A Q&A with Lawrence Wintermeyer, CEO, Innovate
Q. Which developments have had the most significant
impact on the FinTech industry over the last few years and how have
these developments changed the direction of the
A. The pace at which the digital landscape is moving has fuelled
a massive inflow of capital into FinTech (financial services
technology) to fund entrepreneurs developing applications across
financial services markets such as payments, lending, investment
management and capital markets.
At Innovate Finance, some of the major trends we
have seen in the UK in the past few years have been:
increasing collaboration between startups and financial
The rise of corporate venture capital and institutional
investment in startups, and
World leading regulatory innovation driven by the FCA with
Project Innovate and the Regulatory Sandbox.
Q. How do you work with your members to address the
barriers and opportunities they face?
A. As a member-led industry association dedicated to FinTech, we
have over 250 (global) UK members from start-ups to global
institutions. We promote an open, collaborative and FinTech secular
community dedicated to accelerating FinTech developments.
We convene events and roundtables to promote start-ups, VCs and
institutions to better understand how to work together as we find
that startups and institutions often face common barriers of
addressing wide-spread customer adoption of products, and managing
complex regulatory requirements.
We assemble member groups across policy areas including
responses to government consultations such as the financial advice
market review, open banking working group, financial inclusion, and
the post-Brexit FinTech agenda.
We also work with our membership to produce thought leadership,
such as our recent reports with Deloitte / Swift Innotribe on the
benchmarking of 21
global FinTech hubs.
Q. How do you work with regulators to keep apace of the
fast moving developments in FinTech?
A. We seek to provide accurate and reliable input for UK
regulators on their planning and performance in a number of ways,
including engaging in government policy discussions to help shape
the FinTech regulatory agenda, and supporting requests for
community engagement to discuss key issues such as sandbox and
Q. How does Innovate Finance bring those with money
together with startups so that both can better monetise this
'trend' of FinTech?
A. One of our key objectives is connecting innovators and
investors and we do that through a number of curated member
engagements and programmes. For example, our VC toolkit connects
startups looking for funding directly to VCs and our investment
landscape report analyses the trends in FinTech investment to
better understand where the money is flowing and to identify
emerging business models and technology.
Q. Where do you see the industry in 5 years' time?
How do you foresee the innovators you work with changing the future
landscape of the industry?
A. The size of the prize in global financial markets such as
payments, lending, investment management and the capital markets
will continue to drive innovators to focus on FinTech
With half of the global population under 30, and
millennials now comprising more than baby boomers in western
populations, growth in financial services is forecast to be steady
whilst consumption models and the adoption of new apps and
technologies is poised to change significantly.
The rise of industry participation and the consortia model where
adoption of technology is driven through a number of partners
adopting a new technology solution is emerging.
This is especially the case with infrastructure such as
payments, settlement, and regulatory solutions, and we expect
to see a greater degree of innovations in both the retail and
capital markets space.
We are monitoring the API space, distributed ledger technology,
digital security, and artificial intelligence as real breakthrough
technologies being used by FinTech innovators.
We are also watching the interest in regulatory interoperability
between countries. The FCA has already launched "FinTech bridges" with Singapore and South
Korea, a scheme that will allow regulated FinTechs to accelerate
their authorisation in reciprocal countries. Digital and FinTech
can do much more to help promote a level regulatory playing field
between countries for consumers and institutions alike.
Last year proved a turbulent year for the FinTech sector. Although the industry continued to boom, the Brexit vote and the election of Donald Trump seem to have caused many investors to pause and reconsider investing in Europe and North America.
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