Tuesday,21 May 2024

Emmanuel Daniel: “We are coming to the end of the platform era”

5 min read

By Emmanuel Daniel

At Seamless Middle East 2023 in Dubai, Emmanuel Daniel discussed the ongoing transformation of the financial landscape, how the consumer will drive the personalisation of finance, and if platforms and smart phones have a future in banking

Daniel outlined three central themes in digital banking: the personalisation of finance, the shift from platforms to personalisation, and the idea of the mass amateurisation of finance. He explained that personalisation goes far beyond tailoring products to customers’ preferences, and that it can be achieved without intermediaries. Daniel is the author of the book The Great Transition: The Personalization of Finance is Here

The rise of cryptocurrencies and stablecoins already enables direct transactions between individuals without intermediaries, he pointed out, signaling a growing inclination towards personalisation.

He emphasised four key elements necessary for personalisation: identity, value, verification, and data, where technology advancements have already addressed these aspects with digital identity systems, value tokenisation and network-based verifications.

End of the platform era

Reflecting on the trend of digital banks on platforms, Daniel said: “We are coming to the end of the platform era.” He urged industry players to embrace personalisation and leverage technology to encourage direct and personalised interactions with users, making finance more user-centric.

He observed that the world is on the verge of a post-mobile era, where even mobile devices will no longer be the sole repositories of information, identity, and value, and that the internet of things (IoT) and the metaverse are set to affect the landscape, requiring adaptation from financial players.

He ventured into the subject of financial inclusion saying: “Financial inclusion is a lie.” Onboarding millions of users to platforms will not democratise finance, he argued, saying that if the intention is to monetise the poor, platforms are not fulfilling their role in the concept of inclusion. He stressed the need to acknowledge digital-asset access as a human right, on par with water and air.

Mass amateurisation of finance and missed opportunities

Daniel applied the idea of mass amateurisation to finance, where end-users define and create the products they use, and highlights a missed opportunity in banking with the use of application programming interface (API)—while Microsoft and Adobe embraced their user communities in defining platform usage, banks remain closed off, treating API developers as mere suppliers.

The blockchain world, on the other hand, empowers users to build their own API, a significant leap that traditional banks have been slow to take. Cryptocurrencies provide the freedom to design and create individual digital assets.

Daniel emphasised the need for financial players to adapt and embrace personalisation and blockchain technologies. Where finance meets customer-driven innovation, the future holds possibilities for a more personalised and democratised financial landscape.

Keywords: Platform, Cryptocurrencies, Blockchain, Data, Financial Inclusion, Internet Of Things, Stablecoins, Financial Technology
People : Emmanuel Daniel
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