Fintech has experienced a rapid global expansion: investment increased from $4.05 billion in 2013 to $19 billion in 2015, quadrupling within a two year period. Analysts see no sign of this rise abating and predict global investment to reach $46bn by 2020. The UK is internationally recognised as a leading player on the Fintech scene, with over a third of European investment concentrated on UK shores. London and Edinburgh have both developed active Fintech hubs and in 2015 established an MOU to work in collaboration to address the opportunities and challenges facing the sector.
Disruption is completely revolutionising the financial services landscape, from payment systems to portfolio management, Blockchain ledgers and peer to peer lending - there has never been more diversity or competition within the sector. The explosion of new entrants is revitalising what many perceived to be a stagnated system, disrupting the traditional model and decentralising the FS market. This digital revolution is bringing down the cost of transactions, opening up a wealth of new opportunities and democratising financial services by offering more choice, better user experience and greater customer empowerment.
But whilst the spotlight is heavily focussed on the rapid ascent of the Fintech upscale community, statistically the market share commanded by new entrants is still ‘miniscule’. Those proclaiming that the extinction of the big banks is near might grab a few headlines, but the evidence is not yet sufficient to support the claims. And make no mistake, size has its advantages: Tier 1 organisations have the balance sheets, customer base and market presence that new entrant’s dream of.
That is not to suggest that they can continue to stand still, the traditional players must fight to remain relevant to the customers and address evolving expectations. But if the patent reports are any indication to go by then they are certainly not ready to back down. Since 2013 there have been at least 2,679 patent applications made by 10 of the largest US financial service firms. These are heavily concentrated on areas of emerging technology that Fintech entrants are exploiting: Mobile, IoT, Big Data and Cyber Security. This shows clear intent from the tier 1’s and illustrates the emphasis being placed on exploiting the opportunities presented by disruptive technology.
The Fintech 2016 conference will explore technological innovation across the financial services sector, from developments in leading tier 1 institutions to the disruptive innovators within the start-up community that are reshaping the FS market. This event is geared towards technologists, innovators and senior managers from right across the financial services industry landscape.