FinTech changing the landscape
The emerging world of financial technology, or fintech, is having an impact on everything from the way new products are funded through to the culture and practices of major banks and financial institutions.
According to Simon Cant, co-founder and co-managing director of venture capital player Reinventure Group, fintech is basically anything providing some version of a financial service using modern digital technology.
“Fintech is affecting, in particular, the way consumers and SMEs are conducting their business,” he said. “Fintech is providing a better user experience, providing financing that is cheaper and is more convenient.
“One of the earliest examples of new funding mechanisms is Kickstarter, where a technology platform underpins the ability for just about anyone to underwrite the development of new products and services. The payback is the ability to have early access to these new products and services before they hit the general market.
It’s not just Kickstarter that is pioneering new funding methods, or crowdsourcing of funds. PwC partner Steven Maarbani said fintech is emerging in three key areas, including equity based crowdfunding, where an individual provides finance for a business and receives equity in that organisation, through to peer-to-peer lending, and crowdsourced real estate investment.