Future of Fintech
Katy Morrison & Alex G. Stammers
FinTech Innovation Lab
The FinTech Innovation Lab (FIL) is a global B2B FinTech accelerator, running annually in New York, London & Hong Kong. The FIL aims to help leading FinTechs find Product-Market Fit by connecting them with over 40 of Accenture’s participating Financial Institutions and leading independent mentors who coach them through their journey to scale. The FIL counts over 270 FinTechs globally as alumni, all of which have gone on to collectively raise $2.7bn to date.
The London Enterprise Technology Meet-Up recently hosted over one hundred attendees at the ‘Future of FinTech’ event, in collaboration with Accenture’s FinTech Innovation Lab (FIL). The event featured demos by FIL alumni CoGo and Illumr as well as guests from Industry such as Dan Globerson (Head of Open Banking at NatWest Group), Damian Sutcliffe (ex. CIO of Goldman Sachs), and Graham Cressey (FIL London Director) and chaired by the Sapphire & Steel co-founder and FIL business mentor Anna-Lisa Wesely.
The ‘Future of FinTech’ panel focused on the booming industry of FinTech, where financial services and technology continue to dominate our increasingly digital world. The key themes of the night were centred around the focus areas of FIL 2022 – Journey through Cloud, Data-Driven Organisations, Sustainability & Green Finance & Embedded Finance – and how both FinTechs & Organisations can collaborate to deliver on these themes.
During the panel discussion, Dan Globerson (Head of Open Banking at NatWest Group) referenced the notable shift in financial institution’s (FIs) approach towards FinTech as they now actively search for partnerships which can offer transformative innovation across their businesses. This seismic shift within the financial services industry has seen FIs increasingly recognise FinTech’s as a critical enabler to gaining a competitive edge, specifically in terms of the agility and first mover advantage that FinTech’s can offer. For example, NatWest’s recent partnership with FIL alumni CoGo, represented on the panel by Enterprise Business Director Jane Michotte, will enable Natwest to quickly respond to consumer’s increasing focus on sustainability by embedding CoGo’s carbon footprinting and ethical nudge framework within Natwest’s mobile banking app.
The increasing need for agile partnerships between FIs and FinTechs is driven by the increased threat of competition. Accenture’s Graham Cressey, FIL Sponsor, drew on the example of Klarna, the largest buy now pay later provider which has captured significant market share in payments, to highlight the potential opportunities missed by FIs due to their lack of agility and speed to execute
On the topic of the role Financial Services have to play in accelerating change on systemic ‘Big’ issues such as climate change, discrimination and financial inclusion the panellists were split. Some agreed that the private sector, FIs and start-ups in collaboration, would drive progress in these areas. However, others, including Ilumr’s Jason Lee, suggested that regulators would be required to lead, setting appropriate precedents to open the door to the private sector to execute on the agenda. Jason specifically noted, the current gap in legislative support for the ethical data movement “ethics will have to be determined by those who determine the law”, an issue Illumr is seeking to resolve with their data de-biasing product ROSA.
Panellists also called attention to the role programmes like the FIL must play, highlighting the Lab’s unparalleled access to industry leaders, upskilling of FinTech’s and founders in key areas and creating an environment which fosters FinTech’s long term goals and actions. Alumnus CoGo and Illumr commended the FIL for its commercial insights and training, Jason Lee noting “The Lab offered fantastic business development and a key understanding into how Financial Institutions work…the mentorship advice was second to none”.
If you’re interested in applying to the FinTech Innovation Lab – check out their blog post here which details the programme in London! Otherwise, feel free to reach out to them directly at firstname.lastname@example.org and they will aim to respond as quickly as possible!