James Sène: “Banks will disappear in ten years”
The second presentation of Fintech Talks focused on fintech trends. The founder and president of 11Onze, James Sène, talked about how neobanks are leading the financial revolution and ousting traditional banking. Agent 11Onze Xavi Viñolas tells us how the day went in La Plaça.
The idyllic sunset from the Monday coworking, located on the west side of the Port of Barcelona, marked the start of the second Fintech Talks organised by 11Onze. The cameras have been set up and the 50 chairs have taken the place of the ping-pong table, the anti-stress puffs, and the tantra chair. Monday’s staff are all set. James Sène, president of 11Onze, Gemma Vallet, CMO of 11Onze, and Xavi Bassons, CEO of Monday, prepare for the presentation as the room fills up. The event has sold out.
The conference begins with three key questions: Are neobanks a real threat to traditional banking? What will customer service be like with the digitalisation of banking? What is our opinion of community banking? The barrage of questions continues with the audience. “Where is the fintech ecosystem at?”, “Are we pioneers?”, “When will this transition take place?” ask the audience.
The table is gone, but the dialectic ping-pong between Sène and the audience gradually increases in pace. When asked about the paradigm shift that fintech may represent, and how states will adapt to digital money, the president of 11Onze replies that it is already happening, that physical money will soon disappear, that digital money such as the e-dollar and its equivalents in China or Sweden, with blockchain technology, are already in the testing phase or coming into operation.
In turn, Bassons asks how we can explain this change to a society that understands what physical money is, but finds it difficult to assimilate digital money. Sène says that, in fact, we have already been using digital money for years when we receive our salaries or pay with cards: “Everything is done digitally and cash only represents 0.3% or 0.5%. The economy needs a ‘reset’, and this can only be done with a digitised economy”.
Other participants question the usefulness of traditional banks as financial intermediaries and Sène explains how open banking has facilitated the entry of new players into the market, fintechs such as 11Onze, which introduce “a very clear message, a very polished service, and at a fraction of the cost of traditional banking“. And he makes a prediction: “For me, banks are finished and will disappear in ten years”.
It is well into the evening and the formal talk comes to an end, but the conversation continues between the speaker and the audience. One guy wants to know to what extent governments will be able to regulate and control cryptocurrencies, others comment on the future of decentralised finance. 11Onze’s fincom has become a reality: an increasing number of people learning from people, motivated by similar values, where financial education has to be at the centre. Soon, you will be able to watch the full talk at La Plaça.
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