Saturday, July 16, 2016

The Ponnappan / Jai's Bucket list for the Next Decade ;) ~ MIT's top 10 picks for the world's next fintech leader

Share



Why Beautiful Brexit Makes Perfect Sense to Jai (& The Ponnappans)





Thank You, David (@DavidShrier at MIT)



A brief comment/Analysis of the Fin-tech Sector to date:





As the shock waves from the affirmative Brexit vote start to dissipate, there has been an increasing chatter concerning the fate of London as not only Europe's financial services hub but also a hub for startups as well. While Dublin, Berlin and Madrid are all strong contenders in the race for startup ecosystem supremacy, London by far is one of the strongest, particularly in the fin-tech sector.

Billions of capital continues to be pumped into the FinTech phenomenon with its soaring popularity an attractive proposition to investors. Companies continue to develop the industry through innovative ideas providing a wide variety of cost-effective services to customers and increasing efficiency and flexibility within the financial business.



This is evident from the Innovate Finance 2020 Summit 2016 held in April where over 1400 people attended, including many power global leaders, technological experts and data analysts celebrating this new era of finance.



German philosopher Friedrich Nietsche once stated that “Necessity is not an established fact, but an interpretation”. 



While we understand the need for empowerment through connectivity across the world, we interpret the application for Financial Technology as one beyond any brick and mortar institution and any one country, but malleable to reinvigorate the banking sector and guide it through.

We look forward to playing our role in captaining this industry as it integrates further in to the traditional financial sector, amidst calm or choppy weather alike.



FinTech visionaries are trying to remove the middle-man or intermediary and question conventional corporations who are less comfortable with software. 

FinTech start-ups are demonstrating that momentum is firmly with them; the speed with which they can develop in comparison to the world’s leading organisations is remarkable. The prolonged success of companies is testimony to this ascendancy.






The methodology: "In other words, it's all about making processes simpler and life easier."



When Jai throws a punch(Agility). 

I am always going for the bull's Eye(Accuracy).


It will hurt!(Seasoned)


Away from its prosperity and magnetism, just how sustainable is FinTech? 

There is a fear that Fin-tech may interfere too heavily with traditional business models, even though it provides a flexible and alternative crossing point for customers and businesses. 


(root cause/empowerment)

For years one has to mold and tend to those boulder shoulders. To design, strengthen, size and shape them just like a sledge hammer.

Financial services will always be in popular demand providing the worldwide economy is flourishing. Sending money, storing it, spending it, securing it - the functions are endless. 

Despite all that they have to offer, Fin-tech businesses still trail banks in terms of their market dominance even though the disparity is becoming less and less each year. For fin-tech companies, a relationship with a major bank is often a game-changer — for both sides of the equation. 




Becoming Agile(or hybrid) takes many years and many seasons of rigorous and relentless training, trying, testing, failing, experimenting and succeeding.



My source of inspiration strength:

"Boxing agility drills are designed to help improve your speed and quickness while in the ring. Although many boxers develop their speed and agility to improve their punch accuracy and effectiveness, many boxing agility drills will also help you improve your defense skills."


Taking into consideration the speed with which the technological revolution and digital interference overwhelmed traditional industries, it seems outlandish for professional services giant Deloitte to recommend that it is unlikely that Fin-tech companies will have more than 6% of the market by 2025. Save for Santander, most banks are unhurried in their approach to utilizing financial technology. Because of this they are being caught up by Fin Tech companies who must now be considered as serious rivals.

Soon enough, the wealth management industry will have to contend with the widespread adoption of block-chain and artificial intelligence. We hope to be in a position to help the industry grapple with those future challenges -- which is why we are taking a full-time research role in studying global financial technology.



I've been focusing my thoughts, research and studies about our industry as a whole, To understand what's changing at the core of the economy, where one thing disconnected from another can impact in a Butterfly effect how people buy investments and move money.



Enterprise is a whole different bag of hammers, with much greater levels of complexity and product demands than what comes in dealing with consumers. The question whether some of these guys are up to that -- from my experience, firms that are consumer and try to pivot into the enterprise space, it usually doesn’t work out well.

Banks continue to use their supremacy to command high remittance fees and long-winded transaction times, but ultimately they will need to look into forming partnerships allowing them to apply FinTech services into their systems.

The technological landscape continues to progress as does the attitude towards money and the handling of it. Is it realistic to think that in the future our planet will be restricted to mobile and cashless payments as our inclination moves away from using cash frequently, if at all?

For a long period, the intent of Fin-tech has been to deliver speedy transactions at a reduced cost for the back and middle office of financial institutions, while the office facade develops relationships with clients and remain very much person-driven. 

Fin-tech businesses are moving away from offering a wealth of services and instead are providing precise dispensation specific to the customer. 



I see a change in that: from offering many to many to offering one service to a very specific niche and really focusing on providing superior product experience in that niche.






What FinTech has captured is a growing trend and grasped the current habitual climate around how we access and use money. It is going against the conformist who follows regulations which relies on banks developing their services and providing customers with an option not in place during its fabrication.

In today’s society, it is customers who require flexible models to correspond with the fast pace of life – suitably tailored for the constantly changing needs of individuals and organisations.

Digital platforms continue to advance with it now possible to take a loan from Paypal or get inventory financing from Amazon – further substantiation that FinTech is identifying ways to boost core financial communications and enhance the customer experience.

FinTech is going to continue shaping the landscape of the financial sector: My vision is that there’s going to be a lot of value for the consumer out of finance and FinTech going forward because of this change. Long-term it is difficult to gauge how much potential there is for further growth, but there is no doubt FinTech will continue to make a significant impact on the industry – watch this space. 





The Race.. Is On... 








With Europe still reeling from the implications of the Brexit, London’s supremacy in fintech (already under pressure from other conurbations) is now in question.  Who will take the leading role as the world’s fintech capital? We’ll examine the contenders…



Lead horses:

Singapore: We pick Singapore as our #1 contender to displace London as fintech capital of the world.  With a significant government effort to support fintech innovators (the Monetary Authority of Singapore even has a “Chief Fintech Officer”), dynamic incumbent banks like DBS and UOB, and a location that accesses the broader ASEAN region, we feel Singapore’s moment is at hand – if London isn’t able to maintain focus in the face of disruption, and if Singapore can fight off the sharp competition coming up immediately behind...

NYC: New York has unseated Boston as the #2 overall venture capital cluster in the U.S., with a heavy fintech spin thanks to the robust financial services industry coupled to a vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem.  However, the local regulatory environment hobbles the Big Apple’s efforts to claim the top fintech spot (see: BitLicense). 

Hong Kong: Long a center of entrepreneurship and financial innovation, Hong Kong has maintained position in the shift to the new generation of fintech companies.  Ernst & Young places Hong Kong at 29% fintech adoption, the most anywhere in the world1. Its more liberal set of corporate regulations make it the natural interface between mainland China and the rest of the world – and China barely missed beating the U.S. for total venture capital activity in 2Q 2016 according to Preqin2. 

London: The Square Mile may be down, but she isn’t out.  London remains one of the largest innovation clusters in the world, retaining a sharp focus on fintech innovation with progressive government (in terms of fintech regulation and policy initiatives), a world-class set of universities, and a dynamic workforce with some of the best drawn from across Europe and around the world.  Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley announced intentions to remain engaged, but JP Morgan threatened moving “a few thousand” jobs3.If growth-oriented leaders can stave off isolationists, London will continue to reign.


Credible contenders:

Shanghai: It should come as no surprise that the top of our “contender“ list is the financial capital of mainland China.  Fiercely competitive, housing one of two independent exchanges, Shanghai is core to China’s drive to make the RMB a reserve currency. 

Zurich, Geneva & Zug: 12% of Switzerland’s economy is financial services, and the Swiss people and government have embraced the fintech revolution.  Swiss venture capital activity is consistently top-ranked, if not as energetic as London or New York and hindered by restrictive immigration policies. Although perhaps unfair to aggregate three municipalities into a single “Swiss cluster”, for our purposes they are equivalent to others in their peer group, and reasonably well coordinated. 

Frankfurt: Germany is Continental Europe’s startup leader and Frankfurt is where the action’s at for German financial services. The sociopolitical environment limits labor market liquidity, and limited risk tolerance is a handicap, but flawless execution can catapult Frankfurt to the fore. 

Shenzhen: Also strong on the list is Shenzhen, home to a new generation of Chinese entrepreneurs with a dynamic, vibrant ecosystem in the making, as well as the other independent exchange in China (besides Shanghai).  If Shenzhen and Hong Kong were able to more closely coordinate activities, they could create a dominant “supercluster”.

Dubai: Dubai’s economy is built on diversifying beyond oil to a broader set of industries, and its position as a congenial environment for foreigners coupled to enlightened government policy makes for a legitimate position as a contender. Weather, economic volatility and other agitations surrounding the region are downsides.

Mumbai: Long a workhorse of the Indian entrepreneurial miracle, Mumbai continues to push the boundaries. The National Biometrics project is now spawning startups seeking to provide financial access and inclusion, leveraging cornerstone identity. 

Luxembourg: €3.5 trillion of assets are under management in Luxembourg4, and financial services comprise 27% of the economy5.  The government, academia and industry have banded together to pioneer the next wave of financial innovation, if they can move beyond the country’s traditionally conservative approach to business (disclosure: MIT has an agreement to advise on this effort). 

Dark horses:



Several jurisdictions are working to make themselves attractive to fintech entrepreneurs, including the Caymans, Barbados, Austin TX, Sao Paolo, Paris, Dublin, Moscow, Johannesburg, and Lagos in Nigeria.  Will one or more of these dark horses be able to carve out market share?  




And the winner is…



The next two to four years will see the outcome of the race unfold.  Where is the smart money going?  One thing’s for sure: Brexit uncertainty in London means greater opportunity for other regions around the world.

No comments:

Post a Comment