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TACKLING FINANCIAL EXCLUSION IS TECHNOLOGY’S NEXT PRIORITY, FINTECH PROFESSIONALS SAY

London also considered the global leader in FinTech

The next wave of financial technology startups should focus on extending financial services to low-income and disadvantaged customers, not on serving consumers already catered to by companies. That is the view of financial services professionals polled by Startupbootcamp FinTech.

Asked “What should the next wave of FinTech startups focus on?”, almost one third of respondents (31%) said financial inclusion – ahead of back-office improvements (21%), wealth management (17%), insurance (11%) and other areas (20%).

The poll findings suggest the biggest business opportunity for FinTech startups is to focus not on connected consumers who already manage their money using technology but on growing the overall market by allowing unserved customers to benefit in the same way.

Nektarios Liolios
Nektarios Liolios

“While many of us consider banking as common practice, there are still many people across the globe who don’t,” said Nektarios Liolios, managing director of Startupbootcamp FinTech, an accelerator programme which helps kick-start digital startups in the financial space. “Figures published last year suggest that there are as many as 1.4 million Britons who, for whatever reason, do not have access to a regular bank account, and that figure is even greater in different parts of the world. This is a situation which can be tackled with the right technology.

“Technologies like smartphones can help consumers better manage their money, whilst online tools could prove invaluable aids to budgeting. The message from financial professionals is clear – the next growth opportunity for companies in this area is to massively grow the base of customers who can enjoy these services.”

Other views expressed in the poll by financial services professionals around the world include:

  • London, regarded as a world financial hub, is also considered the global leader in FinTech (48%), far ahead of New York (26%), San Francisco (20%) and Singapore (1%).
  • Internet giants are expected to join the FinTech fray. Amazon is expected to add banking services by 33% of respondents, whilst the entries of Google (26%), Apple (11%) and Facebook (13%) are also awaited.
  • Bigger isn’t always better – inertia is the top reason (33%) given for the inability of financial institutions to innovate themselves.

The poll comes less than a week after next-generation FinTech startups gathered in London to pitch their ideas to experts and mentors at Startupbootcamp FinTech Pitch Day.

Any very early-stage enterprises operating in the financial technology sector are invited to apply to attend to pitch, a process which can help impress judges ahead of the June 22 deadline for applications to join the Startupbootcamp FinTech accelerator programme.

Over three months, startups in the accelerator will collaborate with over 200 mentors, partners and investors to build world class FinTech products, with the ultimate goal of becoming industry-leading companies. Admitted startups will also benefit from free office space, €15,000 in cash per team, €450,000 in partner services and exposure to more than 200 angels & VC investors.