Week 5 - Short week Boost(ed) by AWS.

Through the HUB, we got to go out! Tucked away at London’s ExCel was the Amazon Web Services conference on artificial intelligence and the first day about start-ups.

An excellent introduction into Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Deep Learning placed a context for some great presentations.

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I think it is fair to say that the digital revolution and social (media) trends focus effort on gaining competitive advantage using the Information Domain to provide better customer services and improve decision making in supply of services

One such capability gave a presentation at AWS: Babylon the medical appointments system which works with a clever chat-box to do triage.


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Babylon believes it is possible to put an accessible and affordable health service in the hands of every person on earth.

How? By combining the ever-growing computing power of machines with the best medical expertise of humans to creat

e a comprehensive, immediate and personalised health service and making it universally available.

Excellent concept where medical access is restricted but in UK could create a level of expectation which the NHS is not able to service referrals but, it could help reduce the friction and perhaps better manage trivial complaints - the ‘I have a right to see a doctor when I want’ approach.


Flurry in Fintech?

In other areas, some of the potential claimed by ‘solutions’ is less clear. The ‘flurry’ of FinTech businesses is dwindling as the big banks and insurers sponsor, adopt or create their own solutions.

Payment Initiation Service Provider (PISP) someone who you authorise to start a payments chain on your behalf that connects, for instance, the website of the seller or merchant with the online banking platform of the payer’s bank, so payment transfer can be enacted and completed.

Account Information Service Provider (AISP) are solutions that provide consumers and companies a 360-degree view of their finances through access to customer transaction history and (multiple) account details.

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Effectively when applied together (in one or more businesses) these are pseudo-front offices for banks and the ultimate provided and risk owner would be transparent to the customer. They seek to deploy appealing apps and convenience, but they may just dilute the value chain in an already tight ‘race to the bottom’ with narrowing margins. For banking they look like insurance intermediaries and the insurance industry is focussed on removing intermediaries to restore the value chain and for compliance issues.


As TSB may have found, moving to a new IT platform carries risk! Legacy upgrades and modular add-ons increase stress to transactional platforms which will, one day, fall over; yet the risk of upgrading a platform can be damaging – even more so under GDPR. 

However, there are real benefits in addressing some core problems customers face with cloud and distributed technologies, real-time resolutions (Bloch Chain) and decisions. 


What do we think?

Modern platforms increase intelligent automation and reduce overheads which should allow better value and service to customers or, more likely, higher margins to providers.

 

But, there is soooo.. much more going on out there in tech rather than finance. Getting back to the stars of the Boost Hub:

 

Big shout out to Kwame from Laundry Check, has also had further competition success! Kwame won young entrepreneur of the year after going through a dragons den style pitch, start-up boot-camp and then a panel of judges, resulting in winning 10k of investment. Great news and great work! 

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Thanks NatWest ;-), it is fantastic to be surrounded by so many talented people starting their own businesses.

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