December 22, 2016

FinTech: what trends are setting the tone for 2017?

For the tenth year running GP Bullhound presented the ten trends it believes will shape the technology industry in 2017. It is a collective effort of the best, sometimes most radical thinking from professionals across its global advisory and investment organisations. 

The report examined the growth of Europe’s unicorn companies, and dubbed AI as poised to have the biggest impact on the tech sector. Close behind are online streaming, e-sports and the development of content for virtual reality platforms. Meanwhile, it says Fintech will pose longer-term growth prospects for investors.

In the report (p.32/33) Christian Faes, CEO at LendInvest shared thoughts from the frontline on FinTech and how he sees the wider industry evolving in 2017.

Faes shared his view that the FinTech industry must prove it has the capability to mature and develop from the initial hype it has enjoyed over the past couple of years. For LendInvest’s CEO it’s time for businesses to focus on their core proposition, and to show that they can scale their businesses without relying on government: “There needs to be a realisation that FinTech is not a magical new sector. At its core, it is simply new financial services companies using technology better than the old ones,” he said.

He added, “At LendInvest – the key focus is on one of the largest and most fundamental financial services – mortgages. This space has mainly been dominated by banks and little has changed in decades to modernise the process or benefit customers in a meaningful way.”

The report looked closely at various technologies, paying serious attention to Artificial Intelligence (AI), which has captured the popular imagination since its dawn in the mid-twentieth century.

Could 2017 be the year when it becomes mainstream? Faes views AI and machine learning as brimming with potential to have a significant impact on financial services over the next year. “Just in mortgages as in insurance, machine learning could totally reshape the process of underwriting, as well as redefine how businesses protect themselves and customers against fraud. This will create greater efficiency and transparency through the market. Machine learning could also redefine the way we carry out any financial transaction,” he said.

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Looking forward to the year ahead he said, “2017 will see a shift away from rapid growth towards market consolidation. This is an opportunity for reflection and a deeper consideration of what technological innovation truly is. Perhaps we will see the growth of FinTech slow, but the benefit of this introspection could be immense.”

You can read the report and the full version of Christians Faes’ article here.