Ray Brash.

Fintech beyond technology: The human factor in financial innovation

"Embracing Fintech is not just about embracing technology; it's about understanding and integrating into the complex ecosystem of financial services," writes Ray Brash, CEO of Flyfish

In the ever-evolving banking landscape, Fintech has become a buzzword synonymous with innovation and efficiency. This synergy of finance and technology holds the promise of reshaping traditional financial services, backed by the support of regulators who see its potential for broader accessibility and convenience.
However, a critical insight that has come to light is that technology is just one facet of the equation. Sustainable and impactful change in banking requires more than just cutting-edge tech. In fact, the integration and effectiveness of Fintech hinge on several non-technical aspects that have been overlooked by many players in the field.
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Ray Brash
Ray Brash
Ray Brash.
When a Fintech entity collaborates with a Financial Institution (FI), it's crucial to recognize the long journey these institutions have had with regulators – gaining trust, licenses, and establishing robust systems. Fintech solutions must complement this landscape, adding value without disrupting the delicate balance that FIs have struck with regulatory bodies.
To truly succeed in this space, Fintech firms should adopt a mindset akin to traditional banks, which often harbour a legacy of conservatism and regulatory adherence. Understanding and speaking the language of the banks not only facilitates integration but also reassures regulators and FIs of the Fintech's compliance capabilities.
Building a rapport with regulators is equally essential. As Fintechs come under scrutiny, they must demonstrate control, transparency, and a clear delineation of roles within the partnership. Openness for audits by both FIs and Regulators is not just a requirement but a cornerstone for trust and cooperation.
Standardization is another pillar for Fintech success. Most FIs operate under similar regulatory frameworks, and grasping these can enable Fintechs to offer uniform services across multiple institutions while allowing for necessary customization due to local nuances.
Scalability of services, coupled with adaptability, strengthens the business case for Fintech partnerships. It's important for Fintech platforms to be perceived as an extension of the FI's own systems, especially those that are customer-facing. Such integration is pivotal for FIs that are often saddled with outdated technology and depend on internal IT teams for maintenance.
Lastly, alignment of objectives is paramount. Fintech initiatives must be in harmony with an FI's goals, such as increasing transaction volumes, streamlining operations, mitigating fraud, and enhancing customer satisfaction. After all, despite the transformation in how financial services and payments are delivered, the fundamental needs they fulfill have remained constant through the ages.
Embracing Fintech is not just about embracing technology; it's about understanding and integrating into the complex ecosystem of financial services. The key to effective Fintech is not merely innovation but adaptation, collaboration, and a deep respect for the time-honoured structures within which finance operates.
Ray Brash is the CEO of Flyfish.