For participation in the ceremony of the award, where I was honoured to be a member of the jury, and presentation in the conference, last week, I visited Hong Kong. The venue, Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre is vibrant as always. There were three big events around the same time.
The event, CARTES Asia is the leading smart technologies event in Asia Pacific. CARTES Asia has brought together innovative solution providers and market leaders from the card manufacturing, payment, security, identification and mobility industries. Some 3,000+ visitors in the banking, telecom, transportation and security sectors have a unique opportunity, not only to discover international exhibitors’ innovative technologies, but also to enhance their knowledge through the conferences and round-tables, which present the latest trends. I gave a presentation for the Cards & Payments session entitled "Payment Systems Trends in Japan."
The Asian SESAMES Awards aim to reward the most innovative technological applications developed for the Asian Pacific market in the field of smart cards, digital security, identification, secure transactions, and contactless technology. The Awards reward the best projects in 3 categories: Advanced Payment and Mobile Money; Card manufacturing & Personalization; and Secure Identity. As a juror, I evaluated the submissions independently and impartially.
Through the examination of this award, innovation, was proved to happen in places where new markets and new technology meet. Award winners all developed the frontiers of both technology and market. And the priority in technology and market was SoLoMo (Social, Local, and Mobile) once again. We are in the midst of ongoing technological changes and evolution, i.e. a new payment industrial revolution in this SoLoMo era.
About CARTES Asia: http://www.cartes-asia.com/
In Singapore we had representation from the entire financial services spectrum—banks, credit cards, insurers, capital markets firms and exchanges. We presented some of Celent’s recent thinking on innovation, much of it from our new innovation survey. But the main event was a peer discussion between the participants themselves.
It was one of the more lively discussions I’ve seen. We set aside two hours for the peer discussion, and it went by in a flash. Participants jostled to get their say in, and the session ended with the feeling that it could have gone several hours more. I think one of the keys was that there were a lot of different types in the room: the abovementioned full spectrum of FIs, from both the business and IT side, and even from compliance.
Everyone was naturally interested in how their “colleagues across the aisles” looked at innovation, how far each had come in achieving it, and what their technology, operational and cultural approaches were—or were not. Participants brimmed with on-the-spot case studies of initiatives at their firms. This was also refreshingly unusual, since firms are often reticent to divulge competitive information and “secret sauces.”
I think the reason for this relatively high level of enthusiasm lies in the industry’s realization that innovation is crucial to long-term success–and considering the rapidly expanding number of disintermediators, and the remarkable success of some of them, maybe even needed for short-term survival.