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How great would it be? – Issue 6

Interview with Hedwige Nuyens, Managing Director, International Banking Federation 

How does Europe compare on fintech? 

For Europe a number of fintech companies have been very successful, ranging from Monzo to Revolut, to N26 and so on but also the Swiss regulator has been quite bold in engaging in fintech. Europe is being quite successful in terms of fintech. The volumes – both numbers of companies and their transaction volumes aren’t as high as in Asia but the region is building some high quality companies. 

How would one measure their performance given that many of these companies are new and smaller than their banking peers – and that the quality of information on them is quite patchy? 

I think you can look at the standard metrics – capital raised, possibly customer or transaction numbers but you can also look at the structure of the company and what they offer. So what’s the level of service that these companies they provide? What’s the real sophistication they offer? 

As yet I don’t see any fintechs that are truly global for example – so one success factor might look at companies that are actively cooperating with banks – or fintechs that cooperate with the big tech companies. 

What are the gaps in regional knowledge and understanding of fintech? 

One question would be what is the level of customer complaints about fintech companies and their level of risk?  There’s a need for greater insight on their level of risk-taking and losses, as that could become a major issue. Also with regard to compliance. 

One area that strikes me is that you could capture digital metrics such as negative mentions in news searches, so the numbers of mentions in the press as a means of measuring market perception and to highlight potential risks. 

Everything related to fintech is digital so there needs to be greater use of digital as a means of measuring the quality of the company. 

What is the role of associations in connecting markets, regions and enabling cooperation? 

An organisation like the International Banking Federation is helping different countries to shift their own focus. I think we serve as a wake-up call to create awareness among banks of the change that’s underway across the financial services industry and encourage them to embrace collaboration with fintechs. 

The Global Fintech Index by Findexable launches worldwide on 4 December 2019
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