04 January 2019
In 2016 the International Currency Association was formed to create a cohesive voice for the industry. Two years on, the ICA is launching its own event. The Global Currency Forum is being presented as a bold new proposition for a new era – a flagship, future-focused, thought-leadership forum that aims to help shape the future of cash in a rapidly changing payments eco-system. Currency News sat down with ICA Chairman Wolfram Seidemann to find out more.
Q: Tell us how the Global Currency Forum has come about?
A: The ICA is an industry association that was founded to give cash a voice and make sure that the case for cash was successfully made. To date we have focussed on demonstrating, through white papers and research, the case for cash; we have lobbied successfully in Europe to ensure cash remains a key payment option for the future; and we have launched ‘Cash Matters’, a consumer focussed advocacy platform. In addition, we also set out to create industry-wide thought leadership and shared learning.
The Global Currency Forum is a result of these two aims. We feel that a new type of event is needed. Our customers and stakeholders have told us they expect a conference to create value and leave them enriched in terms of thought-leading content and dialogue. They are looking for insight and expertise on wider societal issues related to the industry. The Global Currency Forum is an opportunity for all of us to participate in a bigger conversation.
Q: If you had to sum up what you’d like people to take away from this new event, what would it be?
A: That cash is here to stay. Cash is a part of modern life. And that cash has a dynamic future. And for everyone to be impressed by the innovation they have seen and the interaction that has taken place. And hopefully to want to come back to the Global Currency Forum again in two years’ time!
Q: Sounds interesting – when and where will it be taking place?
A: It is! The first Global Currency Forum will take place in 2020, from 21-24 September, in Barcelona. It will be a great event and we look forward to a fantastic series of new formats, creating more value for attendees as well as partner companies participating in this event. We really believe it’s the right time to create something new and something different. And the discussions we’re having around this event are exciting everyone who is involved.
Q: How are the plans developing for the conference?
A: Everything is blocked, everything is booked, everything is planned for; we are building towards a great conference. We are already working on the content, making sure it is both relevant and compelling.
Q: So what sort of content can we expect the forum to address?
A: Well, certainly we will address the day-to-day focus areas of the industry, be it cash cycle efficiency or security feature effectiveness. But we will also explore different topics like data strategies, or financial inclusion or the future role of payment schemes and where does cash belong in this changing landscape.And we want to co-create this content now with various stakeholders. And also look left and right of our industry to learn about trends and influences that we may not want to overlook in our business. So we will go beyond the obvious.
Q: You talk about co-creation of content. How do you plan to involve people in building the event?
A: We are currently already engaging with members and we’ll reach out to customers in the coming weeks to start a co-creation process, because that is the only way to make sure the forum is relevant to both customers and industry and is inclusive of all stakeholders.And the forum will invite participation from beyond the traditional currency industry to encourage meaningful debate and discussion from a 360 degree perspective.
Q: Current events in the cash sector tend to focus on certain parts of the market. Why is it so important to make the event inclusive?
A: Cash is the most inclusive means of payment from a consumer point of view, and inclusiveness is one of the key values of our industry, So we want to create an event that invites everyone. We want to make it an event that advocates for cash and all the solutions that this industry can offer.
Q: What’s exciting you most at the moment about the Global Currency Forum?
A: As the ICA is now developing, it’s great to see how many great ideas are coming from all the members – smaller members, larger members, consultants we are engaging. We are now translating these ideas into a programme that is both challenging and exciting at the same time.
Q: So it’s the thought of Barcelona and the programme you’re creating that you’re really looking forward to?
A: Barcelona is a beautiful and vibrant city – a perfect place for such a vibrant event. We are deliberately creating a rich content delivered in a variety of formats. The great thing for visitors is that they will be able to choose their perfect agenda, one that will help them cover all their areas of interest.
So the hope, and indeed objective, is that people will leave with a great impression of the dynamic and exciting future cash has in a changing world.