I was just reading the latest report from Accenture, the one aptly entitled FinTech – Did Someone Cancel the Revolution?
And like all good reports, it got me thinking: just where are we with the FinTech Revolution? I decided the best way to answer this is to look at it from our own experience as founding partners of Railsbank, the banking and compliance platform that connects together a network of banks with companies who want straightforward access to global banking.
Now, the team here at Railsbank are too old to be ‘children of the revolution,’ but we certainly view FinTech as a revolutionary force and one which has brought about a great deal of good in the financial services sector.
So with that thought in mind, we read the start of the report’s executive summary with a great deal of interest.
Here it is: “There are indications the FinTech revolution has stalled. It promised to change market structure, to radically improve products and services, and to save the incumbent banking sector from a slow slide to invisible utility status.”
We wouldn’t say the revolution has stalled. It’s more a case of the revolutionaries having immersed themselves into the fabric of the industry and that has to be for the good. And we would also argue that the revolution has changed the market structure and that we are most actively saving banking from its increasingly utility status.
The second part of the opening statement reads: “But these promises are yet to come to pass. Yet the revolution could still be completed – the underlying technologies are real and, deployed in the right way, they can still have a transformative effect on the financial services industry.”
The revolution is ongoing, albeit in a different guise, and will be not be complete for some years to come – this is not the storming of the Bastille, but a gradual changing of mindsets and attitudes that have been in place for generations. And there is little doubt, we will have a transformative effect on the financial services industry and are already having such an effect.
We’re experiencing this at Railsbank - we’ve been staggered by the amount of interest we’ve generated in only a short time.
We consider ourselves in the vanguard of the revolution, but we do not see it as fight to the finish, but more of a coming together of minds to make sure we shape the future in such a way as to benefit both businesses and consumers.
The flashpoint for us was the reality of a global banking sector that is struggling due to the complexities of legacy technology, managing global compliance and antiquated bank processes. This created a slow, complex and costly experience for customers - yet we live in an increasingly digitally native world!
Our contention is that global banking is better delivered to customers through a technology platform that hides the legacy, and brings together banks and business customers to transact business digitally and in a compliant way.
So, not a stalled revolution, but also, not quite job done yet. That’s a little way off in the future.