The FinTech Chemist: Keeping an Open Mind with Open Banking

Studying the properties and composition that make up the FinTech ecosystem

Welcome to this week's industry analysis with the FinTech Chemist. While I may not be literally mixing solutions and preparing reagents, I am studying and testing out the latest and greatest in FinTech. I recently attended Money20/20 Europe in Amsterdam, and here's what I was able to formulate over the three days I was there:

With massive amounts of sensitive data, comes great responsibility. Like trying to handle a delicate substance, the financial services industry is still finding its footing when it comes to open banking. Even though the UK has pushed hard to implement the concept, David Birch said it best: "To the average person in the streets, it's delivered basically nothing, and all they get is an occasional letter from their bank with incomprehensible gibberish and something about the CMA."

To most people, the idea of sharing so much data is intimidating. However, like any great invention or initiative, the benefits have the potential to reshape the way money moves. From giving access to underserved markets, to a more fluid customer experience, and not to mention new entrants into the marketplace, it has many people rooting for its success.

Another prominent element from Money20/20 Europe was how payment providers are hyper-focused on creating a seamless front-end experience – this is where core banking providers stood out. Many of them are looking to technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) to usher in a new era of banking and drive customer satisfaction. An article by summed up the general feeling in the room, citing that “...a bank ought to do that without the customer even realizing – this is the so-called 'invisible banking,' where your financial life is catered for, but you barely notice.” But hey, to be fair, even science hasn’t cracked the code to invisibility (yet).

For those fellow science and FinTech geeks (we should start calling it 'finence' or 'scientech'), a covalent bond is a chemical bond that involves the sharing of electron pairs between atoms. These pairs are known as bonding pairs, and the stable balance of attractive and 'unattractive' forces between atoms, when they share electrons, is known as covalent bonding. This scientific phenomenon was witnessed at Money20/20 when Trulioo, a leading global identity verification provider, and Refinitiv, a worldwide provider of financial markets data, announced that they'd bonded together to foster financial inclusion and fight financial crime. This partnership aims to help institutions meet KYC/AML regulations and requirements more efficiently. As Stephen Ufford, CEO of Trulioo said in a video interview conducted by MEDICI Studio, "It's such a breath of fresh air to have a large partner that sees the world the same way little Trulioo does, and that combination can really help us drive results for customers."

One thing is for certain: three days and 350+ speakers later, FinTechs have positioned themselves to be appealing partners for the industry giants looking to capitalize on the ever-expanding payments marketplace. Now, onto my next scientific… I mean FinTech hypothesis adventure. And as always, remember to take your vitamins!

Read the previous edition of The FinTech Chemist.