business Group and Business Islamica (Media Partners).
Read the December 2016 issue of Business Review Middle East magazine
G7 Summit guide: What it is and what leaders hope to achieve
Unless you’ve had your head buried in the sand, you’ll have seen the term ‘G7’ plastered all over the Internet this week. We’re going to give you the skinny on exactly what the G7 is and what its purpose on this planet is ─ and whether it’s a good or a bad collaboration.
Who are the G7?
The Group of Seven, or ‘G7’, may sound like a collective of pirate lords from a certain Disney smash-hit, but in reality, it’s a group of the world’s seven largest “advanced” economies ─ the powerhouses of the world, if you like.
The merry band comprises:
- The United Kingdom
- The United States
Historically, Russia was a member of the then-called ‘G8’ but found itself excluded after their ever-so-slightly illegal takeover of Crimea back in 2014.
Since 1977, the European Union has also been involved in some capacity with the G7 Summit. The Union is not recognised as an official member, but gradually, as with all Europe-linked affairs, the Union has integrated itself into the conversation and is now included in all political discussions on the annual summit agenda.
When was the ‘G’ formed?
Back in 1975, when the world was reeling from its very first oil shock and the subsequent financial fallout that came with it, the heads of state and government from six of the leading industrial countries had a face-to-face meeting at the Chateau de Rambouillet to discuss the global economy, its trajectory, and what they could do to address the economic turmoil that reared its ugly head throughout the 70s.
Why does the G7 exist?
At this very first summit ─ the ‘G6’ summit ─, the leaders adopted a 15-point communiqué, the Declaration of Rambouillet, and agreed to continuously meet once a year moving forward to address the problems of the day, with a rotating Presidency. One year later, Canada was welcomed into the fold, and the ‘G6’ became seven and has remained so ever since ─ Russia’s inclusion and exclusion not counted.
The group, as previously mentioned, was born in the looming shadow of a financial crisis, but its purpose is more significant than just economics. When leaders from the group meet, they discuss and exchange ideas on a broad range of issues, including injustice around the world, geopolitical matters, security, and sustainability.
It’s worth noting that, while the G7 may be made up of mighty nations, the bloc is an informal one. So, although it is considered an important annual event, declarations made during the summit are not legally binding. That said, they are still very influential and worth taking note of because it indicates the ambitions and outlines the initiatives of these particularly prominent leading nations.
Where is the 2021 G7 summit?
This year, the summit will be held in the United Kingdom deep in the southwest of England, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson hosting his contemporaries in the quaint Cornish resort of Carbis Bay near St Ives in Cornwall.
What will be discussed this year?
After almost two years of remote communication, this will be the first in-person G7 summit since the novel Coronavirus first took hold of the globe, and Britain wants “leaders to seize the opportunity to build back better from coronavirus, uniting to make the future fairer, greener, and more prosperous.”
The three-day summit, running from Friday to Sunday, will see the seven leaders discussing a whole host of shared challenges, ranging from the pandemic and vaccine development and distribution to the ongoing global fight against climate change through the implementation of sustainable norms and values.
According to the UK government, the attendees will also be taking a look at “ensuring that people everywhere can benefit from open trade, technological change, and scientific discovery.”