A view from the Financial Services Forum event at Henderson Global Investors high on the 12th floor of 201 Bishopsgate. A panel of Rob Sanders from DOOR, Dagmara Lacka of BoldMind, and Mark Bradbury of Apply Financial debated the fintech revolution and where in the cycle we sit today.
The drive for increased speed leading to efficiency… or is it efficiency leading to increased speed? Automation of process to the point where full circle is achieved and having a human being deliver a personal service becomes the differentiator and the selling point. Startup methodology is being adopted by incumbents who cannot internally innovate with the efficiency of a disruptive upstart. Agreed. Innovation is easier to buy than create and nurture, though, once acquired, is it innovation anymore? Incumbents absorb the methodology, thereby increasing the speed of their own innovations, raising the bar for the next round of disruptors who will be approaching their markets in the near and visible future. Speed of delivery. Of new products, services, ideas, outcomes. Faster. Innovation leads to disruption, disruption creates new markets and expands old ones, disruptive companies acquire market share at the expense of profit, incumbents acquire loss making disruptors with market share for their client base brand technologies and attitudes. Consolidation occurs. The incumbents themselves rise as the market for b2B fintechs with build and buyout in mind. Innovation cools. Funding reduces. Everything seems to level out. It’s quiet. Then a new wave of innovation rises from the complacency, higher than before, the disruptors drive and ride the flow of change, disruption is king once again, pouring through markets and companies and departments shifting the old washing away inefficiencies polishing improving leaving frictionless systems in place. Another wave of automation frees the human from the mundane, the repetitive, the automatable, as robotic systems replace everything that isn’t a core feature of human creativity, abstraction, vision, we strive to make ourselves obsolete. Are we at the beginning, middle, or end of the fintech revolution…There is no beginning. There is no middle. There is no end. There is only the future and it is a page waiting to be turned.