For the fifth time, SME Banking Club gathered SME Bankers in Warsaw (Poland) at the CEE SME Banking Conference 2019, which was held on October 21-22 and devoted to financial services for SMEs in that region (#CEE19).

90 attendees from 20 countries took part in this year’s conference.

Olena Gryniuk (CEE Regional Director at the SME Banking Club) opened the Day.

Day one of the conference on October 21 was held in the RBL_ Space – Alior Bank’s accelerator launched last autumn (Read more here).

Kamila Wincenciak (Head of FinTech Partnerships at Alior Bank at Alior Bank)

Kamila Wincenciak (Head of FinTech Partnerships at Alior Bank) and Konrad Radzik (Coordinator of the 2d edition of RBL_START Accelerator Program) presented RBL_ and hosted the sessions during the day.

The very first Panel of the Conference was devoted to the topic of Open Banking and moving to the real open banking mindset. Bartosz Sawicki (The Heart Warsaw) stressed the open banking is a trend, having many aspects to it, and financial companies will have to enter the sharing economy to provide more value to their customers and feed banks’ channels with more VAS services.

Bartosz Sawicki (The Heart Warsaw) during the CEE SME Banking Club Conference 2019 (Warsaw, October 21)

Krzysztof Grzeszczuk (Open Banking Director at Alior Bank) shared how they in Alior Bank are going further with the Open Banking then PSD2 regulations.

Krzysztof Grzeszczuk (Open Banking Director at Alior Bank) during the CEE SME Banking Club Conference 2019 (Warsaw, October 21)

Alior Bank was one of the first banks in Poland that got a license as a Third Party-Provider. Bank will be translating its services to APIs and giving access to them on commercial terms. And also, wide variety of APIs will help to integrate more services with FinTech partners and in a such a way to give more value to bank’s customers.

Sergey Kravchenko (System Technologies) shared their experience and a case study on how to increase lending for SME e-com business by using APIs.

Sergey Kravchenko (System Technologies) during the CEE SME Banking Club Conference 2019 (Warsaw, October 21)

Magdalena Pośnik and Konrad Szermanowicz from BNP Paribas Polska shared their Academy PSD2 project launched this year in the Bank.

Magdalena Pośnik and Konrad Szermanowicz (BNP Paribas Polska) during the CEE SME Banking Club Conference 2019 (Warsaw, October 21)

Boyan Byanov presented how Raisin is providing Banking-as-a-Service.

Boyan Byanov (CEE Director at Raisin) during the CEE SME Banking Club Conference 2019 (Warsaw, October 21)
Open Banking Panel hosted by Kamila Wincenciak (Alior Bank) during the CEE SME Banking Club Conference 2019 (Warsaw, October 21)
Konrad Radzik (Coordinator of the 2d edition of RBL_START Accelerator Program at Alior Bank) hosted a FinTech Pitching Session

Seven FinTechs presented their solutions for SME customers:

AdEmotion – AI & Psychology Driven Platform for automation of the digital marketing. AdEmotion is one of the participants in the ongoing 2d Edition of the Accelerator Program RBL_START at Alior Bank (Poland)

Katharina Arnold Rokita presenting AdEmotion at the CEE SME Banking Club Conference 2019 (Warsaw, October 21)

Dateio – Card-linked marketing and data enrichment that give insights and payment overviews per each merchant. And additionally, what is valuable for SMEs – performance within micro location or business benchmarking.

Ivan Dovica presenting Dateio at the CEE SME Banking Club Conference 2019 (Warsaw, October 21)

Ebury – B2B global transaction banking. Simple transactional banking for SMEs: FX, Cash Management, Trade Finance.

Jakub Makurat presenting Ebury at the CEE SME Banking Club Conference 2019 (Warsaw, October 21)

Hiveterminal – Blockchain-based Invoice Financing Platform

Domen Ursic presenting Hiveterminal at the CEE SME Banking Club Conference 2019 (Warsaw, October 21)

Mobiltek – BLIK SoftTerminal: Easy to implement alternative for cash payments.

Mariusz Topór presenting Mobiltek at the CEE SME Banking Club Conference 2019 (Warsaw, October 21)

Upswot – SMB Dashboard and Paperless application onboarding.

Dmytro Syvolap presenting Upswot at the CEE SME Banking Club Conference 2019 (Warsaw, October 21)

Mobiltek and Upswot are also the participants in the ongoing 2d Edition of the Accelerator Program RBL_START at Alior Bank (Poland).

Vintom – Personalised video for financial services companies.

Gareth Davies presenting Vintom at the CEE SME Banking Club Conference 2019 (Warsaw, October 21)

To end the day full of insights and useful content, an SME Banking Party were held in the STIXX restaurant.

Day 2 on October 22 took place in the Heart Warsaw – a Hub for corporate& startups collaboration on the whole CEE region.

The first Panel of the day was moderated by John Mark Williams (Agile Business Consortium) and was devoted to the topic on how to take innovations to the next level in the organizations.

During the “How do you take innovations to the next level?” Panel. From left to right: John Mark Williams (Agile Business Consortium), Tomasz Sudaj (Benefactor Consulting), Olena Gryniuk (SME Banking Club), Paweł Jaszewski (BNP Paribas Polska), Kam Chana (Temenos), Tomasz Rudolf (The Heart).

What we heard in the Panel is that culture in the organizations can be an internal barrier to the innovations if the culture is wrong. And the definition for the innovations for businesses is the profitable application of new ideas. If we’re prepared to think that widely all the things discussed during the Panel – the culture, technology, people’s behavior, and the mindset – all of that should have permission in the corporation to make the innovation part of how that corporation behaves.

John Mark Williams (CEO at Agile Business Consortium) during the CEE SME Banking Club Conference 2019 (Warsaw, October 22)

As in each marketplace and natural environmental ecosystem, things are born, grown, and die. Corporations should accept their right to failure. There is no difference between the corporations in that environment. “The idea for the corporate “that the project should be started and never allowed to die” is a bit public sector approach, and that’s not a private-sector approach. We expect governments and civil servants to behave like that, but we don’t expect corporations to behave like that” – John Mark Williams.

Next topic that sparked the discussion was the SME Finance: solution that works for SME customers.

Michał Tusznio presented One Digital Financing Process that they launched at ING Bank Śląski, which covers all financial products: lending, factoring, leasing, trade finance. Bank started their digital transformation in SME finance in 2008 with the eliminating paper from the process.

Michał Tusznio (ING Bank Śląski) during the CEE SME Banking Club Conference 2019 (Warsaw, October 22)

After that year of 2011 started a digital era in the Bank as new e-banking services & internet credit requests were implemented to SME customers. In 2014 Bank implemented electronic agreements & covenants in 2016 – preapproved limits and e-guarantees. In 2018 Bank launched an online credit process& decision per product. And now, Bank is moving to the Digital Era to maximize the usage of the whole available data on customers and prospects.

Christian Ruehmer presented Q-Lana – Knowledge-based lending system, which is built around several tools and concepts to support the various stages of lending processes with clients. Those concepts enable the bank to service clients better while minimizing risk exposure: Client Business Planning, Loan Application, Recommendation& Approval, Disbursement, Monitoring & Collection.

Daniel Huszár (efcom) talled about how AI works and how to apply it to SME finance, giving efcom’s risk module as an example, which enables to tell whether an invoice is fake by using several pattern recognition parameters, such as Benford or whether the invoice date is on a weekend, etc. This works very well, but these patterns are still based on human experience, namely of risk and asset managers. A true paradigm shift in this space would use machine learning / deep learning to find new patterns and will teach us new things about our data by making these unknown connections.

If this works, it will big a big deal for SME finance, because we will have a better understanding about risk in general, which will give the possibility to automate and scale the business.

Watch Daniel’s presentation below

Auke Douwe Veenstra presented an example of Hybrid Lending for SMEs with the case of the joint implementation with Rabobank and PtP platform Nxchange in the Netherlands.

Auke Douwe Veenstra (Cloudlending at Q2) during the CEE SME Banking Club Conference 2019 (Warsaw, October 22)

The main takeaways from Auke’s presentation on that case are:

  • Hybrid lending is a serious option to manage the Basel impact
  • Their recommendation is to invest in a single platform rather than PtP. Although each bank should learn from their own experience
  • Manage both flows on the platform; deals from SMEs and investors
  • Start fast/small for the learning experience.

Michał Pawlik (SMEO) moderated the Panel Discussion on SME Finance that had several threads: the threat from GAFA and Chinese big techs and how banks in the region are answering that; possibility and expediency of usage blockchain in financing SMEs; is hybrid lending is relevant and possible to implement in the CEE region, regulations, fintechs and how banks can survive in all of that and continue to be competitive in financing SMEs.

During the “SME finance PAnel” Panel. From left to right: Michał Pawlik (SMEO), Christian Ruehmer (Q-Lana), Daniel Huszár (efcom), Auke Douwe Veenstra (Cloudlending at Q2), Michał Tusznio (ING Bank Śląski)

The main points about the Session devoted to the Digitalization of sales to SMEs are that banks and fintechs are targeting 80% of their sales to micro customers to be digitalized, while for upper SME segment RMs remain the primary sales channel but with digital tools in their hands.

During the Digitalization of Sales Discussion Panel. From left to right: Olena Gryniuk (SME Banking Club), Piotr Suchodolski (SMEO), Adam Jano (Budapest Bank), Paweł Łaciński (in4mates)

Adam Jano from Budapest Bank said that they focus on RMs as the main sales channel to the SMEs, but by giving them a CRM system with advanced analytics per each customer (custom-built management information) that helps RMs be more effective in sales. Bank is usually in the top two positions in the market in the number of new SME client acquisitions and in the past couple of years Budapest Bank has been continuously increasing its stock of SME loans.

Adam Jano (Budapest Bank) during the CEE SME Banking Club Conference 2019 (Warsaw, October 22)

Piotr Suchodolski told how they sell factoring services to micro and small companies via online channels. SMEO’s online marketing strategy is based on multi-channel attribution modeling. Planning and distribution of the marketing budget are based on analytics and data from DCM, GA, Synerise (AI-Driven GOS), and supported by mathematical models using Markov chains and BigData.

Piotr Suchodolski (SMEO) during the CEE SME Banking Club Conference 2019 (Warsaw, October 22)

Paweł Łaciński shared their experience at in4mates in automation of sales for SME customers, allowing if not to automate 100% (depends on Bank’s targets, of course), but significantly decrease the time of customer onboarding and processing in the banks (as an example that Paweł mentioned – 2-3 days semi-manual process can be done in 30 min if automated).

Paweł Łaciński (in4mates) during the CEE SME Banking Club Conference 2019 (Warsaw, October 22)

Charles-Alexandre Gamba (ITDS) raised a topic of Mobility-as-a-Service and Car-as-a-Service (CaaS) model, and challenges in automotive finance. The behavior of consumers tends to change from ownership to usership, and the subscription economy in Europe is growing 350 mln EUR per year. I-want-it-now (IWIN) generation of customers demand an immediate response & solving their needs. New companies like Drover and Fair but also vehicles’ producers (Porsche, BMW), are entering the MaaS game.

Charles-Alexandre Gamba (ITDS) during the CEE SME Banking Club Conference 2019 (Warsaw, October 22)

Are banks and leasing companies ready to work in a new way? That was the topic of the discussion during the Panel that gathered representatives from leasing companies from Poland and Romania, and also nonbanking leasing companies.

During the “Are banks and leasing companies enthusiastic about working in the CaaS model? Panel. From left to right: Charles-Alexandre Gamba (ITDS), Oana Stoenescu (Garanti Leasing), Mariusz Włodarczyk (Santander Leasing), Łukasz Domański (Carsmile), Rafał Ostrowski (ING Lease).

What we heard in the Panel is that leasing companies feel the pressure from the consumers to the usage of digital tools when buying/renting a car, and the subscription model is getting more popular within IWIN generation. Rafał Ostrowski suggested that “The mobility will be a service, the ones who’ll provide the easiest and fastest way to get to the place people need in the crowded city will win the market.” And city infrastructure and public transportation are also in that game. Oana Stoenescu pointed on three pillars customers will be attached to time (the fastest solution will win), cost (the cheapest), emotions (as people buy mainly emotionally), which corresponds which MaaS (Mobility-as-a-Service) a lot. But a significant shift in customer behavior will take time, and panelists predict that during next 5, and maybe even 10 years, there will be room for everybody on the market: both MaaS models (concentrated mainly in big cities), fleet management services and traditional leasing models and car ownership.

At the end of the second conference day all attendees were able to take part in the three workshops during the Conference:

Agile in Practice hosted by John Mark Williams (Agile Business Consortium).

During the Agile in Practice Workshop, CEE SME Banking Club Conference 2019 (Warsaw, October 22)

Design Thinking by Maria Cenusa (ICG Integrated Consulting Group).

During the Design Thinking Workshop, CEE SME Banking Club Conference 2019 (Warsaw, October 22)

Ecosystem Roundtable by Katalin Kauzli (Charlie-India) and Maciej Jędrak (Santander Bank Polska).

During the Ecosystem Roundtable, CEE SME Banking Club Conference 2019 (Warsaw, October 22)

We are thankful to our Partners for their support.

See more photos on our Flickr page.

Join us during the next edition in 2020!

Schedule of our upcoming events are available at www.smebanking.events