By Martin Threakall, COO at Modulr
With a stated ambition of wanting to be the ‘operating system of everyday life’, Uber Money is a natural progression for the company. That’s because payments are a central component to the majority of customer touchpoints, and regulations introduced over the past few years mean it’s now even easier to offer payments services as a non-bank.
But while Uber has the scale of users, both with drivers and passengers, as an outsider it may lack the knowledge or know-how to establish itself in what is a hugely complex financial services sector. Tech giants have deep pockets to invest, but they’re also unused to a highly regulated environment like financial services. And there have been many high profile examples of big tech falling foul of regulations within their own domains.
This is a cultural challenge and one in which they’d be better off seeking partners to help them deliver the services required, rather than building their own. Many of the most innovative new FinTechs and consumer-facing services are built on partnerships – it’s how the industry works today.
Tech giants have deep pockets to invest, but they’re also unused to a highly regulated environment like financial services.
Uber will clearly need to collaborate if it wants to scale and grow quickly. And the best partners to collaborate with are going to be the nimble, fast moving FinTechs already operating in this space.
Within the fintech industry there are many points along the value chain, with some, like ourselves, operating as the tech behind the tech, solving the regulatory burden and providing a robust platform upon which customer-facing companies can build innovative products. So rather than a threat, the fintech industry should see this as an opportunity.