On Wednesday 2nd November 2016, Aurexia Consulting organised the Aurexia Fintech Awards, celebrating their 10 year anniversary. The France-born company were on the lookout for a company with an innovative solution able to disrupt financial business processes. Over the course of 4 months, Aurexia selected and narrowed 100 designated fintechs across 4 categories (KYC, Trading Platform, Post Trade and Client Distribution), to just 4 fintechs per each of the 4 categories. And on that same Wednesday, we found out the winning company. But before that, we interviewed Dominique Herrou, partner of Aurexia, and Imran Khatri, manager of Aurexia, to get an extra insight into fintech from their perspectives, and also their company.
Aurexia Consulting was founded in France in 2006, and have since largely expanded their services throughout Europe and Asia. Dominique gave us an exclusive insight and brief overview of Aurexia,
“We are currently based in Europe and Asia. So, in Europe, we are in Paris, London and Luxemburg and in Asia, we are in Singapore and Hong Kong. We organise events, like today, as we think the future of the banking industry is partnering with fintechs, which is why we try to get these two worlds closer to each other. We’ve done a lot of market studies which we made around digital impacts on the banking industry.”
London being one of the main fintech city in Europe, it is no wonder Aurexia decided to bring their business to the prosperous city. The awards were mere proof that London is a land of opportunity, even a starting point for many fintech companies. Imran further commented,
“London has become the Silicon Valley of Europe. We spent today meeting 50 different fintechs, who were from France, Lisbon, Madrid and all over Europe, who have come over because they want to showcase what their capabilities are and also showcase what they’re offering to the market.”
As for Brexit, how will this affect a blossoming fintech?
“No one’s really sure yet of the real dynamics of what Brexit means. What does article 50 look like and what does it actually transpire into? And there’s a lot of tax incentives which the government have to put in to make the uk more attractive to fintechs. What do those translate to? How are government’s legislations going to change? There are a lot of unanswered questions surrounding Brexit itself.”
Undoubtedly, fintech is paramount in the future – therefore there are raised concerns of the demolishment of the traditional banks. Walking into a bank and receiving help from an advisor may eventually be a thing of the past, as the amount of millennials who walk this earth increase every day – ultimately using their devices for everything, especially banking.
“Digitalisation doesn’t necessarily mean banks will no longer have structure, all it means is enhancement of the process, and speed of the process, as well as a greater service orientated model. Things like KYC, which takes days to do, they send you a form to fill out, then I fill it out, then I send you my passport, then you scan my passport, then about 3 weeks later they’re saying, you know what, we forgot to take the relevant document from you. So now all of a sudden, I can give a picture of my passport and you scan it and immediately it digitally automates it. And that whole process which would have taken 3 weeks, has been condensed in a 10-minute process. It has no impact on the branch network as such, we’ve just increased that customer proposition and reduced costs at the same time.”
Focusing more on the reason we were gathered at the WeWork Co-Working space, we wanted to know what Imran and Dominique were looking for throughout the selection process of the fintechs.
“We worked on four criteria’s; we wanted disruptive companies, innovation of the solution, also the suitability – do we think that this solution really meets a need in the banking industry? We try to have a blend of young and mature companies, mature companies tend to be very disruptive and innovative, whereas young companies may have growth problems in business, so we have to balance them”
“We sought whether they had a thought out business case rather than something that was immature and didn’t have anything long term standing on and how mature that organization. By maturity, we mean how well the organization is structured, how well their business plan is, what are the thought processes surrounding it, and also the amount of clients but that isn’t the main aspect.”
Check out Aurexia here