Bitcoin is disrupting fintech
Heather Williams looks at what the future holds for the UK fintech sector and highlights the challenges facing businesses in the sector.
Fintech, or financial technology, is an industry born out of technological advancements and the rapid invention and improvement of technological processes. As our payments and purchases have gone digital, the financial services sector has needed to adapt.
This adaptation and development is an ongoing process as the needs and habits of technology users continue to adapt and develop too. But what are the latest fintech innovations and how are UK businesses approaching this challenge?
The Latest UK Fintech Innovations
In 2017, it is estimated that UK fintech startups received more than $1.8 billion in investment, with figures expected to break $2 billion. According to data compiled from London and Partners and Pitchbrook, this figure broke the previous record set in 2015 when $1.16 billion was invested over the course of the year.
Some of the innovations that these cash-flush startups are working on include rapid online banking solutions. Figures provided by the British government estimate that the UK e-commerce industry is worth £533 billion, with consumers spending on everything from online shopping to gaming. The e-commerce industry is also set to increase, making it all the more important that payment processors are able to provide secure and speedy solutions that don't leave shoppers waiting.
Many of these startups will also be looking at cryptocurrency. In March 2018, it was announced that the Bank of England would be setting up a fintech hub that aims to foster further innovation. In a speech, deputy governor Dave Ramsden specifically mentioned crypto and blockchain, saying that crypto has the "future potential to deliver benefits both to the financial system and to the economy it serves, including increasing efficiency and resilience and contributing to a more distributed and diverse payments system." In 2018, startups will be figuring out how to better harness this technology.
Planning for Fintech's Future
With the UK establishing itself as a major player in the fintech world, experts and startups from around the world will be turning to the region to find out more. These experts will all be catered to with a host of fintech events that aim to discuss the future of the sector.
In April, NatWest and Whitecap Consulting will head to London, hosting several speakers who will be discussing the potential of the UK's fintech sector, with attendees having the opportunity to ask questions and network. In May, the Global RegTech Summit will also take place in London, with financial institutions discussing the threats and opportunities that they see in the industry, the latest innovations, and investors will be on-hand to answer questions too.
Other major events include the world's first Fintech Design Summit, which takes place in April and will address how user-centric design is affecting the fintech industry as well as the Open Banking Summit, which is also in April and will discuss topics such as keeping data secure and how to develop new revenue streams.
The UK is a major hub for the fintech industry and it is home to huge innovation, relevant discussions, developments and more. Those excited for the future of fintech can look to the UK for a glimpse at fintech's future.
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