Fintech leaders from across the globe came together to discuss the future of banking and technology at MoneyConf in Madrid.
Dutch data science and data mining provider Grace Systems won the title of most promising company in the fintech industry. After three rounds of pitching to audiences, Dutch firm Grace Systems was announced the winner and claimed its position as a fintech disruptor. Their pitch was in front of Rakuten Fintech Fund’s Oskar Miel, Kabbage’s Kathryn Petralia, Earnest’s Louis Beryl and Web Financial Group’s Dirk Behrens. This prize ensures that they are heading in the right direction with algorithm driven data science and data mining software.
According to MoneyConf there were 1,855 attendees from 62 countries. Over 100 speakers informed the assembled attendees, in workshops and roundtables.
About Grace Systems
Grace Systems is specialised in Data Science Methods and Data Mining Algorithms and plans to be disruptive with a broad range of cutting edge software, services, methods and models to enhance competitive advantage from Big Data. Grace Systems provided several industries with predictive analytical insight on Big Data e.g. Banking, Healthcare, High Tech, Consumer Intelligence and Telecom.
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By Christian Wiens, CEO, GetSafe
Many customers are frustrated with the perennial lack of innovation and transparency of financial and insurance service companies, which is why they are embracing new fintech and insurtech solutions. This at least is the feedback that we receive here at GetSafe in Germany, where decades of little competition in the insurance market gave established firms and agents no incentive to change and innovate.
Digitisation and the recent surge of new fintech solutions, however, have succeeded in bringing new movement into this lethargic market. Looking ahead, banks, insurers, and their distribution networks can no longer just verbally support the fintech/insurtech revolution – they also have to act accordingly. This applies internally to the reorganization of their workflows, as well as externally regarding cooperation with new market participants. Those who refuse to change within the next 2-4 years risk falling behind and losing the digital native generation as their customers.
Especially in the insurance realm, we believe that digitization could pose an existential crisis even to larger incumbents. In the coming years, several startups from the current fintech boom will have successfully established themselves as new players, and the pace of change will further accelerate. This will not require a new Google or Facebook; smaller firms with radically new or efficient approaches in one particular fintech area should be able succeed as well. That said, consolidation must take place. Already now, there are too many fintech and insurtech offerings that lack differentiation.
Whatever the future of fintech will bring, the central and defining new question has become: what does the customer want? What is the most convenient and transparent way for him to manage his bank accounts and insurance policies? Contrary to incumbents, we at GetSafe (and so many other fintech startups) had exactly this question as our starting point.
by Elina Räsänen, Head of Marketing and Communications, Holvi
The future of fintech will be defined by those who can provide real value and solve real problems for customers in the most effective and elegant way. Technology being an enabler in the background, fintech companies are already defining a new standard in customer experience and usability of financial services.
Companies that can provide a superior value proposition, operate at a lower cost as well as succeed in digital sales and customer acquisition will most likely be the ones that consumers will adapt to. Fully digital onboarding, simple and clean design as well as seamless mobile experience, will also play an important role in the future of fintech.
With fintech companies building strong brands, using state of the art technology and regulation, as well as providing an engaging experience, they will be more and more capable of becoming established and credible financial institutions.
In the future the barrier for customers to switch to new services will become even lower. New disruptive entrants are already transforming verticals like payments, lending and wealth management and in the future we will probably see more fintech startups reinventing insurance as well. With new technological developments in big data, blockchain and cloud for example, fintechs will be able to innovate new services for customers at a much lower cost and faster go-to-market time. What is yet to be seen is how these new fintech innovations could also be used in the future to democratise financial services.
The impact of Brexit for fintechs is also yet to be seen, but it brings some uncertainty, especially on passporting European licences into and out of the UK for cross-border operations. Depending on how things materialise, this might have an effect on UK’s attractiveness over other European countries.
Daniel Döderlein, Founder, Auka
With the UK exiting the European Union, it’s unclear what will happen now with PSD2 as this was under EU legislations. Will UK still decide to add this to its new legislation or not? The uncertainty alone to where the new UK legislation will be heading and how banks and financial services will need to operate is enough to bring concerns to most investors from the fintech UK landscape, and will highly impact future investments in the domestic market, especially when considering that fintech as a whole is experiencing a general correction of about 40% in terms of valuation. There are too few good deals and too much money involved, so it’s likely to assume that investors will favour fintech companies that can address the whole region with EU harmonised licenses in sharp contrast to the uncertain UK companies.
The rest of the European fintech scene will continue and make their bets primarily in a union wide opportunity within harmonised laws and regulation, with a government driven towards deregulation to help drive innovation. This may hurt the European banks who are not following the innovation curve inside the EU, but that’s nothing compared to the damage of the UK banks standing alone. The European Union was clear, ’the UK is to exit Europe and invoke Article 50 as soon as possible’. This will hurt the UK economy as banks will be reluctant to lend out more money, house market prices will fall and European people will be reluctant to invest in the UK property market.
The sharp contrast of this gloomy picture is the upside for European fintech companies that will see improved access to money, less competition from the UK and the opportunity to address a slightly smaller market with the UK being out. However, Europe enables companies to do business on a larger scale than just within the boundaries of the UK, so consequently UK fintech will be impacted and lose out, together with the rest of the country.