At last week’s FinTECH4Life event Vica Manos, managing director at Anthemis Group commented that they do not use the term ‘FinTech’ inside their venture capital operation. “We say Financial Services and the tech is assumed,” she said.
The reasons behind this decision in terminology is because our industry often has disparate and differing opinions on what FinTech actually is, says Manos. I can see her point.
My own personal view is that FinTech is not a sector, nor a group of companies, nor a product – but instead it is a mindset. I have been watching financial services struggle with, have success with and roll along with technology and data for over 25 years. Anything that uses innovation and digital advancements to ‘making banking better’ – whether that be an incumbent bank, a new FinTech startup or an established technology firm – to me that is FinTech. This ‘Big Tent’ approach is not shared by everyone.
I met with an established technology provider last week – which works to provide solutions to thorny financial services problems such as reference data, clearing and settlement and reconciliations. They were told – by those ‘in the know’ – that they were ‘not FinTech’. I meet people today who argue that FinTech is really just about retail offerings, payments and only applies to new entrants to the market. Those who know me, know I think that is bollocks.
FinTech is all about innovation – moving the industry forward, improving services and creating a better, safer and more beneficial financial services for everyone. That overused word – ecosystem – is not a homogeneous group. Any ecosystem is made up a messy network of legacy players, new entrants, competitors and partners – getting that ecosystem to move together is the key to positive transformation.
However, what I really want to know is what you think about the term ‘FinTech’? What is your definition? How do you view it? Is it a term we even need anymore?
Take this very short, anonymous survey now and let us know. Who knows – we may be launching FinSERVTalents in 2020 🙂