You only have to look at the growing amount of capital being provisioned to the fintech sector to understand the importance of this growing segment. According to a recent report published in Forbes, investments in fintech more than doubled between 2014 and 2015, from $17.8 billion to more than $38 billion. And it’s growing.
What’s driving the demand, and is this fintech’s moment?
It’s sure looking that way. Banking has historically been an industry immune to emerging technology disruption, tucked away behind regulatory barriers and a rigid central banking system that have kept banking, for the most part, in the status quo. But that’s about to change.
Today, financial services executives are facing a dizzying number of opportunities to innovate, but are also being forced to contend with new disruptive threats posed by a growing number of nontraditional digital competitors and new technology developments. In fact, 83% of financial services executives believe that part of their business is at risk of being lost to stand alone fintech companies.
Some of the most obvious factors contributing to this movement are the shift to mobile and an enormous new demographic of banking customers with changing needs and expectations. Both existing and next generation clients want a more personalized, flexible and user-friendly service experience.
In his Skookum Tech Talk, Ramy Sergeldin, financial services industry veteran, and founder and CEO of fintech startup Honeyfi, sums up some of the more significant technologies fueling the fintech revolution. He reviews those startups that are attacking both incumbents as well as every part of the financial services eco-system from payments, money movement to lending.
Unlike some technologies of past, which could be deemed insufficiently disruptive, current technologies such as AI, Big Data and analytics, and Blockchain are underpinning this revolution and are industry game-changers. Proof positive: Just this week industry behemoth IBM announced its acquisition of the Promontory Financial Group — “a consultancy so influential it has been dubbed the industry’s ‘shadow regulator’ — in a move that could extend artificial intelligence into every aspect of banking.”
While the future of fintech certainly looks bright, there are implications and novel challenges that will need to be addressed. These include risks due to systems connectivity, issues related to cyber security, regulatory frameworks – and ultimately public trust and confidence in the sector as this exciting revolution takes hold. Watch Ramy’s presentation.