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Sparking the FinTech Revolution at Bucharest Technology Week

Sorin Despot By Sorin Despot

Bucharest Technology Week (BTW) has proven to be an exceptional opportunity to showcase innovations and technological optimizations rooted in all business sectors. For FinTech, in general and for Twispay in particular, BTW occasions at least one extra opportunity.

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Specifically, the proliferation of digital and cloud technologies, the emergence of data-driven decision making and automation have brought the financial sector to the dawn of a brave new era. IT&C is making a series of bold moves on the financial and banking market.

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Moreover, the European Union actively supports the democratization of access to user data in the financial sector, through regulatory acts such as GDPR and PSD2. In fact, PSD2 might just constitute the foundation of the greatest digital reform in finance, which, at least for the foreseeable future, is the sector with the greatest influence in the Romanian, European, and global business environment.

The FinTech Summit

Bucharest Technology Week's organizers had the great idea to host a one-day summit dedicated to FinTech inovation. We were happy to sponsor the event, we did our best to design and build an awesome booth, and our very own Marketing and Product Director, Cristi Gheorghe participated as a panel speaker at the FinTech Summit. If you cannot spot him in the picture below, look for the electric-red "FinTech Revolution" t-shirt.

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Undoubtedly, the imminent European Payment Services Directive (PSD2) and, in general, pro-open-banking legislation opens up a new range of opportunities for both traditional banking and FinTech. Cristi made sure this idea got through loudly and clearly. 

The FinTech Revolution

Cristi used a memorable metaphor to describe the wide spectrum of opportunity brought on by PSD2: "As the tide gets high, every ship in the harbour rises with it." However, as he eloquently pointed out, there are at least two main variables that will dictate the dynamics within this brave new FinTech era:

  • Existing user base: traditional banking institutions have the advantage of large and relatively loyal client portfolios. However, as digital services become a requirement and clients increasingly demand digital operational freedom, traditional banks may find themselves falling a bit behind and even losing clients, because of their relative lack of agility, which brings us to Cristi's second point: 

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  • Speed to market: in somewhat constant and predictable markets, such as banking, corporate mamoths thrive without problems, while in uber-dynamic markets such as IT&C, ultra-progressive startups with liliputan financial resources can overturn hierarchies from one quarter to the next. 

This is why, presumably, the entry of companies with IT & C pedigree into the finance and banking arena may give insomnia to the board of directors of major financial institutions. Risks vary - specialists have speculated - from banks becoming "numerical" operators, utility companies in the background of a market increasingly dominated by FinTechs, to the complete extinction of the traditional financial institution.

Let's Not Get Ahead of Ourselves

The financial business eco-system surely has the flexibility needed to absorb emerging technologies and does not truly risk sudden extinction. In fact, many banks across Europe have partnered with FinTechs and are looking into developing their own complex digital service solutions. 

Moreover, if Cristi's intuition serves him right, both FinTechs and traditional financial institutions have one good reason to work together: PSD2 also opens the door for mamoth tech companies such as Faceebok and Google to start offering users aggregated financial services, and, in terms of user base, they are truly redutable adversaries.

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Twispay is determined to provide e-businesses with much more than a set of payment services. We are not a bank. We are a tech company with a banking license, and technology is our main focus.

Understanding where current regulations and technological breakthroughs are most likely to lead us is paramount in developing e-businesses that are both scalable and future-proof. As we approach the third decade of the 21st century, we are going to share with you the most valuable insights we uncover along the way.

Once again, that is a promise.

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Sorin Despot Sorin Despot