CEE SME Banking Club Conference 2018 – How it was


For the fourth time, SME Banking Club gathered SME Bankers in Warsaw (Poland) at the CEE SME Banking Conference 2018, which was held on October 29-30 and devoted to financial services for SMEs in that region (#CEE18).

More than 100 attendees from 20 countries took part in this year’s conference.

Day one of the conference on October 29 was devoted to the topic of cooperation between banks and FinTechs, and started with on-site visits to Innovation ING Lab – a space that supports creative thinking and innovations within ING Bank Śląski; and LeaseLink – a FinTech leasing company that provides online leasing to entrepreneurs.

During the on-site visit to Innovation ING Lab (Warsaw, October 29, 2018)

The program continued with a panel discussion on Models for Cooperation Between Banks & FinTechs.

During the panel discussion on Models for Cooperation Between Banks & FinTechs. Left to right: Balazs Topor (RBI), Kamila Wincenciak (Alior Bank), Michał Miszulowicz (BGŻ BNP Paribas), Paulina Skrzypińska (BGŻ BNP Paribas), Maciej Marszalek (The Heart Warsaw)

Maciej Marszalek from The Heart Warsaw talked about Why and How Banks Should cooperate with FinTechs. Balazs Topor (Raiffeisen Bank International) summed up the results of RBI’s first Accelerator program – Elevator Lab 1.0. One of the main key factors for the successful implementation of solutions with start-ups is serious, dedicated resources and agility on the bank’s part. Kamila Wincenciak presented RBL_ – Accelerator program in Alior Bank (Poland), which was launched in September this year. Paulina Skrzypińska and Michał Miszulowicz presented a Start-up Code that was implemented within BGŻ BNP Paribas in Poland to accelerate the purchasing process for new technological solutions and templates for documents for the so-called Proof of Concept.

Afterwards, 8 startups offering innovative solutions pitched their ideas on how they can help acquire more customers for banks and create new features for SME customers.

Blockey – a website plugin that helps companies verify a customer’s identity and complete the KYC process through the bank login.

bNesis – a marketing automation system based on continuous monitoring of customer events within non-traditional data sources in order to allow SMEs to apply for a loan with just a few clicks.

Eucaps – easy access to the entire European market for publicly traded SME instruments.

Finea – a fintech focused on delivery of online factoring solutions to micro and SME companies.

Kekemeke – digitalization of loyalty programs.

Partner HUB – an e-invoicing platform that can be integrated into internet banking systems.

QuickCash – a platform that evaluates SME Business Performance & Credit Risk and defines the threshold for SME credit with full automation, within 15 minutes and online.

Zweryfikujfirme.pl – automatic analysis of financial data from SAF-T.

During the Pitching Session in RBL_ (Warsaw, October 29, 2018)

Day two of the conference on October 30 started with a panel discussion of Digital Strategies in SME Banking and the Agile way of working. Charles-Alexandre Gamba (ITDC BC) raised the question in his presentation on what was stopping banks from proceeding with digital transformation, and the answers came during the discussion panel. Adam Walendziewski presented the Agile way of working within ING Bank Śląski along with the steps taken by the bank, what still needs to be done, and what it takes for a bank to become an agile organization. John Mark Williams (Agile Business Consortium) moderated the discussion panel and raised the topic of, among other, the main driving factor behind digital transformation within banks, given that many banks continue to bring in profit despite still using old legacy systems and not undergoing digital transformation. He also raised the question of whether digital transformation and adopting the Agile way of working happen simultaneously.

During the discussion panel. Left to right: Adam Walendziewski (ING Bank Śląski), Charles-Alexandre Gamba (ITDC BC), John Mark Williams (Agile Business Consortium)

Anna Glazunova (Livespace) and with Marya Dylets (Alfa Bank Belarus) presented a business case study on the implementation of a CRM within Alfa Bank Belarus.

Left to right: Anna Glazunova (Livespace), Marya Dylets (Alfa Bank Belarus)

During the next panel – Innovations in Daily Banking – Adam Walendziewski presented ING Business – an omnichannel platform for SME & Corporate customers that provides a single access point for all banking and non-banking products. Agnieszka Piróg and Patrycja Leszek-Królikowska (Ailleron) talked about Customer digital experience in business banking and showed how a digital platform can fit different segments and cater to the needs of SME customers. Lisa Schmid (Raisin) showed how banks can digitalize deposit products for SMEs and how Raisin is doing that.

Tomasz Jakubczyk (BOŚ Bank) moderated the discussion panel.

During the discussion panel. Left to right: Lisa Schmid (Raisin), Adam Walendziewski (ING Bank Śląski), Patrycja Leszek-Królikowska (Ailleron), Agnieszka Piróg (Ailleron), Tomasz Jakubczyk (BOŚ Bank)

Marta Mroz-Sipiora and Marcin Kwilosz from Asseco Poland presented Digi Trade – new solution that helps digitize Trade Finance products for SME customers.

Marta Mroz-Sipiora and Marcin Kwilosz (Asseco Poland) during their presentation

During the Digitalization of SME Finance Panel, representatives of online lender (iwoca), traditional bank (Raiffeisenbank CZ) and management consulting company (PwC Polska) discussed the automation of SME lending. John Mark Williams (Agile Business Consortium) moderated the discussion panel and discussed, among other topics, the usage of data and data analytics in banks’ business decisions and when assessing risks related to lending to SMEs.

During the discussion panel. Left to right: Adam Spławski (PwC Polska), Tomas Nemcik (Raiffeisenbank CZ), Mariusz Zabrocki (iwoca Poland), John Mark Williams (Agile Business Consortium)

Discussion during the panel on Creating an SME Banking Ecosystem, which was kicked off by a presentation by Bartosz Witorzeńć from Idea Bank (Poland), focused on the creation of ecosystems of services that go beyond core banking, thanks to which banks hope to acquire new sources of profit and (equally important) deep customer relationships, and become important partners for small businesses. Łukasz Bystrzyński (CashDirector) gave a presentation on Automated Accounting solutions as an element of SME Banking Ecosystems. In cooperation with mBank, CashDirector launched the first automated accounting solution on the Polish market for SMEs – mAccounting. Krzysztof Pulkiewicz from banqUP showed how a bank can provide more tailored solutions to SMEs and help them run their businesses more efficiently by using BFM tools.

During the discussion panel. Left to right: Bartosz Witorzeńć (Idea Bank), Łukasz Bystrzyński (CashDirector), Krzysztof Pulkiewicz (banqUP)

This year a separate panel was devoted to Agri Banking in order to discuss how banks can approach and finance farmers in the new digital reality, what the relationship model and the main challenges are when working with this customer segment. During this panel, entitled “Agricultural Finance: Trends, Digital Technologies and Challenges”, Bartosz Urbaniak (Head of Food & Agri Banking at BNP Paribas Group for CEE and Africa) talked about the main trends and challenges for farmers in the region.

Bartosz Urbaniak (BNP Paribas Group) during his presentation

Leasing is particularly advantageous for small and medium-sized businesses that do not have a lengthy credit history or a significant asset base for collateral. The topic on leasing as a primary source of investment financing for agricultural customers was presented by Tomasz Sudaj (Santander Leasing Polska).

Tomasz Sudaj (Santander Leasing Polska) during his presentation

Matija Zulj (Agrivi) presented the benefits of the FMS solution and how it can be useful for banks. Andrey Gidulyan (SME Banking Club) hosted the discussion panel.

Left to right: Matija Zulj (Agrivi), Andrey Gidulyan (SME Banking Club)

The panel on SME Risk Management was preceded by a presentation on CEE Economic outlook by Grzegorz Sielewicz (coface).

Grzegorz Sielewicz (coface)

Alexander Beresford (Finiata) and Daniel Huszár (efcom) talked about automation of factoring services for SMEs in terms of risk, how to use data in automation of decision making, how to define which customers to onboard and which to reject, and how to do it quickly.

Alexander Beresford (Finiata)
Daniel Huszár (efcom)


Asseco Poland is the largest Polish IT company listed on the Warsaw Stock Exchange. It has been developing technologically advanced software solutions for all key sectors of the economy for more than 25 years. More details at https://pl.asseco.com/.

Marta Mroz-Sipiora and Marcin Kwilosz – Asseco Poland

Ailleron creates digital technologies that change the relations of companies with millions of their customers. More details at http://ailleron.com/.

Left to right: Remigiusz Wrażeń, Agnieszka Piróg, Patrycja Leszek-Królikowska – Ailleron

SETCCE. Executing any financial transaction has never been easier thanks to the SETCCE e-signature solution. More details at https://www.setcce.com/.

Boštjan Šušteršič – SETCCE

See more photos on our Flickr page.

Join us during the next edition in 2019!

More details will be available at www.smebanking.events