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The Wolf and the Lamb in FinTech


During the last edition of FinTechStage in Luxembourg Fidor Bank’s CEO Matthias Kroener has put things in perspective as like no one else. In his eyes, it’s banks cultural inability to innovate that makes them fear the FinTech… or pushes them to integrate. Not content himself with his peers, the German banker called the innovative startups to take responsibility at the heart of this transformation, rather than preferring terms collude with “the devil.” One speech, two slaps.

Some have the ambition to bring disruptive technologies but need to find customers. Others want to protect their market share, and for that meet the new expectations of the customers they serve for years. Both innovative start-ups in finance and historical actors of Finance appreciate themselves suspiciously. They look earthenware dog, to use an expression somewhat hackneyed.

At FinTech Stage Luxembourg, they were nevertheless gathered in a single place together, led by Luxembourg for Finance’s CEO Nicolas Mackel. If they were there as sponsors, was it likely to appreciate the opportunities promised by this digital transformation that we talk so much about? Were they only willing to be pushed around in their optimistic certainties? Or, in the comments of many participants, “take a few slaps”. In this case, they were given by Fidor Bank’s CEO Matthias Kroener.

The real threat of banks: their culture more than Fintech

Banks have tasted first. “Why don’t you develop solutions on your own?” he questioned. “Do you really need a FinTech hub for innovation and register in the digital economy?” Behind these questions, the banker and entrepreneur only underscores the current inability of the banking players to step into this digital transformation. Finally, it isn’t best placed to identify the needs of customers and, ultimately, to respond? Hearing the speaker, who blame a banking culture far from the interests of the client, should think not. “The digital isn’t yet well enough apprehended by banking players” he said, stressing the need to set goals on the matter based on key performance indicators (KPI). “The digital bank, it is not simply set up a Facebook profile or to a provision in implementation”, he minded to specify. In this new environment, it is all about goals and measures. There are topics about the cost of acquisition of a customer, margins, growth, development. In short, business, in case some have forgotten.

FinTech startups: to grow, get licenses

Speaking to the other camp, the FinTech startups, he also inviting them to consider their development taking into account business considerations. “Be aware of the traps set by these desperate banks that want to work with you” he warned. Kroener said that if the traditional players want to work with these startups – or sometimes buy them – it is primarily to preserve their customers of the threat they represent. “If banks begin to embrace the revolution that it is dead” he added. The purchase of FinTech players by banks simply harm the trend they initiate, the whole FinTech ecosystem and the transformation that is taking place. Stating that the development of the FinTech activity will have positive repercussions on all financial services, Matthias Kroener invited innovators to gain substance. “Stop crying, you must acquire licenses from the regulators. This will bring you bring independence and great value” he said, calling at the same time the authorities to better regulate FinTech through the RegTech.

In this context, according to the entrepreneur, the innovative young players can grow efficiently if only they decide to take their responsibilities. “The FinTech aren’t kindergartens where we can have fun developing applications” he concluded.

“Finally, a real “digibanker” that awakens the FinTech breathing it every day. He defended a new digital channel that must be seen as an opportunity, not a threat” said Jean Diederich, APSI President and Partner at Kurt Salmon.

Read the french version of this article “Le loup et l’agneau chez les FinTech” on ITnation.lu


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