Fintech for the Greater Good?
Natalie Ceeney shares an article on the potential of Fintech and how it can be used as a positive force.
Last week was UK Fintech Week. Thousands of entrepreneurs and investors, regulators, advisers and headhunters gathered across the UK to network, showcase innovation and negotiate. They were joined by 15 international delegations from China, the Middle East, North America and Europe — keen to be part of the conversation. The week was kicked off by Innovate Finance’s fifth annual Global Summit, at which Mark Carney and Philip Hammond celebrated Britain’s fintech sector and committed to actively supporting its future success.
Despite Brexit, the UK’s fintech sector is thriving. Fintech — the harnessing of technology to improve financial services — is a UK success story. Private equity and venture capital investment into the sector in the UK lags only China and the United States, with $3.3 billion investment in 2018 and over $1 billion investment already in the first quarter of 2019. Fintech is the fastest-growing sector in the UK, already employing more than 76,000 people and with 25 per cent (or seven) of the world’s fintech unicorns. It is worth almost £7 billion annually to the economy. The UK has become the preferred choice of many to both innovate and invest because of our pro-growth, innovative regulatory environment, our world-class financial services sector and our historic welcome to global talent.
Fintech has made its way into mainstream financial services in the UK. Consumers may not recognise the term “fintech”, but they experience it through banking apps allowing them to see multiple accounts, easier ways of validating their identity, more accessible ways of saving or investing, better access to credit for small businesses and insurance for gig economy workers that clocks on and off when they do.
There aren’t many UK banks, asset managers and insurers who are not investing heavily in fintech through acquisition, partnering or by incubating their own. They are using the power of new technology and new thinking to transform both customer propositions and back-office processes. Over the next 20 years, fintech approaches will be embedded in every part of financial services, just as dot.com became a necessary component of retailing. Fintech truly is the future of financial services.
What stood out last week was the focus on “fintech for good”. As an economy, we still face some intractable problems — with 1.3 million unbanked but working adults in the UK and with 100,000 people in severe debt considering suicide each year. Last week, the focus on fintech’s power to improve society was not a sideshow, rather the main focus for many who believe that it can offer innovative solutions that bring benefits to a far wider proportion of society.
Key points include:
- Mainstream financial services
- Investing in fintech
- A UK success story
Read the full article, Let’s Realise the Power of Fintech, on LinkedIn.