Beyond borders

by: Don Ginsel

Twitter: @donginsel

One year ago, the Netherlands were about as far as any other country in Continental Europe: a thin group of internationally connected financial people had heard about FinTech in a different sense than the traditional IT providers to the financial industry. Financial Innovation still meant drawing up new legal frameworks and asking IT to execute the new plans. FinTech startups were something most people had never heard of or thought about. This is quite strange given the highly innovative financial landscape, especially in payments and security, where the Netherlands have been competing on world scale for some time already. So what was going on?

Apparently the term FinTech just never hit the ground seriously, and it was the USD 3 billion in VC money in 2013 — more than half of total European VC investments in 2013 — that set things in motion. A growing interest in FinTech came about and there was a good reason to start listening to the early adopters, of which we were one. Off course no one knew exactly what to make of this, but it seemed as it would become big. And off course, deep down the financial industry already knew that something major was going to change at some future moment.

The strategy of industries in change is always the same: ignore and ridicule the new way until you can no longer deny it. And then reveal your secretly developed solution that will master the new reality and pushes out new market players. Off course, we have seen this strategy fail in many cases (like Kodak), and I am afraid that most financial institutions have not yet figured out how they will champion a world dominated by tech.

The next part will discuss the success factors of an ecosystem in the EU, relationships with other hubs, business models of se4rvice providers and dealing with stakeholders

Editors Notes: This entry has been submitted to the FINTECH Book, the world’s 1st globally crowd-sourced book on FINTECH. Readers that enjoyed this initial abstract are invited to share and like it so that it may be featured in a longer version that will published in the FINTECH Book due to be released November 2015.

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