In the heart of the City in London, the Apps Developers Alliance brought together speakers from Visa, Barclays as well as leading startups WorldRemit, Pollen VC, Revolut and Yoyo Wallet to discuss the role of mobile in the Fintech Revolution as well how mobile apps are disrupting traditional banking.
The event, held in WeWork Spitafields, opened with an introduction by Beverley Eve, Director of Membership and Marketing at the Apps Alliance. The work of the Alliance is to support developers across the world as innovators, creators and entrepreneurs whilst also advocating for their interests.
The panel discussion featuring representatives of the London Fintech innovators, WorldRemit, YoYoWallet, Pollen VC and Revolut highlighted many of the advantages and challenges for new startups. Startups are in favourable position to disrupt traditional banking system through being lean, agile and able to produce innovation especially when it comes to niche user focus areas. Established institutions, however, are limited by bigger infrastructures and the need to focus on retaining and provide value to existing users.
One of the main challenges for any growing startups is user acquisition and navigating financial regulation. Working alongside banks and other financial institutions should be seen as a way to accelerate growth and build collaboration rather than as an adversarial relationship for new Fintech startups.
“What is it like to be a startup? For that reason we started Collab in order to engage with startups and rather than ‘challengers’ we like to think we can help eliminate challenges for certain startups…. We like to think we can help navigate the regulatory landscape which can be very complex.” Hendrik Kleinsmiede, Co-founder & Executive Director at Visa Europe Collab
On hand were Jon Downing and Hendrik Kleinsmiede, Innovation Partners from from Visa Europe Collab, as well as Magdalena Krön, Head of Rise London and VP Open Innovation at Barclays to discuss the role innovation hubs play in the growth of startups and innovators to co-create new products and services.
Many voices were strongly in agreement that financial talent and experience is a major advantage to startups as finding the right support can help reduce risk and bring more in investment.
MEP for London, Syed Kamall, celebrated London’s unique advantage for Fintech: “We are home to Europe’s two largest financial districts, the City of London and Canary Wharf…We’ve got everything here in London and I think that’s really exciting, we’ve got you guys down the road in Old Street roundabout and elsewhere and you’ve got the financial expertise here (The City). You’ve got those two marrying up and that offers us huge opportunities on top of the fact that we one of the most diverse cities”. It’s this interdisciplinary collaboration that has helped Fintech companies in London thrive and navigate the hurdles of financial regulation.
Mobile is seen as a vital platform in the Fintech revolution. It is the space in which disruptive innovation can take on bigger institutions most effectively and integrate their products into the ‘ambience’ of people’s everyday lives.
User acquisition is one of the biggest challenges facing new startups looking to take on already established players in Payments such as Apple Pay and Google Wallet. Building an engaging, trustworthy and user friendly mobile experience is considered key in building relationships with new users. Mobile is less a problem of security as it increases the connection to users ands can add to the reliability of transactions. It’s seen as more secure and enhancing the whole payment process.
Apps Developers Alliance holds a variety of events in both Fintech and the wider developer agendas across the world. Find more of their events on their website.