Fintech Trends That Will Shape 2018

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Open Banking

Soon, the UE’s Payment Services Directive 2 (PSD2) will come into force. Banks will be required to share their API, that is, their programming interfaces to third parties. That will allow other companies to create tools and apps to manage financial operations of big and small clients. Those can be, for example, e-commerce or product comparison platforms.

In collaboration with the administration, banks are also working on Polish API, an integrated interface providing third-party companies with an access to the user’s account. The implementation process will be even faster, if Polish API includes creating a sandbox for the banks to test their solutions on fictitious data,

Blurred Lines

Micropayments are becoming a vital part of our lives. It is especially apparent in social media, such as Facebook, which have become mainly advertising or commercial services. “A trend I’ve been observing for the last 18 months is that consumers’ lives: the social, commercial and financial aspects of them, are all bound. They are provided by consumer-centric platforms that ‘blend’ into everyday experiences,” said Pat Patel, CEO Money 20/20, during Impact fintech’17. The next stage is marketplaces, where data, services and products can be purchased through new payment systems. In the following years, they will become commonplace.

Automatisation

Things don’t have to be that complicated. Machine learning, neural networks or autonomous machines are still taking baby steps, so they aren’t going to be immediately accessible. It’s the time to focus on big data analysis and text mining.

To help with that Robotic Process Automation (RPA) will be progressively introduced into processes that, up to this point, required a toiling and repetitive job. It is especially useful in the sectors of AML, risk management, sales, and marketing, as new regulations protecting consumers ( such as RODO) have been introduced.

Conversational banking

Technology becomes increasingly complicated. A regular Joe won’t easily find their way in the maze of new solutions for banking. That’s why chatbots will make all the difference, and their integration has already started. From now on they will provide us with all the necessary info and solve most of our problems, without a need for a human consultant. For now they will not be AI-based, but will be given scripts to follow, but it’s still a big step.

InsurTech

The insurtech sector has fallen behind, innovation-wise. Now, that the technology provides more advanced and reliable solutions, it’s trying to catch up. Data analysis and flexible pricing strategies have become a vital part of the insurance companies’ work. Next on the list are finding uses for distributed ledger and creating new products for shared economy.

Funding innovation

Startups don’t need to fret about money. New funding sources are appearing, both in the public and private sector. As much as 4M PLN will be distributed to innovative enterprises through various funds set up by PFR Ventures. Check out where you can apply here. For instance, Starter is for pre-seed-stage startups; PFR Open Innovation Fund is dedicated to SME companies which implement technological projects under the open innovation formula; and Koffi – for SME companies at the stage of growth, development/expansion.

“Watch China”

“Watch China,” were the words of David Rowan, editor at WIRED; and he’s right. Chinese technological leaders have created extremely successful e-commerce platforms, such as Alibaba or Tencet, based on dynamic data analysis and friendly interfaces. In terms of fintech, they are a huge competition for the rest of the world, and now they aim to expand. That should spur other countries to up their game and go big, or even bigger.

Blockchain

Everyone wants to use the blockchain technology, but somehow, no one really does. Big financial institutions are not too keen on the idea of decentralisation. This, combined with a lack of traditional benefits from scaling, successfully discourages further development of that technology.

ICO (Initial Coin Offering) is a small flicker of hope for blockchain. Perhaps it will result in more concrete projects, which will encourage people to use this technology.

Big players

Fintech is not only startups and dated financial institutions trying to upgrade. Technological giants, such as Amazon, Microsoft, or IBM, are also interested in entering that market. They design software or even whole operating systems for banks. There are also many incubators, accelerators, and CVCs, aimed particularly at large corporations, that help them branch out.

Biometrics

New verification systems are rapidly developing, and they are increasingly more complex. They don’t only base on audio or video (like iPhoneX’s facial recognition), but also on kinaesthetics (such as the pacing of your handwriting or even your thermal trace). Building those new solutions requires even more interdisciplinarity and coworking.

Regulations for innovation

Polish Financial Supervision Authority (KNF) has launched the Innovation Hub programme this January. It helps fintechs with all things legal: laws and regulations, business models, product/service creation and management. What’s more, there are big chances of building a regulatory sandbox this year! Also, KFN and Prime Minister Morawiecki are working to transform the regulator into a dedicated department. Poland is the first to implement such a solution.

As you can see, 2018 will bring us a lot of changes! Poland’s fintech is developing at a really fast pace, and we will certainly implement a lot of revolutionary solutions in the years to come. So, stay tuned and let’s meet at Impact fintech’18!

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