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TFT Fintech Fast Five: Yolt

In the Fintech Fast Five, we ask industry insiders five of the pressing questions facing the sector. In the firing line this week is Roderick Simons CTO of Yolt

Which Fintech solutions will have the biggest impact in 2019, and why?

There are three trends that will be particularly interesting to watch out for in 2019.

The first, is the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI). Whilst not always customer facing, AI is an important ingredient that will empower Fintech’s to build smarter products which are both personal and relevant.

The second, is the growth of the Regtech industry or an area of financial services which I call Continuous compliance. Regtech is easing financial regulatory compliance tasks like Know Your Customer (KYC).  By providing easy solutions for Fintech’s which in turn enables the delivery of more relevant products at speed. Compliance is an really important part of what we do, and working with cross industry innovators will only push the speed of innovation further.

The third, is the tech that supports mobile payments, which will continue to have a huge impact next year. Mobile payments are already beginning to dominate our day-to-day transactions, and this trend is only going to accelerate in 2019. As this technology improves, mobile banking and mobile payments will also accelerate the spread of additional Fintech innovations.

How can you encourage the mass adoption of Fintech?

First and foremost regulation like Open Banking and PSD2 are creating an equal level playing field between fintechs and banks this will continue to push the Fintech industry forward.  As these legislations gain further traction and there are an increasing number of providers the industry will grow together. We are already working in close collaboration with high street banks, neo banks and other fintechs partners to make finance more accessible and approachable for everyone.

The value that these partnerships’ products and services provide, combined with the streamlining of existing solutions, will enable opportunities that we haven’t seen before as the fintech market merges to create an ecosystem of platforms and services.”

Are legacy institutions agile enough to keep pace with changing demands/innovations?

“The Fintech industry as a whole is developing so quickly that any firm, whether established or a challenger, needs to be agile if it’s going to survive. Furthermore there is the possibility for bigtech to move in to this area with the global reach of these players can make a fast impact.

Start-ups are, by nature, incredibly agile but when it comes to financial services, factors like security and reliability are also crucial. Agility and security are not mutually exclusive, however, and anyone looking to compete in the Fintech market in 2019 will need to bear this in mind.

Is personal finance going to be 100% digitised and, if so, when?

“In 2017, just 13% of us were Fintech ‘super users’ – regular users of more than five Fintech services. By the end of 2019, this number will be much higher. The growing ubiquity of smartphones and internet access means that people around the world will no longer need to rely on physical banking infrastructure. The total digitisation of personal finance isn’t here just yet and I’m not sure this suits the needs of the current population. However, I do think we will see continued growth, and ultimately it is going to mean more choice and more convenience for all of us.”

How can companies and institutions encourage financial inclusion and education?

“Fintech companies have already been a strong driver of financial inclusion worldwide and 2019 will continue this trend. One of the most important aims of Fintech disruptors has been the democratisation of financial services. There are currently 1.7 billion adults worldwide without a bank account. Innovations in Fintech offer exciting opportunities to create relevant services and products specifically for these ‘unbanked’ individuals and providing them with access to financial services much easier than ever before.”

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