Why the Future is Now for Financial Technology
20/May/2014 • In The News•
A contemporary intersection between finance and technology is allowing businesses to achieve far more in speed, profitability and security
In the digital age, technology has been an accelerator for many industries. Finance is no different. The traditional perception of banks and finance houses as grey, mundane and top-heavy behemoths is being broken apart by new outfits that are agile users of cutting-edge technology. Smaller, more open to new ideas and able to deliver smarter services for customers, these companies represent the future of finance. They have now gone past the balancing point; financial companies once adopted existing technology to fit them, but now a wealth of similar companies are driving technological innovation to enhance their services.
The current intersection between finance and technology is allowing business to achieve far more in speed, profitability and security.
Fin-tech is improving all the services offered by the old institutions. Borrowing, saving, payments, buying foreign exchange and sending money. By collecting money online, using technology to minimise fraud and maximise efficiency, fin-tech can undercut traditional companies and offer a better, safer service. While it took the major banks ten years or more to reshape personal banking into 24-hour, Internet-based services, fin-tech is reshaping the market at a rapid pace that’s measured in weeks.
At its best, modern financial technology offers democratised access to global markets and instant communication, two must-haves for the businesses that are growing alongside the industry. But why here in London, and why now?
Britain’s capital is already one of the world’s greatest financial centres. The latest research shows that’s it’s also becoming one of the world’s most important financial technology locations. A March 2014 report from Accenture found that the UK and Ireland (UKI) are benefitting from an investment boom in this sector.
In fact, UKI is the fastest-growing global region in fin-tech investment, with an annualized growth rate of 74% since 2008. That same period has seen investment expand eightfold to $265 million in 2013. Seen against a global backdrop, global investment in the sector during 2013 was $2.97 billion. UKI makes up just under a tenth of that, but still has a growth rate twice that of Silicon Valley, according to Accenture.
The UK hosts some 136,000 financial services technology workers, has an extremely stable and mature banking infrastructure and several thriving clusters of start-ups and incubator sites across the capital.
“The rapid rise of global fin-tech investment is a result of the massive change occurring in the financial services industry,” said Richard Lumb, group chief executive of Financial Services at Accenture. “By facilitating digital innovation, banks will be better positioned to serve customers and improve efficiencies for the long-term.”
Ebury Partners is able to capitalise on this unique intersection of time and place. Financial technology in London offers clients superb opportunities to access world-leading talent, knowledge and experience, all in one place. The geographical location lends itself to a market that can be stable while it experiments with new ways of improving its competitive lead.