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Fintech Fridays EP36: Techfins with Michael King, Lansdowne Chair in Finance, Gustavson School of Business at UVic

NCFA Canada | Aug 9, 2019

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Aug 23:  Techfins with Michael R. King, PhD CFA EP36

GUEST:  MICHAEL R. KING, PhD CFA, Lansdowne Chair in Finance, Gustavson School of Business, University of Victoria, (Linkedin)

HOST: Manseeb Khan, Fintech Friday's show host

BIO:  Professor Michael R. King is the Lansdowne Chair in Finance at University of Victoria’s Gustavson School of Business. Prior to joining UVic, he held the Tangerine Chair in Finance at Western University’s Ivey Business School (2011-2019), where he co-founded Canada’s first FinTech research centre (the Scotiabank Digital Banking Lab). Before joining academia, he worked in investment banking in Zurich, New York and London from 1990-1998 (Credit Suisse, RBC Dominion Securities) and central banking in Ottawa and Basel from 2001-2011 (Bank of Canada, Bank for International Settlements). Michael completed his PhD at the London School of Economics in 2001 and his CFA designation in 1999. He has taught finance to undergraduates, MBAs and executives. His research focuses on FinTech, banking, international financial markets, and corporate finance.

About this episode:  On this episode of NCFA's Fintech Friday's Podcast, our host Manseeb Khan sits down with Prof. Michael R. King PhD CFA, Lansdowne Chair in Finance at University of Victoria’s Gustavson School of Business. They chat about transformational fintech, big tech vs techfins and fintech 3.0.  Enjoy!

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Transcription of Interview

Intro: Welcome fintech Friday's a weekly podcast brought to you by the National Crowdfunding and Fintech Association of Canada and partners.Covering all things fintech block chain be AI and alternative finance.

Manseeb Khan :  Hey Everybody Manseeb Khan here. Thank you for tuning in to another fantastical episode of the FinTech Friday podcast, Fantastical is now in the Oxford Dictionary. It's not. I'm just kidding. I really want it to be. I mean, fantastical. I love using that word. But this week, today, I'm very, very thrilled. I've been sent a message to all my friends of how excited I am for this episode. I got Michael King. Michael, thank you so much for sitting down today.

Michael King : It's great to be with you, man. Thank you for having me on FinTech Friday.

Manseeb Khan : Awesome. Michael, could you just for the five or six people that may not know who you are and may not share the same level excitement that I am currently sharing? Could you tell us a little bit of who you are, a little bit of your background?

Michael King : Okay, great. Yeah. So, I'm a university professor out on the West Coast at the University of Victoria has kept this in school business. This is my third act when it comes to my career. I did my first decade was in investment banking and trading in New York, London, where I got to see what things look like on the private sector side. My second act in the in the 1990s was in the 2000s was with US Central Banking with the Bank of Canada in Ottawa and also with Bank for International Settlements in Switzerland, where I was there during the financial crisis and got to see how regulators look at the world. And since 2011, I've been in academia. I was at Ivey School of Business at Western University, and back in 2016, I was approached to co-found a fintech research center with my colleague J.P. Varian. And we've been following fintech avidly since then. And then I'm actually in the process of writing a book on fintech called FinTech Explain, which should be out later in the year.

Manseeb Khan : That's incredible of why I can't wait for that book. So, could you talk a little bit more of the traditional versus the transformational views of fintech?

Michael King : Yeah, I mean, I as somebody who's been coming at this from the banking side, from the financial services side for a long time, I shared the same skepticism as most people did that fintech is just the application of technology to financial services. Banks have been doing that for decades, ever since they made the transatlantic cable, the telex, the fax machine and the A.T.M. So, what's so new about fintech? And it really started to dawn on me, you know, as I was writing my book, that there's really two views about fintech. And there's one view that it's evolutionary. And this is the sort of traditional view that we're using technology to reduce costs and to automate back office and digitize a lot of processes. But there's also a transformational view, and that's more of a viewing fintech as a reason, a revolution that's coming out of, you know, the application of technologies in many different industries, consumer products and cars, automation and that back to fintech is really redesigning or reimagining financial services as part of a larger product offering. So, the traditional view is very product centric. We're going to offer customers a loan. We're going to offer them a wealth management product. We're going to offer them a means of payment. And that's kind of the way that traditional financial intermediaries are set up. If you look at the big banks there, they have divisions with names like capital markets, personal and commercial banking, and insurance. And people in those divisions tend to have titles that sort of say what they do. Mostly focused on the product. But when you start looking at a number of these new marketplaces, these multi sided platforms that are being set up and in particular by a techfins  like Ali Baba and Tencent you see that they're looking at this really from the customer's point of view. And it's very customer centric. They're saying, what does the customer want? What's their pain point and how can we provide them with, you know, a great experience? And that great experience may be social networking and maybe ecommerce and maybe gaming, but there is typically a financial service product that makes its way in there somewhere. And so financial service products are being bundled along with other customer products in a new and imaginative ways. And that's where I think the real revolution, or the transformation is taking place right now.

Manseeb Khan : I couldn't agree with you more. I mean, I'm just explaining what fintech is. A lot of you know, a lot of people may think, oh, yeah, it's a very product focused thing. This is just okay, you know what? We are just going to digitize the loans. We're just going to digitize mortgages. We're just going to digitize X, Y and Z payment method. It's very product focused and a kind of I mean, it's a little heartbreaking because. FinTech, it's so much more, right? It has the capability. I mean, you've been hit on the fact that you're having tech companies like Apple that recently released a credit card. These guys are very customer focused, customer centric, right. Because there is around. We've recently had on the on the show a stat that there's 2 billion people that are under serviced and you're having fintech companies come in and service is under serviced, under banked individuals. Its very customer focused, is very good. What do the people want? How do we build a product around the people? Not a product for the people or like a product that the people who just give it to them.

Michael King : Yeah, I'm. And Manseeb. I don't want to say that all. But these two types, traditional and transformational fintech, they kind of co-exist in this ecosystem. And you look at some of the startups that we have here in Canada and abroad and really, they're focused entirely on the customer and on how to make that experience great and simple and less costly. Or as he pointed out there, they're trying to serve customers that have been ignored or underserved or under banked. And that's true both in the United States but also in emerging markets, places like Kenya and Africa. But there are a lot of fintech that are basically just trying to automate what's already out there. And you know, I would say that There is a twist on the existing business model. But, you know, if you look at balance sheet lending online, that's pretty much the same thing as what banks have been doing for a long time. And if you look at electronic banking, well, we've had digital banks since the 1990s, and that's not particularly new. It just may be a better experience that they're getting now.

Manseeb Khan : Yeah. No, I couldn't agree with you more. So, could you talk a little bit more of the main differences between fintech and techfin and essentially like our data? And like, you know, just like the contrast and I guess the similarities between the two?

Michael King : Yeah. This term tech fin, actually, I only heard it about a couple of years ago and I got curious about it. I wondered where does this term come from? They've basically just taken fintech and turned it on its head. It turns out that it was first used by Jack Ma, the founder of Alibaba, back in 2016, to describe his company Ant financial. Where Ant financial is the formerly known as Ali Pay and was spun off prior to Ali Baba's IPO on the US stock market in 2014. And he said Tech fins are basically technology companies that are trying to provide financial services to underserved customers. Jack Ma, he kind of is critical of the existing financial system, probably looking at his home market in China, which was very undeveloped. It's all state-owned banks and state-owned enterprises. So, keeping that in mind, he said, you know, a lot of these fin techs are simply using technology to make a profit by selling financial products and services to customers. And tech fins are really trying to help people that are under banks, whether it's small businesses, whether it's in emerging market countries or whether it's some individual customers. Now, tech fins are really that term is really stuck for Ali Baba and Tencent in their financial service arms. When we go to North America, we tend to use the term big tech, where big tech is Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google. The big U.S. headquartered technology companies that are also moving into financial services slowly but surely.

Manseeb Khan : So, should fintech’s be afraid of the big tech companies and the techfin companies, or should they see this more as an opportunity of, you know what? Hey, now that we have these bigger tech players coming into our space, should we start creating partnerships or should we be a little bit more averse to them?

Michael King : Yeah, you've hit it. You've hit it right on the nail there because it can be these tech fans in the big tech are a real threat to incumbent financial intermediaries such as banks, insurance companies, wealth management. But they could also be an enormous opportunity for fintech who are partnering with them. I know on one-year earlier podcasts back in September, you had Paul Schulte also talking about Alibaba, Tencent, and Wal-Mart in India. And what we've seen there is that these companies are really opened to partnering and helping other fintech to basically provide their customers, their users and their ecosystem with the products and services that they need. So, I would say that tech fins and big tech do represent a threat to incumbents, but I think they also represent an opportunity for partnerships with startups in fintech.

Manseeb Khan : Yeah, I mean, but if you have the financial incumbents adopting the mindset of like, you know what? Hey,  let's start transitioning from the traditional view of how we see fintech into something transformative. Then like the partnerships are just going to be astounding, right? Like if we have just one of one of the big five banks partnering up with Apple, you know what? We're to start backing Apple into the credit services or just whatever the case may be, that in and of itself, they'll be very, very interesting to see.

Michael King : Yeah, it's become a really fascinating landscape because there's a lot of things going on. And as you point out, some of the big banks are really forward looking. They've really caught on to this kind of customer centric point of view. I'd highlight Royal Bank of Canada at home here at JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs in the United States. They those big players are recognizing that these partnerships with these fintech can really deliver a great experience to their customers. It can give them an edge over other incumbents. And it's the way of the future. In particular, with the development of these marketplaces. No bank is going to want to be on a dropdown list on Amazon when it comes to offering a mortgage or a loan. But that seems to be at least from looking at what's happening in China in some other countries. That seems to be the direction we're going, where it's coming very. You know, banks backed loans and mortgages were very commodities, financial products. And it's going to become even worse if these ecosystems come between a bank and their customer. So, some of these banks are developing these marketplaces themselves or they're partnering up. And that's, I think, the way to go. And you mentioned Goldman Sachs is actually backing Apple with their credit card yet to be launched. It was announced with a lot of fanfare, but it's not out there yet, but it's a retail credit card. MasterCard and Apple have said specifically, we do not want your data. And Goldman Sachs has said data privacy is going to be key to our customer offering. Right. They seem to be taking a swipe at Facebook and at Google and their ad-based business models. So just showing that you can't just lump all these big players, big tech, and thin tech fans together into the same bucket. They're really pursuing different strategies.

Manseeb Khan : Of course. I mean, because now you're seeing how the consumer and just, I mean, not only our audience, but just like everybody else is starting to realize how important their data is and how powerful their data is. Right now, you're seeing how there's been this really big push for digital identity and digital privacy of just kind of, you know, hey, I should be able to pick and choose what and how much of what of information I get to give out to companies like Facebook, to Apple or to any of the companies. And the fact that Apple is taking a swipe and taking a stance of like, hey, you know what, we don't really, we don't want your data. We want you to be in charge of your data as much as you can. And that's kind of helping build that, I guess, like future brand equity.

Michael King : Yeah. Ownership of data is going to be central to competitive advantage of any kind of financial service company or non-financial service company. But customer trust in how you treat their data. Maintaining privacy and ensuring that you're a good custodian of that data is also going to be central to claim financial services. So, I think most people agree that more data that the competitive advantage, the big tech companies like Facebook and Apple is really they get to see so much of what customers are doing online and understand them in better ways. Amazon is certainly using that data to try and understand, hey, what kind of new products do our customers want? And it can be a great benefit to consumers if by understanding this data they can provide you with a product that you didn't even know you wanted. But on the flip side, if they go around and they sell it and they monetize it and there is a cyber hack or breach where your identity is stolen. That is a nightmare scenario and one that consumers, regulators, everyone is focused on.

Manseeb Khan : Yeah, that's definitely a very scary, scary situation of getting all of our data hacked. I mean, I mean, speaking of Apple and just the big five banks, this is slowly but surely moving towards open banking, which has been a theme on the show time and time again. This is like I'm a huge advocate for it. I mean like open banking it's a very bright future. It's a very exciting future, because now with Apple announcing their credit card, that's just one of the first of many steps towards, hey, you're looking for a mortgage. Well, you know what? Hey. Amazon actually has amazing rates on mortgages in Waterloo. So, once you get a mortgage to Amazon, right. You don't have to go through TD or RBC or anybody else. You can get it from a tech company. Right. Like in the next five to 10 to 15 years, getting a car loan from Facebook is not going to sound as crazy as it is today.

Michael King : Yeah. And I think open banking is really it's coming. It's coming to Canada. It's already presents in Europe, the U.K. and in some ways,  it's coming into the United States. But it's inevitable that we are going to own our own data and have control over it. And that whether it's held by a bank, whether it's helped by a social media company or by a utility, could be your Rogers could be your phone company. That data belongs to us. And we should be paid or at least given service for the access to that data. I think that forward looking companies are now recognizing that they've been able to use it as without compensating us for it. But at the end of the day, competition in the marketplace is going to lead people to focus on the ones that are best custodians and provide the best service. And I think bringing incisive that of that data is going to help consumers. You mentioned also that, you know, Apple is trying to really distance itself from that ad base, business models of Google and Facebook. It's going to be interesting to see how they have to pivot to address all the concerns that consumers have, although a lot of people seem to be favoring convenience over security when it comes to those to their data. By the way, a big shot up for one of Canada's best fintech companies, secure key. I think they in the realm of digital identity, are doing a fantastic job and really leading in terms of looking after consumers.

Manseeb Khan : Awesome shout out to secure key, you did mention a really good point of view. You know, it should be really interesting to see how Apple is going to pivot. I mean, you know, convenience over security. I mean, that's just kind of what that has been the norm for. I mean, forever now. Right. No one like when it comes to terms of services, everyone really laughs because no one's really reading them. I don't I'm in this space and I don't I don't either. I don't like any app that I download. I'm like, screw it. I'll be fine. I'm not going to whatever. I'll be OK. I'll have I'm not that crazy yet. But, you know, it should be really interesting to see how in the future companies not only like Apple, but all the big tech companies, how are they going to monetize or what does this pivot going to kind of look like? Because right now, the landscape has been very like ad focus. AD revenue focus. Right. That's what you're seeing. That's how traditional media has been. When it comes to TV and newspapers. That's now how you're seeing Facebook and Instagram and all these other social media platforms make money. It should be really interesting to see how the heck are these companies going to make money in the future if they're not selling me ads?

Michael King : Yeah. And I think Facebook, most recent announcement about its it's backing a stable coin, a digital cryptocurrency called Libra is a really fascinating look into potentially where they're going to see some more revenues in the future. As you know, and probably your listeners already know, they launched they announced this this plan to use this coin. That's basically going to be backed by. It's going to be held in by a consortium of companies at arm's length from Facebook announced with initially 27 partners. Not a single bank was in the initial group of partners, although they do envisage having banks and other companies there later. They did have a ride sharing on, you know, food companies as well as Visa, MasterCard and other kind of consumer products are there. But it's going to make payments, electronic payments free using WhatsApp and Facebook messenger. So, then the question is, if you're offering me something for free, how can you make money off of it? Clearly, by seeing all the ID that the spending payments is such a rich place to find out customer insights. You know, they must be believing that by seeing all that spending, they're going to be able to. On financial services where they make money from that, right?

Manseeb Khan : I mean, like you said, right. Like right now, they're not partnered up with any banks or anything based on our spending habits and based on where we're sending money, where we're receiving money, they're just going to add more and more players to the Libra ecosystem, right?

Michael King : Yeah, they will. If they've said they're going to basically expand it to at least 100 partners. And by the way, when you say that payments are free. We're talking about cross-border payments. So, there may not be a charge for actually sending the money, but there is a foreign exchange conversion. And typically, you know, PayPal and others, they add a two to three percent charge when converting currencies. Not to mention making a bid ask spread on that foreign exchange transaction. And that can be that can add up when it's billions or trillions of dollars of volume that can create a lot of profit for whoever is managing it.

Manseeb Khan : Yeah. It should be really interesting to see how Facebook handles that. And on top of that differentiates it from that. Right. Because if they're going to if they're going to still charge that 2 to 3 percent charge fee, it should be interesting to see how they kind of market it and how they kind of present it to the customers of like, oh, yeah, yeah. You want some money to Kenya for sure X amount of charge, but we'll try to like jazz it up.

Michael King : Well, it's instant and it's easy and it's convenient. So, you know, most people probably wouldn't think much about paying like 2 percent on a as a service fee.

Manseeb Khan : Yes. No, I actually agree with you. I like to throw it you what are you mostly excited about when it comes to I mean, like everything that we kind of talked about, what are you most excited about and what should I guess the audience and everybody keep in mind or keep top of mind when we're looking at Apple and all these big tech companies moving into financial services?

Michael King : What I'm most excited about is what this means for us as consumers or as customers and whether it's individuals or retail or it could be small business. I think we're going to just have a much better experience when doing our living, our digital or e-commerce lives and as well as offline in the physical commerce world. We're going to see that financial services are going to sort of fade into the background. They're going to not become front and center like the way or the way they are now. Nobody wakes up in the morning saying, hey, I can't wait to go to my bank, you know, pay those fees, or engaged with that individual and the bank. Most people would rather get on with their lives. They want to focus on their spending. They want to focus on their travel, their savings, meeting their friends. And I think financial services are going to become just the way that Jack Mind and Ant financial, they talk about it. They say it's just like tap water. You turn on the tap and water come out. You don't have to worry about where the water is. Is it clean? What's the source? It's available when you need it. You probably don't turn on your light and ask yourself, well, is this Ontario Hydro That's providing this electricity to me or who is. Where's this coming from? You just assume that the electricity is available. And I think that's what's going to happen with financial services. So, we're going to have a reimagined experience. It's focused on us. I would say that institutional markets, institutional clients have been getting a much better service for decades. And now it's the retail consumer and the small businesses turn. That's what fintech is going to deliver to us.

Manseeb Khan : Yeah. That's. That should be really exciting. I can't I can't wait for that future. Michael, is there anything else you want to share with the  audience before I let you go?

Michael King : Yeah, I would say that the model that we're seeing. I mean, we've talked about big tech. We talked about tech fins. There are some really interesting fintech companies that are actually building up marketplaces very similar to what we're seeing. You may have seen that Borrowell, for example, as has pivoted from being a platform providing loans to consumers to now being a basically a financial marketplace, offering at least products from 40 or more third parties. That's kind of the way that we're these multi sided business models are really going to become much more prevalent. I think we're going to get away from having individuals fintechs and seeing instead collaboration between them to offer us a variety of products and services. So, I don't know whether people call that fintech 3.0 or 4.0. I'm losing track, but I do think that this is a fast-moving industry and there's lots of innovation going on.

Manseeb Khan : Yeah, no, I'm super excited to see the future of fintech and for it to be just as background as turning the latter turning on the tap. Michael, thank you so much for sitting down with me today. What would the best way for the audience to either reach out to you personally if they have any more questions about the book, if they want to pick your brain out? If you have a new research paper like this through email, Snapchat, Twitter,

Michael King : They say they can certainly find me on LinkedIn, feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn or to email me at michaelking@uvic.ca. And once the book's out, I'll set up a Web site as. To add to advertising, to share the content with people for free.

Manseeb Khan : Perfect, can't wait to have you on when the book is officially launched. Michael, again. Thank you so much for joining me today and can't wait to have you on next.

Michael King : Thanks, Manseeb.

Outro : you've been listening to fintech Fridays brought to you by NCFA and partners. Tune in weekly for the latest fintech Friday podcast by subscribing to this channel. The National crowdfunding and FinTech Association of Canada is a non-profit actively engaged with social and investment fintech sectors around the globe and provide education research industry stewardship services and networking opportunities to thousands of members and subscribers. For more information please visit and see if a Canada dot org. Oh yea.

 

End of Podcast

 

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NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Fintech Fridays EP36:  Techfins with Michael King, Lansdowne Chair in Finance, Gustavson School of Business at UVic The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

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Schulte Research | Paul Shulte | Aug 21, 2019 China is barreling forward on reforms and rolling out the crypto currency. It will be the first central bank to do so.  This will give added momentum to Libra. Libra could become a new anchor market for global IPOs. Take this seriously. Join if you can.  I’m pretty sure I’m right that it has backing from the very top of the US govt. 1. Cryptocurrency — The China coin is due to be rolled out in November. I hear that the distribution of the coin will be limited to 7 players: The big banks: CCB, ICBC, BOC, ABC. Alibaba and Tencent.   Positive momentum,,, Union Pay.   Interesting — to keep this alive. All others will be secondary.  The PBOC head did on SUnday make an explicit reference to Libra. As I suspected, China rightly sees Libra as a challenge to China’s early commanding lead in e commerce and payments in all of Asia and through the Silk Road. It clearly is.   Interestingly, HSBC and Stan Chart are cut out. No foreign banks in the consortium.    No foreign firms in Libra (except, weirdly,  Mercato Libra from Arge). 2. China ...
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NCFA Canada | Craig Asano | Aug 20, 2019 TORONTO, ON Aug 20, 2019  The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association of Canada (NCFA) is pleased to announce that the Exponential Group (Exponential Ventures, Exponential Capital and Exponential Markets) has joined NCFA as an industry partner. NCFA's industry partners are builders, investors and innovators who have provided a significant level of service and/or contribution towards the sustainability and growth of NCFA and related fintech sectors globally.  We encourage the fintech ecosystem to support and collaborate with NCFA's global network of industry partners by engaging directly with their ventures of mutual interest. "Since founding NCFA in the summer of 2012, one of it's core missions has been working with communities of change that are passionate about enabling inclusive opportunities for 'big vision' companies seeking to change the world but need access to capital and resources to innovate competitive products and services that otherwise may not exist.  These companies often focus on new economies of scale that look beyond 'for profit' models alone.  Supporting and leading this change by developing new infrastructure and partnerships while leveraging new technologies can be a beacon of light resulting in massive transformation and change." - Craig Asano, ...
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MIT Technology Review | Mike Orcutt | Aug 15, 2019 Complying with regulators could mean the difference between going mainstream and remaining forever on the margins of the global financial system. One of the biggest knocks against cryptocurrency has always been its status as a refuge for tech-savvy criminals. Even as some bigger players—particularly exchanges that handle many billions of dollars in crypto-wealth each day—have gone out of their way to play nice with regulators, the image persists, in part because some crypto firms have evaded regulators by moving to jurisdictions that are less strict.  But the end of the lawless era may be nigh. A new set of global anti-money-laundering rules aimed at cryptocurrency exchanges has been handed down by the Financial Action Task Force, an intergovernmental organization that sets standards for policing money laundering and terrorist financing. The rules, which call on exchanges to share personal information about their users with each other, are controversial. Many cryptocurrency enthusiasts think the privacy that drew them to the technology could evaporate. On the other hand, complying with the rules is likely to make the industry more attractive to mainstream financial institutions and users. In other words, cha-ching. See:  A Global ...
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Pryor Cashman | Jeffrey Alberts and Dustin N. Nofziger | Aug 13, 2019 The Federal Reserve Board has announced plans to develop a real-time payment service that should appeal to FinTech companies and community banks. The Board announced last Monday that it will develop a new round-the-clock real time payment and settlement service to support faster payments in the United States. This new real-time gross settlement (RTGS) service, which will be known as the "FedNow Service," is anticipated to be available in 2023 or 2024. The Board is currently soliciting comments on all aspects of the proposed service in order to finalize its design and features. The Board's intention to operate a RTGS service is a win for community banks and FinTech companies, although it may threaten those FinTechs with business models centered around providing real time payments. The Board's plans were not developed in a vacuum. The Clearing House (TCH), which is owned by 30 of the world's largest commercial banks, previously rolled out a RTGS system known as the "RTP network" in November 2017 – some six years before the Board anticipates that its FedNow Service may first become available. The RTP network reportedly cost over $1 billion ...
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Forbes | Ron Shevlin | July 1, 2019 OBSERVATIONS FROM THE FINTECH SNARK TANK A Seeking Alpha article titled Why Fintech May Not Be Fit For Public Consumption states: The year 2019 seems set to be a record-setting one for venture capitalist exit value capture by means of tech IPOs. But fintech doesn't seem to be a part of this picture. VCs are certainly putting money into fintech startups. There were 170 financings in the US in the first quarter of 2019. But, as Pitchbook says, 'not one of the most valuable fintech companies in the world seems particularly close to an offering.' " The article chalks this up to three primary causes: 1. Poor IPO performance in 2018. According to the article, "One reason nobody is in a hurry to go public is that the results of the last crop of fintech concerns that did go public have been unimpressive. Adyen and IntegraFin are prospering, but neither GreenSky nor EverQuote is "lighting up the heavens" according to Seeking Alpha. See:  OurCrowd Double IPO Success Provides Crowdfunding Validation 2. Mega-round financing. Seeking Alpha postulates that investor interest in mega-rounds--e.g., Qatar Investment Authority's investment of $500 million in SoFi and Tiger Capital leading a round that raised $300 ...
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CNBC | Kate Rooney | Aug 12, 2019 Money spent in venture capital and other alternative investments is surging as investors look for riskier, but higher-yielding investments. The trend coincides with relatively low returns from more conventional Wall Street investments such as stocks and bonds, and a drop in the number of publicly traded companies. “In a world where big institutional investors find themselves starved for returns, it’s not surprising that they have steadily increased allocations to private markets and you’ve seen capital continuing to flow into the asset class,” says McKinsey Partner Bryce Klempner. Many global investors are turning toward Silicon Valley instead of Wall Street in search of returns. The total invested in private markets hit all-time highs last year and continues to break multi-decade records this year. In the first half of the year, total investments in venture capital hit a 19-year high of $53.3 billion, according to data from Refinitiv published last week. That marked a 21% increase by total dollar amount compared to the first half of 2018. See:  $5 million Equity crowdfunding extended to private companies The steady stream of funding comes alongside a drop in the number of publicly listed companies, rock-bottom global ...
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The Solution To The Fintech IPO Shortage

Forbes | Ron Shevlin | July 1, 2019

fintech IPO shortage - Fintech Fridays EP36:  Techfins with Michael King, Lansdowne Chair in Finance, Gustavson School of Business at UVicOBSERVATIONS FROM THE FINTECH SNARK TANK

A Seeking Alpha article titled Why Fintech May Not Be Fit For Public Consumption states:

The year 2019 seems set to be a record-setting one for venture capitalist exit value capture by means of tech IPOs. But fintech doesn't seem to be a part of this picture. VCs are certainly putting money into fintech startups. There were 170 financings in the US in the first quarter of 2019. But, as Pitchbook says, 'not one of the most valuable fintech companies in the world seems particularly close to an offering.' "

The article chalks this up to three primary causes:

1. Poor IPO performance in 2018. According to the article, "One reason nobody is in a hurry to go public is that the results of the last crop of fintech concerns that did go public have been unimpressive. Adyen and IntegraFin are prospering, but neither GreenSky nor EverQuote is "lighting up the heavens" according to Seeking Alpha.

See:  OurCrowd Double IPO Success Provides Crowdfunding Validation

2. Mega-round financing. Seeking Alpha postulates that investor interest in mega-rounds--e.g., Qatar Investment Authority's investment of $500 million in SoFi and Tiger Capital leading a round that raised $300 million for Coinbase--is another factor dampening interest in IPOs. According to Jim Marous, publisher of the Digital Banking Report:

With all of the mega-round investment in fintech firms, you would think more fintech players would cash out and go the IPO route. But why would successful fintechs, who appear to have a bottomless pit of funding at their disposal, subject themselves to the massive scrutiny that comes from going public? Fintech firms don't see a slowdown of the funding fire hose and have no desire to lose control of their vision."

3. Lack of scale. Seeking Alpha asserts that fintech "doesn't scale as easily as other sorts of tech," making fintech startups less likely to be IPO candidates. According to one veteran of the fintech startup scene (a founder and angel investor who now heads up technology innovation at a large bank, which is why he prefers to remain anonymous):

People underestimate the scale dynamics of financial services. You need a lot more maturity across all measurable KPIs before you can be successful in the long-term. In an ecosystem with these scale dynamics, if a fintech startup can use private capital at favorable costs to grow operations and monetize employee equity, and avoid the distracting microscope of quarterly filings, it's going to do so."

Pascal Bouvier, Managing Partner of Middlegame Ventures echoes this sentiment, but points out that there are startups who have achieved scale and still not gone public:

Stripe is an example of a fintech that should already be public--they've achieved scale. But for others, operational readiness at massive scale is key in order to go public. If you do not achieve repeatability in your core business you end up suffering post-IPO.”

 

The Business Model Factor

Scale is certainly a big part of the equation--but why aren't many fintech startups able to achieve scale? The answer may be their lack of a sustainable, viable business model. According to Brad Leimer, co-founder of Unconventional Ventures:

It's much easier for companies like Ayden and Klarna to go public because they have a profitable model out of the gate--they only need to achieve market share to achieve escape velocity. Fintechs have to figure out that there are alternative business models to the ones banks leverage today. The path toward more IPOs in fintech is to think differently about where the industry derives value in exchange for what they create for the consumer of business."

Interestingly, Leimer's two examples are B2B--not B2C--companies, and that might hold a clue to the dearth of fintech IPOs.

See: 

Many Fintech Startups Aren't Meeting The Criteria For Sustainable Growth

What must a fintech (or any) startup do to succeed for the long-term? To oversimplify matters, it must first either offer a new product or service to fulfill unmet needs or provide an existing product or service with innovations to marketing, distribution, service, and/or product and service features that enable it to compete with incumbents. And then second, it must either expand the market size and/or its set of offerings to sustain growth.

Too many B2C-focused fintech startups have come to market with existing products or services whose "innovation" is digital distribution and service. That's not enough of an innovation to thrive. The world of B2C fintech in the US is characterized by:

  • Digital tunnel vision. Too many fintech startups suffer from Bank Displacement Syndrome--the belief that traditional banks can be displaced with nothing more than a digital product offering. Consumers who opened accounts with digital banks have done so because they want rewards, better interest rates, and/or better PFM tools--not because they want a "branchless" bank.
  • Featurization. A number of fintech startups have hung their point of differentiation on capabilities like providing a "safe to spend" feature or getting one's paycheck a day early. Savings tools like Digit and Qapital do a great job of helping people save, but the service is tied to some larger solution (i.e., checking account) that they don't provide. This "featurization" of fintech is creating firms with business models that won't provide sustainable growth--and the market is not ready to believe that these firms can expand product-wise.
  • High-risk lending strategies. After hitting a high of $25 per share in December 2014, Lending Club's stock price has been trading for less than $10 since the beginning of 2016. It shouldn't be a surprise. According to Pascal Bouvier, "Lending Club is an example of a fintech that should not have gone public--its credit portfolio wasn't mature enough." That's being generous. The firm's portfolio has been heavily weighted to credit card consolidation from sub-prime borrowers, and it hasn't successfully expanded market size or its offerings to create and sustain growth. The same can be said for some digital-only small business lenders.

Is there hope for the fintech IPO shortage?

Continue to the full article --> here


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Fintech Fridays EP36:  Techfins with Michael King, Lansdowne Chair in Finance, Gustavson School of Business at UVic The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

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How AI may help solve banks’ customer relationship issues

TechRepublic | Mary Shacklett | July 23, 2019

banking with AI - Fintech Fridays EP36:  Techfins with Michael King, Lansdowne Chair in Finance, Gustavson School of Business at UVicLearn how artificial intelligence and analytics can be used to improve customer service in banking.

When I was a CIO for a financial institution, I worked with executives on the operations side to see how we could improve relationships with customers at our branches.

Our front-line tellers at these branches were more like order takers—they did what customers asked, but no more. These employees were in low-wage positions, and they often had limited skills. One of the skills we wanted was interpersonal engagement with customers that you would typically find in a salesperson.

We decided to hire people with retail and/or people-facing experience, figuring that we could train them to be tellers. We implemented systems that would prompt a teller to ask a customer about new products the customer might be interested in, and we offered financial incentives for enrolling customers in new products.

The experiment yielded mixed results and likely would have gone better if we'd had some of the analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) automation tools that are available today.

See:  How Jack Ma’s $290b SME credit engine is changing Chinese banking

"Most customers tend to keep their accounts with the bank even if they are not too happy," said Eran Livneh, VP of Marketing at Personetics, which provides AI solutions for the financial services industry. "However, there are now many banking and non-banking alternatives available that were not available in the past that customers can also consider. Millennials also expect more personalization and technology-driven interactions with their financial institutions."

Livneh believes that over time, bank customers will take an increasing portion of their financial relationships and activities to alternative investment platforms; this will erode banks' ability to maintain these relationships and grow new ones. "We are already seeing flat or decreasing deposits for many of the US regional banks as a result," Livneh said.

This is where AI comes in and where banks have an advantage because of all of the data they already have on their customers.

"AI can help identify customer personal behavior patterns in their financial transactions and highlight the products, services, and areas of interest that are most important and useful to each customer at a given moment," said Livneh. "It can also be used to turn the experience from looking in the rearview mirror into forward-looking insights and advice, empowering customers to make better financial decisions."

The AI works by aggregating and categorizing customer account activity to provide an integrated view of a customer's financial history. Analytics are then added to highlight exceptions and important events in the customer's history.

The AI engine works on this data to develop prescriptive product and service recommendations for bank frontline personnel to present to customers. This AI can also be integrated into online applications to enable self-service recommendations, which are favored by millennials.

See:  The Case for Open Banking: Benefiting The Underserved

By using AI, banks have improved performance against KPIs by increasing customer engagement, improving customer satisfaction, reducing customer attrition, and increasing deposits and product adoption.

"Royal Bank of Canada recently launched an AI-powered budgeting tool that offers personalized advice to its mobile app customers," said Livneh. "Within the first month of launching, 230,000 budgets have been set up, and customers have been able to save over $83 million total."

This is just one example of how advanced analytics capabilities like AI are making a difference in the quality of customer relationships that are impactive and long-lasting.

To move forward with AI, banks can start by collecting and analyzing both transactional and non-transactional big data on their customers, training their frontline personnel to use these AI engines (which can be integrated into teller applications), and creating easy-to-use online apps for customers who prefer to bank electronically.

Continue to the full article --> here

 


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Fintech Fridays EP36:  Techfins with Michael King, Lansdowne Chair in Finance, Gustavson School of Business at UVic The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

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Fully automated decision making AI systems: the right to human intervention and other safeguards

Wired UK Gov | Information Commissioner's Office | Aug 12, 2019

Automated AI decisions - Fintech Fridays EP36:  Techfins with Michael King, Lansdowne Chair in Finance, Gustavson School of Business at UVicReuben Binns, our Research Fellow in Artificial Intelligence (AI), and Valeria Gallo, Technology Policy Adviser, discuss some of the key safeguards organisations should implement when using solely automated AI systems to make decisions with significant impacts on data subjects.

This post is part of our ongoing Call for Input on developing the ICO framework for auditing AI. We encourage you to share your views by leaving a comment below or by emailing us at AIAuditingFramework@ico.org.uk.

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) requires organisations to implement suitable safeguards when processing personal data to make solely automated decisions that have a legal or similarly significant impact on individuals. These safeguards include the right for data subjects:

  • to obtain human intervention;
  • to express their point of view; and
  • to contest the decision made about them.

See:  How Data-driven Strategies Can Improve Impact Investing Outcomes

These safeguards cannot be token gestures. Guidance published by the European Data Protection Board (EDPB) states that human intervention involve

a review of the decision, which “must be carried out by someone who has the appropriate authority and capability to change the decision”.  The review should include a “thorough assessment of all the relevant data, including any additional information provided by the data subject.”

In this respect, the conditions under which human intervention will qualify as meaningful are similar to those that apply to human oversight in ‘non-solely automated’ systems. However, a key difference is that in solely automated contexts, human intervention is only required on a case-by-case basis to safeguard the data subject’s rights.

Why is this a particular issue for AI systems?

The type and complexity of the systems involved in making solely automated decisions will affect the nature and severity of the risk to people’s data protection rights and will raise different considerations, as well as compliance and risk management challenges.

Basic systems, which automate a relatively small number of explicitly written rules (eg a set of clearly expressed ‘if-then’ rules to determine a customer’s eligibility for a product) are unlikely to be considered AI. It should also be relatively easy for a human reviewer to identify and rectify any mistake, if a decision is challenged by a data subject because of system’s high interpretability.

However other systems, such as those based on machine learning (ML), may be more complex and present more challenges for meaningful human review. ML systems make predictions or classifications about people based on data patterns. Even when they are highly accurate, they will occasionally reach the wrong decision in an individual case. Errors may not be easy for a human reviewer to identify, understand or fix.

While not every challenge on the part of data subject will be valid, organisations should expect that many could be. There are two particular reasons why this may be the case in ML systems:

  • The individual is an ‘outlier’, ie their circumstances are substantially different from those considered in the training data used to build the AI system. Because the ML model has not been trained on enough data about similar individuals, it can make incorrect predictions or classifications.
  • Assumptions in the AI design can be challenged, for example a continuous variable such as age, might have been broken up (‘binned’) into discrete age ranges, eg 20-39, as part of the modelling process. Finer-grained ‘bins’ may result in a different model with substantially different predictions for people of different ages. The validity of this data pre-processing and other design choices may only come into question as a result of an individual’s challenge.

See:  Innovative new law opens Guernsey up to Artificial Intelligence

What should organisations do?

Many of the controls required to ensure compliance with the GDPR’s provisions on solely automated systems are very similar to those necessary to ensure the meaningfulness of human reviews in non-solely automated AI systems.

Organisations should:

  • consider the system requirements necessary to support a meaningful human review from the design phase. Particularly, the interpretability requirements and effective user-interface design to support human reviews and interventions;
  • design and deliver appropriate training and support for human reviewers; and
  • give staff the appropriate authority, incentives and support to address or escalate data subjects’ concerns and, if necessary, override the AI system’s decision.

Continue to the full article --> here


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Fintech Fridays EP36:  Techfins with Michael King, Lansdowne Chair in Finance, Gustavson School of Business at UVic The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

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Fintech Fridays EP35: Autonomous Alternative Lending with Vit Arnautov of Turnkey Lender

NCFA Canada | Aug 9, 2019

JOIN US ON A STORYTELLING JOURNEY EVERY FRIDAY.

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Aug 9: Autonomous Alternative Lending with Vit Arnautov of Turnkey Lender EP35

HOST: Manseeb Khan, Fintech Friday's show host

GUEST: VIT ARNAUTOV, Chief Product Officer of Turnkey Lender, (Linkedin)

BIO: Vit is a skilled business executive with more than 10 years of experience in managing and delivering innovative fintech solutions. Since its foundation, Vit has been a part of the TurnKey Lender, a company creating intelligent AI-driven solutions for alternative lenders. Over the years he’s become its Chief Product Officer which gives him an incredibly deep insight into fintech in general and lending industry in particular. His areas of expertise include FinTech, digital lending, AI, and big data. Vit is happy to share his expertise with striving entrepreneurs and anyone else it can be helpful for.

About this episode: On this episode of NCFA's Fintech Fridays Podcast, our host Manseeb Khan sits down with Vit Arnautov from Turnkey Lender. They chat about how AI will help the lending space, underbanked countries and why cloud lending is a trillion dollar industry. Enjoy!

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Subscribe and tune in each Friday to check out the latest movers and shakers in fintech.

Listen to more podcasts here: Season 1 | Season 2

 


Transcription of Interview

Intro: Welcome fintech Friday's a weekly podcast brought to you by the National Crowdfunding and Fintech Association of Canada and partners.Covering all things fintech block chain be AI and alternative finance.

Manseeb Khan : Hi, everybody Manseeb Khan here and thank you for tuning in to another fantastical episode of the FinTech Friday podcast. This week I'm super excited to have Vit from Turkey lender. Vit Thank you so much for sitting down with me today.

Vit Arnautov: Hello. Happy to be here. Thanks for having me.

Manseeb Khan : Yeah, for sure. So, could you. For the I guess five or six audience members may not know who you are and what your company does. Could you just give us a rundown of a little bit of your background and what turnkey lender is?

Vit Arnautov: Okay, sure. So, I am a chief product officer, at Turnkey Lender. I mean, this business for about 10 years now, I've been in this company since the very beginning. So, this gives me a good understanding of all the processes in fintech and digital lending. Turnkey lender is the provider of intelligent lending automation. We were the first company to offer great software for the businesses of any kind. And we're focusing on digitalization processes automation and a loan decision making. But we're pretty much covering all the long lifecycle from the origination of the collection and through, of course, the decision. So, we have a line of products. The books version that can be delivered within a day. And with all the required functionalities to start lending and the enterprise solution for more sophisticated clients, this is a tool that allows you to build business processes, solve any complexity without coding. So, you can put it as a kind of Lego construct, a way you can build and automate your processes with blocks. We're Singapore based company we have offices in the U.S., in Ukraine, Indonesia, Malaysia.

Manseeb Khan : That's incredible. I like the Lego analogy you use. I think that's going to make it a lot easier for the audience members , especially to really understand the really amazing work that you guys are doing. So, could you just talk a little bit more of the approval process, right, and how kind of differs from the other alternative lenders?

Vit Arnautov: Yes, sure. So, the decision making, and approval process is still the biggest challenge for the lenders. We understand that this is also the main brisk source in their business. So, we provide several layers of the decision-making process using both traditional and alternative approaches. So, it goes like this first you have the fraud prevention to where you analyze information from internal and external sources like terrorists and other fraud lists. Then you have alternative scoring with more information from client’s house to fill in the application for how fast he's typing, how the application details. If there were copy paste that if there are too many replacements of attachments and understanding if this is a bot filling the application of these real plan. Now that we analyze also the mobile data, which is like mobile usage, number of contacts and so on, because for the entire statistics, about 80 percent of applications can come in from mobile platforms. Right? After that, we have the bank account statements, analysis, and after that goes the internal scorecard, which is the decision engine that we provide out of the box. It's powered by artificial intelligence. It learns about the borrowers and during the lifecycle of the loans. Right. And adjust in time by having more accurate and precise decisions later on. We don't have enough data to analyze. So, with more like advanced package, you can also have the champion challenge scorecards where, for example, if you want to have 10 or 15 percent of more riskier applicants and this is how you apply this on. And also, we provide, of course, the scoring reports for us or our class to analyze and track the performance and to fine tune in future the score.

Manseeb Khan : That's incredible, I'm glad that you have multiple like contingency plans when it comes time, actually like vetting and approving the process. Right. Like even under you, even though the process, I mean, as you know, has turned 200 does claim that it is. It is very fast. It is incredible that like even though it is fast, you still have multiple layers of channels you have to kind of go through.

Vit Arnautov: Yeah. Yeah. Absolutely. And this is like it has all those layers. And actually, can combine several of those. So, we also have like artificial intelligence with image forgery detector, for example, to analyze it attachments that are being in placed this is like an additional module that can be included. And all of this is combined all together. Or you can just use partially to use one block or use another one cause for different markets. It's different. And for different auditors, it's also different. Right. And so, you just can choose which of those you want to use.

Manseeb Khan : So, you do have the option to pick and choose the blocks that are appropriate for you and your business and your auditors. Could you talk about like the biggest technological challenges that alternative lenders face and how does Turnkey lenders solve them?

Vit Arnautov: Sure. So, from my point of view, the biggest ones are, first of all, of course, the regulations that we're having from our governments. There are literally a lot of them right now. And it's getting even worse because governments very strict in those regulations. And we, of course, understand that someone a good purpose. But so, we need to comply with that. And so, in case of Turnkey Lender, it's for example, we have signed an agreement with Thompson Reuters to streamline those military compliance for the clients in different countries because each country has their own compliance. And also, you want to buy a solution that is flexible enough to fit the regulations that are not there yet, but yet to come the fall of the governments. So, the second thing is you the need of one day fund transfer for the organizations and for borrowers. So, solution for that is in turnkey lender. That is fast decision making where you can provide a decision within seconds and you can transfer funds with some kind of automation of payment provider, comparing it to taking days or even weeks. In the past. So, this is a huge change right now. I say that is the growing competition among lenders due to a significant lowering of the entry barrier to the market. And this is also we provide the faster decision making which allows your business to grow faster and provide better decision and lowering risk, of course. And it's the intuitive user interface for the borrowers scores. Each of those question or another step in the application process and know your customer process. It lowers your sales funnel.

Manseeb Khan : Right that makes total sense. How do you see the role of A.I. in digital lending now and in the near future? Because you have mentioned a couple times, you know. How what differentiates you guys from other lenders? And what kind of makes you guys a little bit more pulling ahead is the fact that you guys actually use AI the most the fullest advantage currently to make sure your loaning process, your vetting process and security. And just to make sure the whole like you can optimize every single block to the fullest potential.

Vit Arnautov: Yes, absolutely. So, the first usage of the A.I. is obviously for chat bots that we can see this support that automates their first level and second level usually. And like using bots to kind of answer the questions faster. But what's the biggest application for me, as I see, is the risk evaluation and of course, the decision and process. So, the AI usage helps us to provide more accurate analysis in predicting the expected future behavior for a client and therefore to provide more precise decision making. So, the learning curve for the AI is exponential and in the nearest couple of years we are going to get a huge leap in this.

Manseeb Khan : Because you can totally mitigate a lot more risk. Right being able to map out certain behaviors of who you're lending out to, you get to know, you know, aside from who they are, from the financial statements and from the history and aside from all the documents that they already require having an additional layer of A.I. to learn their behavior patterns and to send it to kind of trend to see what they're going to do in the next five years. I believe that's very important for sure.

Vit Arnautov: Yes, absolutely. If I may add. So please, you've got the operational costs because you don't need to have like 20, 30 people in the office for decision making. You can automate it at all and provide the system within seconds. So, this also eliminates today human error and it helps you to cut costs. Right.

Manseeb Khan : Yeah, for sure. Absolutely. And like you can even start again adding more. And actually, this opens up the door to add more blocks in the future of having even more criteria as of getting approved for loans or what it or the case may be. You guys do something really interesting called Cloud lending. Could you explain a little bit more of what cloud lending is and why it's going to become a trillion-dollar year over year industry?

Vit Arnautov: Yeah, sure. So, cloud lending is really exploding and so we host all our solutions in the cloud, of course. And for each like if it’s a retailer or even a dentist wanted to stand their business and to go online. Or is it a fintech startups. A lot of new players coming into the market. And of course, they have our own challenges and many businesses struggle with the entry barrier. But with a bot platform that we provide, it can be deployed within a day. So, it's ready to use and compare it to the like millions of dollars that banks were investing in R&D to have the same functionality in the past. So, the way we see it is launching now a web platform. A cloud platform for lending is as easy as a WordPress site, which was a really heavy 10 years ago. And now it's a matter of hours. And so, we're even hosting it for you. So, you don't need to pay for hosting separately on your domain name. So, we have a goal in one place. You just buy a subscription and you go with your lending platform.

Manseeb Khan : That's incredible. That makes it a lot more easier to use. I like the WordPress analogy. How do you how do you see technology changing in the lending space in the next five years?

Vit Arnautov: Yeah. First of all, the one that we just discussed, the way AI use each, of course. Now, the second thing I would mention is the whole lifecycle of the loan automation. And it's not only the A.I. usage, but all these flaws that are being now automated with lending solutions. So, it's also eliminating the human error and speeding up the process. It's all about processes. Automation is all things like servicing and collection, reporting, underwriting, and even notifications are all automated now. And you don't need once again 20 people to manage the software and be one engineer who's sitting in the office and fine tuning the software. And it works just as it is. No additional features required. Everything's in place already. Now, the one more thing worth mentioning is an expansion to under banked or unbanked regions and new demographics. Cause as far as I remember, it is two and a half billion people who cannot get access to banks right now in the world. Right. So, it's half of the entire population of the planet. And in really developed countries, the customer acquisition cost is already high. And it continues to grow. This why is many financial institutions having branches of them of their software to go with under banked regions and demographics. This is what's going to change in the near years, of course, because, for example, we're providing an international version of our solution that also you can just choose the country you're operating with and change it automatically change the unique identifier system, for example, and the date format, the currency, the language and stage, and it's ready to go and you can work with it. So, in an example within Asia, they have a lot of rural banks and fintech’s trying to reach out offline lenders outside of the big cities and provide loans to them. So, we can see that interest industry is growing faster.

Manseeb Khan : Yeah. I mean, you did bring up a good point of the fact that there are two billion people that are getting under serviced. And I think the future of that is very bright. I think there's a ton of opportunity there for helping, you know, very under underdeveloped countries. And just like infrastructure in and of itself and being able to service these kinds of people and help them develop, help them, you know, like foster new growing economies. That in and of itself is very exciting because like so many like so many new innovations and just ideas and just like so amazing things are to come out of that. And that to me is. That's can be very, very exciting.

Vit Arnautov: Yes, absolutely. I totally agree with you. And hopefully Elon Musk will cover the earth with the Internet connection very soon and all those people will be able to reach the Internet with loans to be able to grow their businesses. Because right now they just cannot access their banks, right? Yeah. Yeah. In the next few years, they will be able to get loans or their business and start to get in profit.

Manseeb Khan : Right? For sure. And this and this now start to become like an actual player. Right. In whatever space they may be in. Right. That's very, very exciting.

Vit Arnautov: Yeah, absolutely right. Yeah.

Manseeb Khan : So, I guess, how does alternative lending impact industries, I guess, such as telecom and like medicine then?

Vit Arnautov: Ok, let's start with medicine first, right? Cause medical is they say that 21st century is going to be a century of medicine and biotech and the industry's going to be bigger every year. I believe that in 10 or 15 years you will be able to replace your arm with a bionic we are if you want. But the costs for these such kind of surgeries are really high. And so that's where the lending comes in. And you have to get sometimes the service is very fast and you get money and not get a loan from this organization. And so, the second one is telecom and the previous logic goes there. When a user doesn't have money on their balance, they should be instantly offered with the with a credit line to continue communicating so they could repay it later on. And the second use case for telecoms is that they should be able to get a new tablet or new phone right from the office of the telecom. So, they are starting to finance their retails. And you don't have to go to bank anymore. You can get it right in place. So that's why I think it's going to be big in next couple of years.

Manseeb Khan : Mm hmm. The medicine that I never thought of it in the medicine field of like, hey, you know, you want a new bionic arm. Awesome well there is costs for that. I was like, oh, that now. I mean, it's a lot more sense, especially now with the new I guess now like we have robotics and medicine and like, you know, we can actually like sooner or later we able to replace any single body part we can.

Vit Arnautov: Absolutely agree with you Looking forward into this into that future.

Manseeb Khan : Yeah. One hundred percent. So, my I can't wait for that too. Um, are there any other spaces that turnkey lender or are looking into?

Vit Arnautov: Yes, sure. So, we think that retail will be big also. For example, the in-house retail, if you're producing anything you can just provide also services like lending services for that and you will be able to get to competitors with that. You just provide an installment program. Increase in your sales. And then it's very simple, but it's very effective because the sales rises.

Manseeb Khan : Yeah, for sure. because now you have one advantage compared to competitors of, hey, you know what? Sure. We sell. I don't know. Artisanal couches, whatever, whatever, whatever. I don't know whatever you might be selling if you know how to feel, if you do have the full amount. That's OK. We actually offer financing terms, and these are the actual financing terms. So, yeah, no, I agree.

Vit Arnautov: And the business gets their interest and the customer gets the reality. And then there are more clients and there is no downside in this in this approach for sure.

Manseeb Khan : Absolutely. So aside from, I guess, a telecom retail. Are there any other industries that you think alternative lending is going to impact next? And why?

Vit Arnautov: Actually, I think lending will be huge in years future That's to what you mentioned. Like 1 trillion dollars. And it can be anything. It can be e-commerce. It can be a medicine, retail, anything. It can be just installment loans, consumer loans, just anything. And the under banked regions, so that you are discussing. Right. So how about what the population will be getting loans?

Manseeb Khan : So, a little insight into the trends of the lending industry. I mean, such as P2P lending and house financing, which we talked about, debt financing, you know, factoring, invoicing. Could you discuss the areas a little bit more in detail and how do you see them developing more in recent years?

Vit Arnautov: Yeah, sure. So once again, the other bank regions, for example, are not just crowd lending and like crowd funding, it can be peer to peer for businesses in Africa, for example. They want to extend their business. They, for example, produce some great goods, but they don't have this capital to yet grow in. So, with the peer to peer, they can access funds from UK and US for from developed countries. Right. And they're just getting those money to expand their business. And this is very efficient loans with low risks, actually, because they have collateral on their businesses. I'm pretty sure that they will be able to give it back the loan within like short terms for business. It's two years, three years. And this is very effective. And for those lenders, for those businesses in Africa, that they just cannot get funding without it. So, this is the only source and the fastest source of funds that they can access. So, the effort to bear is great also.

Manseeb Khan : Right. And this kind of goes in the conversation of like open banking right now. You're going to have let's stick with the Africa example. Right. I'll let you have a business in Africa. They need money to actually start the business up or pay off whatever they need to pay off. And, you know, they could they can actually start getting more competitive rates. You know, hey, let's look at the banks and UK and let's look at the banks and like Germany or like the bank or the banks like Sri Lanka. Let's see. Look what all the rates are. What do we get? And it's kind of creating a more of a of a really creative, not creative, creative, and competitive marketplace for businesses to kind of have a lot more options and not be as and not have such a high bar of entry.

Vit Arnautov: Yeah, Exactly. And also, worth mentioning that for developed countries, the percentage for loans will get 3 percent. Right. And for Africa, the usual percentage might be like 12 percent or 14 percent. And it's OK for them because they just don't have access to money. So, for developed countries, they have the high interest for not developed or developing countries. It's to get money faster. So, the economy of the world is growing because of that, because money is distribution from one region to another. And are like the money is in the place in Africa producing goods and selling goods. So, the economy rises all over the world because of it.

Manseeb Khan : Right. No, absolutely not. You know, it's really helping fuel the flame of having of more of a globalized economy. Right. Exactly. Yeah. So Vit is there. Before we wrap up, is there anything else you want to add on? I guess a couple of things that you definitely want to keep. You want to make sure the audience kind of keeps in mind.

Vit Arnautov: If you're starting a business, just consider having a platform that is really user friendly and to its flexible enough to fit your business needs and flexible enough to fit your future business needs. So, there are platforms right now that allow you to start business with one day and start operations. So, yeah, it's good. It's great. It's like good for your business.

Manseeb Khan : Awesome. Yeah. So, make sure you make sure everyone or all the entrepreneurs that we have in the audience, make sure that you stay flexible as much as you can. So. Exactly. Yeah, that's awesome. So Vit Thank you so much for sitting down with me today.

Vit Arnautov: Thank you very much for having me Manseeb. Once again. Yeah.

Manseeb Khan : For sure. So, I guess we'll I guess we'll be the best way for audience members to either reach out to you personally and or to Turnkey Lender or if they have any more questions about anything.

Vit Arnautov: Absolutely. You have my contacts. If anything, you can contact me directly or with from our site on Turnkey Lender dot com where we'll be happy to help you. And we'll be happy to answer all of your questions.

Manseeb Khan : Ok. Awesome. Thank you very much. Yeah, for sure.

Outro : you've been listening to fintech Fridays brought to you by NCFA and partners. Tune in weekly for the latest fintech Friday podcast by subscribing to this channel. The National crowdfunding and FinTech Association of Canada is a non-profit actively engaged with social and investment fintech sectors around the globe and provide education research industry stewardship services and networking opportunities to thousands of members and subscribers. For more information please visit and see if a Canada dot org. Oh yea.

 

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NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Fintech Fridays EP36:  Techfins with Michael King, Lansdowne Chair in Finance, Gustavson School of Business at UVic The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

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Bitcoin Market Journal | Evan Karnoupakis | Aug 19, 2019 Satoshi Nakamoto—A Japanese name conveying “wisdom” and being of “central origin.” What if that name was meant to conceal the true origins of bitcoin and blockchain technology?  After all, Americans are notorious for confusing differences amongst Asian cultures. If you take the first and last letters of both the first and last names, you get S-I-N-O, meaning “of or related to China.” This may seem like quite a stretch until you recognize the dominant position of China in the Blockchain World. Consider that China: Controls 72 percent of bitcoin mining power. Owns two-thirds of blockchain patents, while having applied for 48 percent of blockchain patents compared to only 21 percent by the United States. Has a national policy that supports blockchain initiatives and has included blockchain in its current 5-year plan. Is the home of 25 percent of all new blockchain projects (according to Blockdata). Is the largest fintech market in the world, accounting for 46 percent of all fintech, and is home to four of the world’s ten largest fintechs. How could China have invented blockchain? After all, China doesn’t innovate; all they do is copy. Right? Wrong. First, ...
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Fortunly | Biljana Nikolovski | Aug 23, 2019 The figure of home-ownership in Canada is one of the highest in the world, even though the number of people who own residential property in the country slightly dipped from 69% in 2011 to 67.8% in 2016. But, the portion of the Great White North’s population with debt repayment woes has been increasing at an alarming rate. In fact, a 2018 report revealed that 19% of seniors still have an unpaid mortgage. As a result, 20% of Canadians continue to work well into their golden years. Certainly, a basket of solutions is necessary to help ensure that mortgages in Canada run their course, allowing homeowners to be free and clear come retirement. Fortunately, fintech solutions are here to the rescue. According to Fortunly, peer-to-peer (P2P) lending and decentralized finance (DeFi) are some of the newest innovative models with great potential to help more Canadians, including seniors, reduce their overall cost of borrowing and to better manage debt repayment. P2P lending enables an individual to borrow money from another individual and it allows both parties to seamlessly interact with one another through a digital platform. This is beginning to invade the mortgage space ...
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About NCFA Canada | C. Asano | August 23, 2019 TORONTO, Aug 23, 2019 – The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association of Canada (NCFA) today announced that Paul Schulte, Founder and Managing Editor of Shulte Research in Singapore, has joined the Association`s international Advisory Board to advise in the areas of Banking and Financial Services (profile). Paul's roles in banking & financial services in the past 30 years include equity & fixed income research (buy & sell sides) in emerging markets. In recent years, technology has evolved rapidly to challenge all facets of financial services his core belief is: Liquidity & credit are everything; get bank liquidity & solvency right and the rest follows. Aside from being the founder & editor of Schulte Research, he has taught for 18 years IN MBA programs: Tufts, HK UST, HKU, LMU Hilton School in LA & SUSS in Singapore. He has also worked for the Number 1 investment bank from Switzerland, US, UK, Japan, PRC & Holland starting in 1990. Paul has been a source for the WSJ, NYT, Bloomberg, Nikkei, FT, Economist, Barron’s & Forbes. His clients include some of the largest sovereign, pension, mutual and hedge funds globally. He served as ...
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NCFA Canada | Craig Asano | Aug 20, 2019 TORONTO, ON Aug 20, 2019  The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association of Canada (NCFA) is pleased to announce that the Exponential Group (Exponential Ventures, Exponential Capital and Exponential Markets) has joined NCFA as an industry partner. NCFA's industry partners are builders, investors and innovators who have provided a significant level of service and/or contribution towards the sustainability and growth of NCFA and related fintech sectors globally.  We encourage the fintech ecosystem to support and collaborate with NCFA's global network of industry partners by engaging directly with their ventures of mutual interest. "Since founding NCFA in the summer of 2012, one of it's core missions has been working with communities of change that are passionate about enabling inclusive opportunities for 'big vision' companies seeking to change the world but need access to capital and resources to innovate competitive products and services that otherwise may not exist.  These companies often focus on new economies of scale that look beyond 'for profit' models alone.  Supporting and leading this change by developing new infrastructure and partnerships while leveraging new technologies can be a beacon of light resulting in massive transformation and change." - Craig Asano, ...
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Capital One data breach shows why it shouldn’t be a tech company that does banking

ComplianceX | The Compliance Exchange | Aug 8, 2019

digital rainfall - Fintech Fridays EP36:  Techfins with Michael King, Lansdowne Chair in Finance, Gustavson School of Business at UVicOnce upon a time, any financial institution entrusted with your money and sensitive information would be housed in an imposing building made of granite. Its vault, often visible from the lobby, was formidable. And its managers would always be prudent, conservative types. Think Fidelity Fiduciary Bank, the fictional institution in the Mary Poppins movies, whose chairman in the original film sang: “Invest your tuppence wisely in the bank, safe and sound, soon that tuppence, safely invested in the bank, will compound.”

The idea was to convey a sense of security so that people would feel good about depositing their hard-earned cash and storing their prized possessions in safe deposit boxes. It spilled over to investors who saw bank stocks as prudent, though hardly spectacular, investments.

Nowadays, though, banks can’t do enough to shed the dowdy images, perhaps none more so than Virginia-based Capital One Financial Corp. During an earnings report this year, CEO Richard Fairbank all but said that he did not view his bank as, well, a bank:

“What we’re doing at Capital One is building a technology company that does banking, instead of a bank that just uses technology.”

Which brings us to the company’s announcement that a lone hacker — allegedly a troubled 33-year-old woman in Seattle — had managed to penetrate its firewall to acquire sensitive data on more than 100 million card customers and applicants.

The sad truth is that many modern banks don’t much care about people’s private information. The same apparently goes for companies that work with banks. On the same day the Capital One breach was reported, credit rating agency Equifax agreed to pay $700 million to settle a 2017 data breach.

Institutions might say they do care, but what really matters is how fast they can digitize everything about their company and migrate it to the cloud. By doing this they increase their profit margins and rates of growth, and become Wall Street darlings.

It’s not hard to see the financial pressure on banks. Since the Great Recession, their stock performance has been so-so, while tech companies have done extremely well. Anything that they could do to function more like tech companies that do finance, rather than vise versa, could make them hot properties.

See: 

Tech companies, however, are bad examples to follow. They collect data on people’s habits that allow advertisers, political operatives, hostile foreign powers and others to glean valuable insights. And banks hold even more sensitive information than do most tech outfits.

It’s one thing to be lax and self-interested with people’s web surfing histories or social media contacts. It’s quite another to be cavalier with account information, Social Security numbers and credit scores. These can be sold to people interested in taking out fraudulent loans, making fraudulent purchases and engaging in other forms of identity theft.

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NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Fintech Fridays EP36:  Techfins with Michael King, Lansdowne Chair in Finance, Gustavson School of Business at UVic The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

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In the Future, Home Will be Wherever Consumers Choose to be

Flinks | Yves-Gabriel Leboeuf | Aug 7 2019

home is where consumers choose - Fintech Fridays EP36:  Techfins with Michael King, Lansdowne Chair in Finance, Gustavson School of Business at UVicConsumers will soon be able to benefit from the same level of trust they get from the local bank in their hometown, wherever they are in the world.

Imagine for a moment that as you settle in a foreign country, you go straight to a financial institution and ask for a mortgage to buy your new home. They don’t know who you are or what you do. They have no context on which to base a decision. And so it’d make sense to reject your request.

Context has always been a key part of the trust bond between consumers and financial institutions.

Global connectivity in finance — and especially accessing and understanding transaction-level data — has the power to fill that gap by enabling data portability. Having your financial history following you allows for unprecedented autonomy and freedom, wherever you decide to stay.

It happened before

Early nineteenth-century American merchants faced a similar problem.

Up until then, they relied on personal ties for much of their credit information — from wholesale merchants down to local butchers keeping tabs on their clients. If they didn’t know their customer first hand, they could ask other merchants about a potential customer’s trustworthiness. They had available sources of information, based on experiences and opinions.

See:  Open banking in Canada – time to prepare for change

As markets expanded, especially in the cities, merchants began to trade with customers they did not and could not know personally.

The lack of knowledge about distant and unknown customers was what we're now used to call a pain point. Merchants did not have the appropriate context to judge if they should conduct business, lend money, accept to open a credit tab, etc.

Limited connectivity at work

A proper solution for this lack of knowledge and context about consumers was to gather and distribute information on a large scale.

The answer came in the form of reports that were managed by networks of correspondents across the nation’s cities and villages. They would collect information from merchants about their customers’ character and reputability of paying things back in a timely manner. All of those data points would then be consolidated in a ledger, accessible for a fee.

If you’re thinking “credit bureau”, you’re right — the agencies built around this concept in the nineteenth century are basically the ancestors of today’s credit bureaus. Of course, the information being reported and the techniques have evolved. But collectively we rely on the same premise to bridges the data gap: businesses still need to figure out whether they can trust potential customers, and to do so they rely on profiles drawn by agencies that collect and consolidate information. Consumer’s context can be shared, but only as long as it’s in the space covered by these agencies.

Trust can cross borders

This model of limited connectivity has now reached its limits.

With people being so mobile worldwide, customers don’t get the same ability to prove they are worthy of trust with credit or access to certain services, simply because the lenders, financial institutions and other companies don’t know them. The same can be true for people with thin credit files or in the process of rebuilding their credit profile.

See:  Why Open Banking Represents a Seismic Shift for Fintech

We’re once again facing a gap: information that is relevant about a consumer cannot be accessed. And so we’re left with a financial services system that:

  • puts up barriers to access for some segments of the population;
  • has people rebuild their financial profile from the ground up after they relocalize to a new country;
  • makes it longer and harder to reach important milestones.

Or, simply put, a system that can't understand some consumers' financial life profile because it doesn’t have the proper context.

This is bound to change with global connectivity in finance. Let’s imagine once again settling into a new country, but this time with the ability to give access to your financial data — wherever the source is. Your identity and financial assets can be verified in a timely manner, opening up access to your new country’s financial services system.

Or imagine you’ve been earning a decent salary for years and never needed to have a credit card or a loan. Your traditional credit score might not say much about you, but other types of financial data can be used to understand you as a consumer. Transactional data, specifically, allows businesses can get a deeper and real-time understanding your financial profile and behavior.

When your context can cross borders, trust does too.

 

Flinks CEO Yves Gabriel Leboeuf - Fintech Fridays EP36:  Techfins with Michael King, Lansdowne Chair in Finance, Gustavson School of Business at UVicYves-Gabriel Leboeuf, Co-founder and CEO, Flinks

Flinks is a data company that empowers businesses to provide better financial services to consumers. Trusted by over 200 world-class companies, Flinks enables businesses to connect users’ bank accounts, gain financial insights into their customers and provide better risk products.

 

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NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Fintech Fridays EP36:  Techfins with Michael King, Lansdowne Chair in Finance, Gustavson School of Business at UVic The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

Latest news - Fintech Fridays EP36:  Techfins with Michael King, Lansdowne Chair in Finance, Gustavson School of Business at UVicFF Logo 400 v3 - Fintech Fridays EP36:  Techfins with Michael King, Lansdowne Chair in Finance, Gustavson School of Business at UViccommunity social impact - Fintech Fridays EP36:  Techfins with Michael King, Lansdowne Chair in Finance, Gustavson School of Business at UVic
NCFA Fintech Confidential Issue 2 FINAL COVER - Fintech Fridays EP36:  Techfins with Michael King, Lansdowne Chair in Finance, Gustavson School of Business at UVic