It has been pleasure being guest author for the DIGIPRAKTIKER, Finanz Colloquium Heidelberg.
What role does the human factor play in times of exponential technological progress?
Author: Jochen Werne, Director Business Development, Product Management, Treasury and Payment Services at Bankhaus August Lenz & Co. AG
The only constant in history was, is and remains change. Gutenberg’s invention of the printing press in 1450 was a milestone on the timeline of human development. Today we still take note of this invention, which was considered an innovation at that time, but we have long lived surrounded by smartphones and cloud applications, in which we can store the most private information and retrieve it from anywhere in the world. Today’s change is being driven by a veritable digital revolution.
Digital change already has fundamental consequences for individuals and their lifestyles, but it is developing its full potential when it comes to interacting with our social environment. In times of smart robotics and maturing systems in relation to artificial intelligence, the question arises again and again what role humans play on the stage of these technologies. Is he …
First published in German at LinkedIn Pulse on July 20, 2019. Please find article and sources in this link. Publication in English language pleas find below
On the role of cash in a modern society between technological progress and freedom
Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoyevsky, one of the most important writers of the 19th century, impressively describes in his works the great existential and spiritual conflicts in which mankind was caught at the dawn of modernity. Not only his observations during the turbulent times of the upheaval of the Russian Empire in the 19th century, but also his personal experiences are an essential part of his work.
At the age of 28 and at the beginning of a promising career as a writer, Dostoevsky was sentenced to four years in a Siberian prison camp. The reason for this was his participation in meetings of the Petraschwezen, an intellectual circle that spoke out against tsarist despotism and serfdom. In his novel, “The House of the Dead”, which also describes Dostoyevsky’s own experiences in Siberian captivity, he formulates the sentence that was later much quoted: “Money is coined liberty”. The sentence describes the vital relevance of the possibility of a free exchange of goods in an unfree environment – and this through coined cash money.
More than 150 years have passed since the first publication of the work. Europe needed to go through the age of Enlightenment, the experiences of two world wars and a long cold war to become a peaceful and very liberal place for its citizens. A place which is putting the dignity and freedom of the individual first.
The freedom in our payment options has also multiplied thanks to technological progress. It is part of our everydays life to pay the morning croissant at the bakery, the new monthly ticket for the subway or even the use of public toilets – even without cash. Technological progress, the smartphone revolution and also our user behaviour made this evolution in payments possible. “Digital payments” have become part of our progressive society. However, the aspect of not having money physically tangible sometimes entails interesting and also unwanted aspects.
Society in upheaval
Like Dostoevsky, we also live in a time of extreme social, economic and political upheaval. An age in which exponential technology developments, industries and business models are changing radically and countries competing for dominance in areas such as artificial intelligence. It is a time when transformation is the new normality and an agile corporate culture is the key to success. In these times, for many it became clear that, “Everything that can be digitized will be digitized.” And thus the question inevitably arises whether this also applies to the first “Instant Payment” solution humans invented, one of the earliest and most sustainable achievements of civilization – cash.
Germans love affair with cash
If we look at Germany, cash is still one of the most popular payment methods and – culturally speaking – will probably remain for quite some time to come. According to a survey by the Bundesbank, 88 percent of German citizens continue to regard cash as their preferred means of payment. This cultural imprint can certainly also be traced back to modern history and the personal experiences of the Germans with their money. Beginning with the traumatic experience of hyperinflation during the Great Depression of 1923 and the resulting deep-rooted German understanding of the importance of a central bank independent from politics.
A painful experience, which states even today – like Venezuela – live through again and again and whose causes are often identical. In Reinhard and Rogoff’s bestseller book “This time is different”, this phenomenon is brilliantly explained using an analysis of 800 years of international economic history.
The positive image of (cash) money in Germany was impressively advanced after the end of the 2nd World War. From the currency reform of 1948 and the beginning of the economic miracle with 40 D-Mark, which every German was allowed to hold physically in his hands, to the 100 D-Mark welcome money at the reunification in 1989. These personal experiences paired with a consistently brillant independent work by the German Bundesbank – which always gave the population the feeling of having a strong, stable and secure own currency – are all German experiences, which were literally “obvious” and shaped the cultural reference of the country and its citizens.
The current freedom of our payment options is certainly good, as long as we consumers are free to decide which means of payment we pay with. Discussions about a possible restriction of citizens’ freedom of choice, for example through the abolition of cash, regularly call on intellectuals to take a warning position. The poet Hans Magnus Enzensberger, for example, has the following opinion on the subject of “restriction”: “Those who abolish cash abolish freedom”. Also former Deutsche Bundesbank board member Carl-Ludwig Thiele said at a conference in 2015: “Abolishing cash would hurt consumer sovereignty — the free choice of citizens about their payment instruments“ and “Government agencies do not have the right to tell citizens how they should pay.”
Having “physical power of disposal” over money, i.e. holding the banknote in one’s hands, immediately establishes a much stronger relationship for the value of something than a number on a display. More than ten years ago, the US scientists Raghubir and Srivastava in their essay for the “Journal if Experimental Psychology: Applied” described that the degree of abstraction often poses a problem when it comes to means of payment. They found a correlation between the indebtedness of individuals and the use of credit cards.
In Germany, the trend towards digital payment became apparent for the first time last year. In this period consumers in the stationary retail sector spent more money on checking and credit cards than in cash, as the trade research institute EHI recently announced.
However, this does not mean that customers will soon only pay by card or smartphone, the experts emphasized at the same time. Three-quarters of all retail purchases continue to be settled in cash. When it comes to the highly sensitive issue of “money”, many consumers continue to find it difficult to trust the comprehensive healing promises of an omnipresent digital world.
In order to ensure that cash and book money continue to be equally available, the players involved in the cash cycle, such as CIT companies like Prosegur, ATM operators like IC-Cash, banks like Bankhaus August Lenz et al., are working concentrated to make the provision of cash at all locations even more efficient and cost-effective. Both the providers of cash solutions and those of digital solutions experiment therefore with the latest blockchain and AI technologies to reach the before mentioned goals.
Technological vulnerability and fall-back option
Especially in extreme scenarios, such as catastrophes or other failures of a digital infrastructure due to cyberattacks, natural events or simply technical failure, it becomes clear how cash – by its very nature – proves to be actually the most robust payment method. Ultimately, it is not tied to electricity, digital infrastructures, passwords or other technical features – it is simply available. An interesting recent anecdote occurred in Sweden, which is one of the most advanced countries in cashless payment. A country where even the traditional church collection is now equipped with a card reader. At the Bråvalla music festival 2014, for example, the memory chips on the admission tickets went on strike. Thousands of thirsty fans sat on dry land and had to write out promissory notes for their drinks by hand. An experience that can be observed again and again when paying at the checkout, when the magnetic stripe of a card or simply the card reader does not work and the views of the people standing around in the queue are impatiently looking at the payer and trying to catch a glimpse of the name on the card of the supposedly non-solvent unlucky fellow.
Data Protection Best Practice
In an interview with Rheinische Post in February 2017, Klaus Müller, head of the Federal Association of Consumer Groups (Bundesverband der Verbraucherzentralen), said “Cash is data protection in practice”. He added: “Unbarred figures leave traces of data that can be used commercially to create a consumer profile. This data may be illegally “fished” by third parties.” Now Müller points to nothing new here and opponents of cash, use the argumentation to underline that the supposed anonymity of cash can be used for illegal business and transactions and that the suppression of cash stands above the protection of privacy. But since the first publication of the interview, the introduction of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the recently imposed $5 billion fine against Facebook for the Cambridge Analytica scandal and similar events, the sensitivity of the European population with regard to data protection and privacy has grown substantially.
In the closing sentence of his speech at the Cash Symposium 2018 of the Deutsche Bundesbank, the former judge of the German Federal Constitutional Court, Prof. Dr. Udo Di Fabio, underlined the probably most important point in the current discussion about cash. He said that in principle it is “not to be underestimated” that every citizen has the souvereignity of the free disposal of his money – of his personal “exchangeable assets”. He further added that this is particularly true when “financial privacy” is considered legally imperative. In other words, a society whose entire assets would be managed in digital form only, could also exercise only limited individual control over its money and would have to ask itself, “whether the state would be entitled via its central bank to carry out a controlled devaluation through negative interest rates, accounting discounts or fees on credit balances”. Prof. Di Fabio further points out that this would then not only be a property encroachment, but as a result possibly also the imposition of a special levy, which is permitted in the German legal system only under narrow conditions.
For young Fjodor Mikhailovich Dostoyevsky the conversion to book money in the Siberian prison would have meant the withdrawal of his individual sovereignity over money, so that he would not have had any more the fortune of using cash for the exchange of goods and other things. He describes the quintessence of this situation as follows: The suffering of prisoners who don’t have money is 10 times greater.
Thus, it is reasonable to assume that the intellectual serious discussions about cash and civil liberty rights would delight Dostoyevsky, with his experiences in an unfree society.
Our open and liberal society is characterised by the fact that we have and continue the discussion about “Coined Liberty 2.0” at this level.
Also in the second part of our interview we do not go directly into the technical aspects of the introduction of artificial intelligence.
Based on the question “How do you get all this under one roof?” we get a look at Jochen’s personal insights and points of view and at how each individual can counter the increasing autonomisation and the change of the working world and society through algorithms with a corresponding attitude.
Jochen Werne is full-time Director & Authorized Officer for Bankhaus August Lenz & Co. AG of the Mediolanum Banking Group and is responsible for Business Development, Marketing, Product Management, Treasury & B2B Payment Services. In addition, he is involved in the development of non-profit organizations and a member of the Learning Systems Platform of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research.
The initiative www.wegofive.net addresses the question of how a unit of man and machine can be created in the working world of tomorrow and how algorithms can be seamlessly integrated into the organization in order to supplement the capabilities of employees.
As an independent interim manager, profile and team coach, Sascha Adam supports people, decision-makers and companies in actively shaping digital change.
More at www.wegofive.net/mission/about or www.sascha-adam.net.
Many thanks to the coast by east Hamburg in the Hafencity Hamburg for the permission to film here. A very recommendable location with obliging service, extraordinary menu and good drinks. Apropos, the background noises also give you the feeling of sitting directly with us 😉
Ein Banker mit einer (KI-)Mission / Teil 2: “Das neue Jetzt – Jeder kann etwas bewegen”
Auch in dem zweiten Teil unseres Interviews gehen wir nicht direkt auf die technischen Aspekte der Einführung von künstlicher Intelligenz ein. Ausgehend von der Frage “Wie bekommst Du das alles unter einen Hut?” bekommen wir einen Blick auf die persönlichen Erkenntnisse und Sichtweisen von Jochen und darauf wie jeder Einzelne mit einer entsprechenden Haltung der zunehmenden Autonomisierung und dem Wandel der Arbeitswelt und der Gesellschaft durch Algorithmen begegnen kann.
Jochen Werne ist hauptberuflich Director & Authorized Officer für das Bankhaus August Lenz & Co. AG der Mediolanum Banking Group und verantwortet dort die Bereiche Business Development, Marketing, Product Management, Treasury & B2B Payment Services. Darüberhinaus ist er am Aufbau gemeinnütziger Organisationen beteiligt und Mitglied der Plattform Lernende Systeme des Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung. Die Initiative www.wegofive.net geht der Frage nach wie in der Arbeitswelt von morgen eine Einheit aus Mensch & Maschine geschaffen werden kann und sich Algorithmen nahtlos in die Organisation integrieren, um die Fähigkeiten der Mitarbeiter zu ergänzen.
Sascha Adam unterstützt als selbstständiger Interimsmanager, Profile- und Team-Coach Menschen, Entscheider und Unternehmen dabei den digitalen Wandel aktiv zu gestalten.
Mehr unter www.wegofive.net/mission/about oder www.sascha-adam.net
Ganz herzlichen Dank an das coast by east Hamburg in der Hafencity Hamburg für die Genehmigung hier filmen zu dürfen. Eine sehr zu empfehlende Location mit zuvorkommender Bedienung, außergewöhnlicher Speisekarte und guten Drinks. Apropos, die Hintergrundgeräusche geben einem auch gleich das Gefühl direkt bei uns zu sitzen 😉
On May 23, ec4u will present innovations and trends for the customer experience and innovative applications for marketing, sales and service together with customers, experts and opinion formers and address the challenges of digital leadership in the midst of (agile) transformation:
How, for example, AI and other innovations can support marketing, sales and service both on the customer side and internally.
How executives can deal with digital change in order to grow with their company.
What communication, organization and culture in agile transformation can and must look like to provide a stable foundation for your business.
“Es is ein besonderes Vergnügen zur Premiere des Messekongresses Kundenmanagement in Versicherungen, mit dem Expertenauditorium über die Zukunft des Versicherungssektors und ‘KundenBEZIEHUNGEN in Zeiten exponentieller Technologie’ zu reflektieren. Gratulation an das Team der Versicherungsforen Leipzig zur Schaffung dieses neuen Konferenzformats”
Jochen Werne, Direktor & Prokurist der Bankhaus August Lenz & Co. AG
2019 öffnet der Messekongress Kundenmanagement in Versicherungen erstmals seine Tore für Sie und Kollegen aus der Versicherungswirtschaft. Dabei fügen sich erfolgreiche Veranstaltungskonzepte der Versicherungsforen Leipzig, zu den The- men Vertriebsmanagement, Beschwerdemanagement, Social Media und Kunden- management, ineinander und formen diese neue Plattform für die Assekuranz.
Als IMPULSGEBER vereint der Messekongress die innovativsten Ideen und Lösun- gen und garantiert Ihnen an zwei Tagen strukturierten Erfahrungsaustausch und maximalen Wissenstransfer zu allen Themen rund um das ganzheitliche Kunden- management. Nutzen Sie das spannende Vortragsprogramm, die vielschichtige Ausstellung und interaktive Formate, um die Themenfelder Kundenmanagement, Beschwerde- und Qualitätsmanagement, Vertriebsmanagement sowie Social Me- dia mit Kollegen aus der Branche zu diskutieren. Wir freuen uns auf Sie!
Wir haben immer weniger Zeit und müssen immer mehr wissen. Da bietet sich digitales “Lernen” statt das Besuchen von Konferenzen an. Aber rein lineare Webinar-Reihen sind irgendwie auch langweilig. Wir wollen mit der Digital Thoughts 2019 die Atmosphäre einer Veranstaltung vor Ort mit den Vorteilen einer digitalen Begegnung vereinen.
Die Digital Thoughts 2019 ist deshalb eine ganztägige, rein virtuelle Konferenz. Ihr Ziel ist, die Einflüsse von Technologien und digitalen Themen auf Unternehmen, Geschäftsmodelle und Märkte zu beleuchten. Dabei betrachten Experten in Interviews, Vorträgen, Use Cases, Podiumsdiskussionen und mehr die Auswirkungen auf die Zusammenarbeit und Organisation, auf neue Geschäftsmodelle und auf das Führungsverhalten.
Die Digital Thoughts 2019 richtet sich an Führungskräfte und Experten in Marketing, Sales und Service und beleuchtet mit Hinblick auf die einzelnen Herausforderungen die Innovationen und Trends für die Customer Experience, Produktivität, Kommunikation sowie innovative Anwendungen im Kundenmanagement.
Am 23. Mai stellen wir gemeinsam mit Kunden, Experten und Meinungsmachern Innovationen und Trends für die Customer Experience und innovative Anwendungen für Marketing, Sales und Service vor und gehen auf die Herausforderungen einer digitalen Führung inmitten einer (agilen) Transformation ein:
Wie zum Beispiel KI und andere Innovationen sowohl auf Kundenseite als auch intern Marketing, Sales und Service unterstützen können.
Wie Führungskräfte mit dem digitalen Wandel umgehen können, um zusammen mit ihrem Unternehmen daran zu wachsen.
Wie Kommunikation, Organisation und Kultur in der agilen Transformation aussehen können und müssen, um eine stabile Grundlage für Ihr Unternehmen zu liefern.
Weitere Veranstaltungsinformationen finden Sie auch unter: https://www.xing.com/communities/groups/digital-thoughts-be58-1108570
What’s next? Expeditionen ins Digitalreich.Technologien, Ongoing Change, Digital Leadership. Jochen Werne, Direktor Marketing & Business Development Bankhaus August Lenz
I like to move IT. Agile Transformation mit, durch und in Beratungsunternehmen. David Laux, CEO ec4u; Mario Pufahl, CSO ec4u; Jens Wilhelms, Manager CEM Swisscom
Entmystifizierung Blockchain: Chancen für die Customer Journey. Erol Jasaroski, Principal Consultant ec4u
Menschenversteher– wie Content dank Künstlicher Intelligenz im richtigen Moment beim Kunden landet. Christian Bahrendt, Head of Business Development Germany Advertima
Effektiv ohne Chef – Mit Holokratie zur Responsiven Organisation. Melanie Vones, Transformator OOTW
Alles im Loop: Customer Connection. Frank Müller, Manager Professional Services ec4u
Von Stroh zu Gold:Wie Sie Kundendaten nutzen, um in Aktion zu treten. Bianca Sünkel, COO cx/omni
Alle für einen, einer für alle:Intelligent Workplace for Sales. Mario Pufahl, CSO ec4u; Vincent Aydin, Messe München
Role of Conversational User Interfacesin CX. Sebastian von Gregory, Solution Architect Oracle; Alexander Varro, CEO 8reasons Digital
How to be a digital leader– Selbstverständnis als Mensch und Führungskraft. Ingo Kallenbach, Inhaber Reflect; Cyrill Luchsinger, Manager CEM Die Schweizerische Post; Céline Flores Willers, Personal Branding
Der Moment der Wahrheit– Volvo und die Customer Journey. Harry Wessling, Manager Professional Services ec4u
Was Sie mitnehmen werden:
Einblicke in spannende Uses Cases neuer Technologien
Erste Ansätze zur Integration von Use Cases in das eigene digitale Geschäftsmodell und die Integration in Ihre Customer Experience
Anreize zur persönlichen Weiterentwicklung als Digital Leader und Erfahrungsaustausch mit anderen Teilnehmern
Handlungsimpulse für die Begleitung und Führung von virtuellen Teams im Ongoing-Change
Möglichkeit zum fachlichen Austausch, integriert in Ihren Berufsalltag
AI is making its way into every industry, but banks, insurance companies and FinTechs in particular are seeing a renaissance for their data-based business models in disruptive times. Jochen Werne, director and head of the innovation team at Munich-based private bank Bankhaus August Lenz, explains the role that the human factor will play in banking and consulting in the future.
Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon (GAFA) have long seen artificial intelligence as the technology of the future. Banks and insurance companies also see the potential in machine and deep learning approaches to be a relevant player in the future in an increasingly technology-driven market environment. After “FinTech”, “Blockchain” and “Crypto-currencies”, “AI” is the new buzzword of the industry. From the AI-optimized chatbot to highly complex, self-learning, investment algorithms – the omnipresence of the term suggests that the integration of Artificial Intelligence into one’s own business model seems to be virtually necessary for survival. But is that really the case, where do we stand and which factors cannot be replaced by technology?
What becomes possible in times of exponential technologies is de facto nothing less than a revolution. The financial industry holds a vast amount of valuable and already processed data. Not only do they reflect our daily and extremely private life, from buying tickets for the subway via apps to the preference of our garments – but they reflect also the payment flows of entire companies and industries, and therefor our entire economy. Maturing AI systems not only make it easier to prepare and process this data, they also make it much cheaper, faster and more targeted. AI will not only enable banks to make their services more customer centric, it will also transform most areas of the financial industry – from asset management to business operations and money laundering prevention to marketing.
Data protection has top priority
Every major technological leap has historically been accompanied by a positive and an abusively usable development. TIME magazine recently published an article by Apple CEO Tim Cook entitled “It’s time for action on privacy. We all deserve control over our digital life”. Every electronic transaction generates customer-specific data. These structured data sets, which have been collected for many years, are now becoming the most valuable raw material. It’s important to create meaningful use-cases especially when it comes to the enrichment of existing structured data sets with external, possibly unstructured data. However, this is exactly where the risk lies. If sensitive data falls into the wrong hands and is deliberately misused, cyber attacks can cause considerable damage to individuals and groups. Trust is and remains therefore one of the most important assets of a credit institution or financial service provider. Consequently, the protection of customer data in a digital banking world has absolute priority today more than ever before. When using AI technology, it is therefore essential to use private and sensitive data in the interests of the customer. And this is where not only IT and cyber security departments of banks come into play, but also politics: their primary task must be to find meaningful solutions for handling the effects of the use of AI on society, the economy and thus on our lifes and the work of tomorrow. And this without endangering the competitiveness of our own country. The fact that this topic is taken seriously is evident not only in national initiatives such as the German Platform for Artificial Intelligence “Lernende Systeme”, but also, for example, in the European Artificial Intelligence shoulder-to-shoulder approach, which is being pushed forward at full speed by France and Germany.
The ideal model for private customer business: Connection of AI and human-based advise
In order to advance the acceptance of AI in the financial sector, it is important that existing digital tools are even better adapted to customer needs. The successful symbiosis between people and digital technology is indispensable. With the help of online financial forums, banking apps, vlogs and digital industry comparisons, private individuals can now achieve basically the same level of knowledge as financial professionals, but what is usually lacking is the successful filtering of the “information overload” and the consideration of the behavioral finance problem.
A realistic model for the successful transformation of the financial sector is therefore quite simple: streamline business models and processes, use data efficiently and always place the needs of customers at the centre of all activities. Taking advantage from technological progress always comes with successful deployment scenarios. Consequently, the technological revolution associated with the use of AI systems can only succeed if it is accepted by society – meaning, by us humans.
It’s greatly inspiring and an honour being part of this unique platform which is concentrating knowledge and illustrating perspectives in the field of artificial intelligence and self learning systems
The Plattform Lernende Systeme brings together expertise from science, industry and society for fostering Germany‘s position as an international technology leader. It understands itself as a forum for exchange and cooperation.
Designing self-learning systems for the benefit of society is the goal pursued by the Plattform Lernende Systeme which was launched by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) in 2017 at the suggestion of acatech. The members of the platform are organized into Working Groups and a Steering Committee which consolidate the current state of knowledge about self-learning systems and Artificial Intelligence. They point out developments in industry and society, analyse the skills which will be needed in the future and use real application scenarios to demonstrate the benefit of self-learning systems. A Managing Office at acatech coordinates the work of the platform.
Concept and aims of the platform
Self-learning systems are increasingly becoming a driving force behind digitalisation in business and society. They are based on Artificial Intelligence technologies and methods that are currently developing at a rapid pace in terms of performance. Self-learning systems are machines, robots and software systems that learn from data and use it to autonomously complete tasks that have been described in an abstract fashion – all without specific programming for each step.
Self-learning systems are becoming increasingly commonplace supporting people in their work and everyday lives. For example, they can be used to develop autonomous traffic systems, improve medical diagnostics and assist emergency services in disaster zones. They can help improve quality of life in many different respects, but are also fundamentally changing how humans and machines interact.
Self-learning systems have immense economic potential. As digitalisation takes hold, they are already helping companies in certain sectors to create entirely new business models based on data usage and are radically changing conventional value creation chains. This is opening up opportunities for new businesses, but can also represent a threat to established market leaders should they fail to react quickly enough.
Developing and introducing self-learning systems calls for special core skills, which need to be carefully nurtured to secure Germany’s pioneering role in this field. Using self-learning systems also raises numerous social, legal, ethical and security questions – with regard to data protection and liability, but also responsibility and transparency. To tackle these issues, we need to engage in broad-based dialogues as early as possible.
Plattform Lernende Systeme brings together leading experts in self-learning systems and Artificial Intelligence from science, industry, politics and civic organisations. In specialised focus groups, they discuss the opportunities, challenges and parameters for developing self-learning systems and using them responsibly. They derive scenarios, recommendations, design options and road maps from the results.
AI thought leaders met on the 21st and 22nd at the #HBAISummit not only to discuss the latest developments in machine and deep learning programming but especially real use-cases, trends in the start-up scene, the role of Germany and Europe in the AI race and the impact of AI on our society. Read more here
It has been a great pleasure discussing and being inspired by a highly engaged auditorium during two sessions:
It’s a great pleasure having the chance to meet international experts and supporting the Summit as Speaker on AI in Finance and with an evening fireside chat about leadership, transformation and the sea.
Read interviews and articles from experts in the KI-Businessguide published by the Handelsblatt for the Summit and free to download on this website