August 22, 2019

Fintech: Past, Present and Future – A Summary

Last week, we were honoured to co-host by the Fintech: Past, Present and Future event along with TechElevate UK at Rise London to share about the “Fintech 50: 5 Years in Fintech” report, as well as have our co-founder Huy Nguyen Trieu to speak about artificial intelligence in finance.

Along with Alessandro Di Lullo and Janos Barberis, Huy broke down the key facets of the report and highlights. Using the starting point of 2014, the big segments of Fintech at the time were peer-to-peer (P2P) lending with companies such as Funding Circle and Lending Club, and robo advisors. Out of the 50 Fintech firms listed, 13 were in lending, 10 in robo advisory and a further nine were in the payments vertical.

In the five years since, the collective group received a total of US$38 billion in funding in 2018, with just two of the original 50 gone bankrupt – this highlighted that timing is key in the world of Fintech. However, the group has largely enjoyed runaway success, with four companies even listing for an IPO. The trio also elaborated about the biggest challenge in compiling the report, which was sourcing the data. Ultimately, they had to sift through plenty of hype to come up with the true figures

The report also touched on trends that were missed out, such as emerging markets within Asia completely rewiring Fintech, challenger banks that have begun gaining not just trust, but crucially licenses as well, and InsurTech firms such as Oscar and Shift Technology. Additionally, the trend of tech firms entering financial markets was also on the rise, with these firms making use of their large customer base to quickly scale and gain many clients. Huy also pressed the issue of the importance of being able to think like an entrepreneur, no matter if you work at a large or small organisation.

The event also featured an engaging panel session with Jess Ruben, VP of Business Operations at Judopay and Kate Sutton, Head of Corporate Social Innovation at Nesta also took place, with Gideon Hurwitz, Fintech Manager at Accenture moderating.

Key points touched on included how 1.2 million people in the UK don’t have a bank account, seven million rely on cash and 5.4 million have high short-term costs. They spoke about how these are significant numbers of people that remain part of the market, with Fintech being about fair funds.

Using the example of Monzo serving the underbanked, they highlighted how if inclusivity is not the focus now, there will be no difference between banks and startups. They were also keen to stress the importance of understanding the customer and making it more inclusive in order to scale.

Finally, Huy took to the stage to close out the event by speaking about AI in finance, highlighting how it continues to break records and transform organisations. Those that put AI first will reap the benefits, and he also spoke about how it is a transition between traditional programming and machine learning, with the fundamental difference being computers teaching themselves instead of being hardwired.

He used the example of the 2012 Google cat experiment, where an artificial brain was used to search for videos of cats, but how AI helped them achieve the same thing a year, at 1/50th of the cost!

We would like to thank TechElevate UK once more for this fantastic opportunity to contribute to a wonderful event, and we hope to be present at many more in the future!

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About CFTE

We are a platform supported by senior leaders from the largest institutions, startups and universities. We address the needs of professionals in finance to upskill in a rapidly changing industry being transformed by emerging technologies. More than 50,000 participants learn from our online courses, such as AI in Finance, Fintech Foundation or Extrapreneurship, a mini-MBA with fast growing startups such as Revolut or Shift Technology.


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