One reason that as the Fintech revolution proceeds Fintechs can do more ambitious things is that there an increasing number of back-end service providers that they can plug into. In this episode Joanne Dewar, CEO of back-end payments services provider GPS – who work with 40 issuing banks globally, and operate programmes with 90+ APIs for over 100 clients (including Revolut, Starling Bank and Bo) in 60 countries in 150 currencies – joins us to share her experience of what drives success in this sector for both the B2C front-end companies and the B2B back-end providers. GPS is furthermore a rare example of a profitable Fintech – which are always good to talk to.
Back-end providers have been with us for a long time – Currency Cloud, who executed most of Transferwise’s FX transactions for quite some time were back on the show years ago.
Time moves on though and by now we have plenty of data where partnering/outsourcing worked well and plenty where it did not.
What are the key factors of success? How is it done well and why is it done badly?
As we have repeatedly heard profitability is a major challenge in Fintech. In this episode Tim Nicolle CEO of Trade Finance Fintech Primadollar describes his journey to working out the necessary building blocks to profitability. As someone who has had his own businesses for some 30yrs he has had more experience than most with these challenges.
Despite only being founded in 2015 Primadollar already has an astonishing 12 offices around the world so is well placed to also talk to the globalising of Fintech in this Brexiting year (albeit temporarily (?!) on hold due to a well-know virus of course).
Staff numbers are around 50, one-third in the UK and around two-thirds abroad.
Do you known that William Russell’s – the 692nd Lord Mayor of London – first trip was to the US to promote Fintech and that he is perhaps the first Lord Mayor of London to have visited all the regions and is well up-to-speed on regional Fintech? No me neither before we spoke. However his mayoral theme is “Global UK – Trade, Innovation and Culture” which is super-important in this Brexited year.
What actually is The City – a phrase we all use? What is the Lord Mayor and what is his role?
How does the geographic district relate to FS as a whole – much of which is in Canary Wharf and spread around the UK?
How does the CIty’s soft power work and what have some Fintech’s already found out about the influence it can bring? What is US investors’ attitude to UK Fintech at present?
Also a small prize for spotting a splendid ancient Clock chiming away in the background of this recording in Mansion House 🙂
In this Brexiting Age the UK must turn its thoughts once again worldwide – how does one do business around the world? How important is localisation vs globalisation? What role does culture play? Aneesh Varma is the founder of Aire, one of Fintechs longest-standing credit-rating firms who have scored over $10bn of VAR to date. Having lived in 11 countries and had businesses in 4, Aneesh knows more than most on this topic.
Aneesh was awarded the British Council’s 2009 Young Entrepreneur.and was nominated for the European Commission’s Entrepreneur of the Year 2014.
Having lived in so many places and self-described as a “3rd culture citizen” he is well placed (ha! see what I did there :-D) to give us some perspective on important 21stC issues ofidentity, culture and migration and in particular how they affect business and Fintech.
Charlie is one of London’s greatest serial entrepreneurs – with ground-breaking the Student Room and Market Invoice under his belt, as an MLRO he saw the huge gap in the market for using AI/ML to solve both the Financial Crime problem and businesses problems in risking prison if they get it wrong. Thus he formed ComplyAdvantage in 2014 which now has offices in four countries around the world.
This whole area has many dimensions. First it’s a regulatory necessity – Fintechs, FS and increasingly others (Apple had to pay a big fine recently) need to Do The Right Thing. Second its a huge resource drain, traditionally very manually done. But third the MLRO is the poor bod that will be picked on to go to jail.
How does Fintech/FS handle these challenges?
What can computers and a smart bunch of folks do to solve this in a 21stC way?
All this and more are covered in this episode. Topics discussed include: Continue reading →
Capital Markets is the beating heart of FS – far higher tech and far more hardcore than just bank accounts and it is by definition the most complex area. What can we and Fintech learn from the super-big boys working in this world?
FIS systems process an astonishing amount of $9 trillion moved around the world per annum. They acquired the super-well known FS systems vendor Sunguard systems at the end of 2015
Martin Boyd is President of Capital Markets at FIS and is thus well-placed to give us the view on FS and “digital” from the most hardcore high volume end of the industry spectrum.
Indeed as we all regularly gloss “digital” as being “interweb + smartphone” what does digital actually mean when we are talking about wholesale markets for megabanks – I assume it isn’t “interweb + smartphone” – what does it mean in this context?
What we can learn, the view from the top of the mountain and much more are discussed. Topics include: Continue reading →
Not many Fintechs dominate their sector let alone in one of the biggest markets in the world. PrimeRevenue was formed in 2003 and is the largest non-bank supplied of Supply Chain Finance in the world (working capital finance for global trade). They facilitate more than $200bn of payments per annum for 20,000 clients. In this show we dive into what it is that such a Fintech does. What can other Fintechs learn from one of the global best in Fintech?
Peter Cook who is head of all non-US sales talks us through how global trade actually works and the staggering sums of money that can be released from working capital using the appropriate techniques and how this can be win:win for vendor and buyer.
A super-important overview today. Data is just information is the standard line. Correct but not what matters in the real world. In the real world a regulatory announcement has consequences in organisations and requires actions – be it changing client agreements or operating procedures. What if we could use tech to go beyond the “regulation as pdf” to something far more third millennium? What if the new reg change was instead a domino which set in process a whole series of other dominoes falling inside regulated businesses?
Something radical is surely required given the absolute tsunami of regulation and the ludicrous black-hole like ability it is having in sucking increasing percentages of banks into being paper-pushers rather than wealth creators. At some point we will fall inside the event horizon and one person will be trying to make money in the bank and the rest pushing paper.
Clausematch and Evgeny came recommended to me long ago by Fintech übermensch Nigel Verdon. In this episode Evgeny leads us into the world of Regtech and gets beyond all the mad hype all too often associated with the sector. Whether we like it or not the world of Emperor Palpatine (“the bureaucrats have taken over”) is the world we live in whether #oldFS or #Fintech. Dealing with all the crap is a differentiator – indeed a sine qua non.
Change creates positive and negatives. The digital world means newer generations will grow up far more tech savvy. On the shadow side as we have touched on in passing a few times the digital world has been a created a nightmare for mental health in the young. But there are many dimensions of challenges – social media and money being but two.
When money was something physical you could put it into kids paws and to spend it they would have to hand some over and end up with less. This gave a good feel for its nature and the limitation of its amount.
How does this work in a virtual world though when literally “no money changes hands”, when “money” is something virtual? GoHenry have an answer to the money education and management piece – a payment card designed for children – digital pocket money if you like and 700,000 clients to date.
Founder Louise Hill and I discuss the challenges kids face in the digital world and hence the challenges their parents have. We don’t have all the answers to all the questions but have had to find some interim answers as parents ourselves.
Tristan was last on the show some three years ago in LFP063 which has been solidly in the Top5 most downloaded episodes of all time even since. Today he joins us to update us on what is hot in AI/ML – and there’s a lot 😉 – along with predicting commodity prices.
Tristan is now CEO of ChAi who are creating insurance products for the commodity markets and at the forefront of some of the most interesting developments in AI/ML today.
In this episode we cover some of the key important developments and in particular dive into some amazing examples of how Alt Data is crucial to the developments. The focus in AI/ML is moving away from algorithms and onto data.