2016 has been a very eventful year for the British fintech scene and last night we had the chance to discuss the current state and future of the industry with a panel of experts from different areas of fintech at Fintech Beyond Disruption, the first fintech event at London Mayor’s Office. The event was organized by Fintech Age in partnership with Mentoring Britain, Vitality and London Growth Hub.
Check out our video below:
The panel was composed of five stellar speakers: Eric Mouilleron, CEO and Founder at Bankable, Katrin Herrling, CEO and Co-founder at Funding Xchange, Julian Cork, COO at Landbay, Harold Bosse, Global Head of Product at Earthport, and last but not least Jamie Campbell, Head of Experience at Bud. The discussion was led by Marco Barlassina, Editor-in-Chief for the publications iFinance, SoldiWeb and Fintech Age.
The speakers shared their insights on the evolution of the relationship between incumbents and fintechs over the past few years. They all agreed that there is a trend of increasing collaboration between old and new players. Eric, Katrin and Harold highlighted how their complementary relationship with incumbents has been mutually beneficial for their fintech company and for their clients.
From a technology perspective, the panellists recognised the importance of APIs and big data for the progress of financial services. As Katrin noted, the Open Banking API framework may have a very significant impact on the quality of fintech services as it will grant access to a wealth of information and data so far inaccessible to most. Harold also expressed his interest in AI and distributed ledger technology, especially applied to crossborder payment solutions.
When asked whether they thought Brexit would harm the fintech sector, the speakers had quite contrasted responses. On one hand, Eric argued that it would not have any effect on the industry as the UK remains a friendly environment for entrepreneurs in or out of the EU. On the other, Katrin predicted that it would negatively affect the risk appetite and willingness of banks to invest in innovation. Jamie interjected that this uncertain situation might actually represent an opportunity for fintechs to provide new solutions and gain market shares.
Finally, the panellists explored how fintechs could promote greater adoption from the mass market. Katrin explained that Funding Xchange’s strategy is to make sure they are present in time of need, rather than trying to push their brand through advertisement. According to Julian, there will be a progressive Darwinian selection within the financial industry where the customers will choose who responds best to their needs, who is fit enough to survive. Jamie and Julian agreed that customers will determine the fate of fintechs and that fintechs have a duty to educate and inform their customers.
We would like to thank our wonderful speakers, partners and audience for this insightful evening and look forward to finding out what 2017 holds for the future of this vibrant community.