"Having a bank account should be a birth right” says Wizzit Founding Director and CEO, Brian Richardson, one of the panellists and presenters at the recent Fintech Rising Africa conference.
Financial inclusion in Africa was just one of the key discussion points at the conference which took place in Cape Town on 7-8 December.
The nature of the event, a number of panel discussions and a smaller knowledgeable group, lent itself to active participation in many great discussions, focussing on all aspects of the fintech ecosystem. To top it all there were various excellent fintech solutions showcased.
David Milligan addresses landmark gathering in Lagos
The digital and financial services industry have continued to show significant developments with the entry of new innovative technology solutions, emergence of new digital business models, increasing adoption of Fintech services and perhaps more conspicuously, growing local and international investments in technology innovation.
For discussions around these trends and on the theme ‘Leading through Digital’; on November 1, 2017, Lagos witnessed a landmark gathering of technology, digital and financial services thought leaders and professionals for the KPMG Digital Summit 2017. The summit which held in Eko Hotel, Lagos was a sequel to the 2016 KPMG Fintech Summit.
The fundamental challenge of integrating fintechs with banks has been a lack of experience on both sides – banks are familiar with large scale implementations with technology companies that are themselves familiar with integration. These companies typically have teams dedicated to project managing these integrations. Small fintechs are generally resource constrained with little experience of dealing with large companies in terms of culture, compliance and other non-technical areas. As banks and insurers have come to realise that there are significant benefits collaborating with fintech solutions, several approaches are becoming apparent:
The first step in all cases though is one of assessment:
Classifying fintech solutions according to degree of integration required. This requires an assessment of which areas in the bank will be impacted, which systems, compliance, regulatory etc. This will determine the level of integration required. For example, a data cleaning solution merely requires an anonymised data file which is enhanced by adding missing information (the file itself may not even leave the bank’s systems).
Matchi CEO, David Milligan had a great experience at Sibos in Toronto. We picked his brain about what's hot on the fintech scene and here are his insights into this year's 4 key themes.
1. Fintech Collaboration This is very much the space in which the Matchi team plays, so it was great to see a strong focus on the theme of collaboration at this year's Sibos event. Highlighted for me were multiple presentations by banks alongside the fintech firms they had collaborated with to release new solutions including Wellington Holbrook, Chief Transformation Officer at ATB Financial (and our previous client) with Finn.ai who presented their journey as partners in transformation. I also really enjoyed the presention by Bipin Sahni, Executive Vice President and Head of R&D at Wells Fargo on why startups and financial institutions need each other. Ruby Walia, Head of Mobile and Online Bank at TD bank also presented a really insighful and interesting overview of their year long collaboration with Flybits.
Global fintech investment remains robust on back of strong VC funding
Total global fintech funding continues to remain strong, with US$8.2 billion invested in Q3’17, after more than doubling to US$9.3 billion in Q2, according to KPMG's most recent Pulse of Fintech report, Q3 2017.
Although deal volume declined, Q3’17 investment stood well above the US$6.3 billion raised in Q3’16. Venture capital (VC) investment in fintech in Q3’17 saw a five quarter high of US$3.3 billion, although the total was well shy of the record US$7.4 billion raised in Q3’15.
The US led global fintech investment in Q3’17, with US$5 billion deployed across 142 deals. Europe and Asia lagged considerably behind the US, with Europe fintech deals accounting for US$1.66 billion of investment across 73 deals, and Asia accounting for US$1.21 billion across 41 deals.
Despite healthy investment activity, the volume of VC fintech deals dropped dramatically in Q3’17, particularly at the earlier deal stage. The number of angel and seed stage fintech deals plummeted to 67 for the quarter, a low not seen since Q1’13. This reflects the trend of investors focusing on larger deals and higher quality companies with proven business models.
“The fintech market continues to rapidly evolve with an increasing diversity of funding participation and sources, geographic spread and areas of interest. We are seeing the emergence of fintech leaders who are looking to expand internationally to scale their platforms, as well as large technology giants moving into adjacencies to create new value for their customers. This is a trend that is expected to continue and could force incumbent financial institutions to take bolder steps in response.” Ian Pollari, Global Co-Lead, KPMG Fintech
Fintech strategy challenges Addressing the organizational response to fintech is proving challenging to many institutions. Only 46 percent of respondents say their institution has a clear fintech strategy in place, with 42 percent indicating a strategy is in development and 10 percent having no fintech strategy at all. Of those with a strategy, only 47 percent believe it is well aligned with the challenges posed by fintech.