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Speakers’ top picks for BAI Beacon 2017

Sep 11, 2017 / Consumer Banking

With more than 70 sessions spanning eight stages, BAI Beacon is so packed with content it can prove a challenge to decide which speakers and topics you should plan to attend.

So, we asked the speakers themselves who they most look forward to hearing speak at the event. With the Oct. 4-5 conference just weeks away, here’s hoping this helps you plan your agenda.

Matteo Rizzi, co-founder of FintechStage
Opening Up Banking Platforms; A.I., Bots and Machine Learning … Oh My! and Where are We With Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies? (moderator)

  • Ruth Polachek, speaking on artificial intelligence applied to accounting for small-to-medium sized enterprises (SMEs): “You can’t get more concrete than this.”
  • Clive Mitchell (RailsBank), speaking on banking application program interfaces: “Fast forward into the integration infrastructure of startups and incumbents.”
  • Maya Zehavi, speaking on “zero knowledge proof”—letting another party know that a message is true without conveying any additional information—applied to lifecycle management and quality and credit control: “What they did in the airlines space makes distributed ledger technology extremely compelling.”

Jim Marous, owner and publisher of the Digital Banking Report
Releasing the report A.I.–The Next Frontier in Customer Experience

“There are so many people at BAI Beacon I’ve known professionally for years that trying to select any specific speaker is daunting. I definitely won’t want to miss Matteo Rizzi and the other speakers assembled by FinTechStage; however, Matteo is one of the best in our business.”

Ruth Polachek, CEO and co-founder of FinCheck.com
Personalizing Products and Marketing: A.I. and Chatbots andLeveraging A.I. for Efficiencies in Payments

“I’m looking forward to hearing Lazaro Campos‘ session, “RegTech: What’s on the Horizon,” in addition to his AI and chatbots panel, along with Matt Gamser on ‘de-risking’ small businesses. The intersection of these three lies at the heart of what we’re focusing on. Utilizing advanced tools such as artificial intelligence to solve the real, back-end problems SMEs face is one of the biggest opportunities in FinTech.

“I am also extremely excited to hear Matteo Rizzi and Maya Zehavi on cryptocurrencies and on blockchain, which is a parallel new world revolutionizing finance.”

Blair Cohen, founder and CEO of authenticID
Next Generation of Customer Authentication

“I’m interested in hearing Cherian Abraham and Pat Phelan‘s take on authentication, Bianca Lopes on where biometric authentication is heading, and I have great interest in everything blockchain, specifically Tatiana Moroz from Tatiana Coin.”

Ed O’Brien, EVP, research and strategy, with ath Power Consulting
What Do Small Businesses Want in a Banking Partner: More Touch or More Technology?

“I’m quite interested in hearing Crystal Washington‘s observations about the transition from product-centric to customer-centric banking strategies. I’m also interested in her observations and suggestions about building stronger digital relationships and customer experiences.”

Douglas Nielson, SVP, innovation research and development at US Bank
Leveraging Internet of Things (IoT) and Connected Payments and Should FinTech be Regulated?

“I’m looking forward to hearing Scott Robinson from Plug and Play. He has a finger on the pulse of what’s hot and emerging among Fintech startups.”

Sam Kilmer, senior director at Cornerstone Advisors
Measuring Sales Productivity & Performance to Drive the Right Outcomes

“I’m looking forward to seeing: Patty McCord because she’s talking about talent/people and competing for it; Matteo Rizzi because his FinTech stage last year was a highlight of the conference and his topic of Opening Up Banking Platforms is one my Cornerstone colleague Ron Shevlin has dug into quite a bit; and Tom Hoscheidt because I’ve known Tom for a long time as someone who always has something insightful to say. He’s talking about a hot topic with our clients: business banking.”

Mic Farris, decision science and analytics leader at CenturyLink
Streamlining Compliance and Risk Management: Maximizing Data Quality, Analytics and Reporting

“Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a hot trending topic, and its impact on the financial services industry could be profound. I’m very interested to hear Bianca Lopes from BioConnect and Ruth Polachek from FinCheck.com on where they see AI helping in the customer identity and payments space.”

Steven Ramirez, CEO of Beyond the Arc
Influencer Marketing: Taking Advantage of Personal Brands

“I’m looking forward to Deva Annamalai talk about the future of connected payments. The idea that you’d take out a card to pay, or in fact actually do anything, will soon be a thing of the past. Payments will be embedded, and when it comes to the way you pay, you’ll set it and forget it.”

Ryan Falvey, managing director of the Financial Solutions Lab at the Center for Financial Services Innovation
Payments Innovation: Winning the Battle for the Underserved

“I’m excited to hear from JoAnn Barefoot, one of the country’s most thoughtful leaders, on how technology empowers regulators to move the financial services industry forward. I’m also stoked to hear from Alex Acree of Fenway Summer, one of the most insightful investors in FinTech!”

Rocky Scopelliti, global industry executive at Telstra Corporation
Mobile Payments: Serving Millennials’ Needs

“I’m looking forward to David Robertson. Innovation performance difference between institutions that have comparable models and histories can be explained by their cultural transformations. So, I’m looking forward to hearing David present on key insights from organizations that have made this cultural change.”

Tom McDermott, managing partner at INVER Consulting Group
Creating Digital Ambassadors to Drive Sales

  • David Robertson: “Interested to hear his approach to innovation, go small to win big. I believe this is the right approach to ensure organizational adoption.”
  • Stephen Griffin: “Regions has been doing a lot with new branch formats and I’m looking forward to hear what they have found with implementing or testing new designs.”
  • Dawn Morris: “I love hearing directly from the CMO on how they plan to leverage digital and how it aligns with the branch network.”

Kristin Schwartz, VP and GM, financial solutions, iStream Financial Services 
The Crossroads of FinTech Innovation and Regulatory Risk

  • Patty McCord: “New ideas from the culture at Netflix.”
  • Sam Maule: “Internally at iStream, AI has been an area of focus and I’m interested to hear Sam’s interpretation of what is going on today as well as tomorrow.”

Eran Livneh, VP Marketing at Personetics Technologies
Personalized Marketing: A.I. and Chatbots Anyone?

“AI is a hot topic and for a good reason. I’m looking forward to hearing BAI CEO Debbie Bianucci, Jim Marous, and all the other speakers that will explore how AI will change the banking customer experience.”


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Jay Palter is the chief engagement officer at Jay Palter Social Advisory, based in Calgary.