FinTech success depends on infrastructure support and standards

Experts call for infrastructure and standards at Sibos as FinTech discussions have started to sweep across the industry.
By Paul Walsh
Developing financial technologies must have the correct infrastructure to support them in order to fulfil their highly touted potential, according to a panel of industry experts.

Speaking at Sibos 2016 in Geneva, Jessie McWaters, project lead disruptive innovation in financial services at the World Economic Forum, stressed the important of infrastructure in FinTech development.

“We need infrastructure as we have technology, but we need the support structures for this to work, we need to think about how we can leverage existing technology such as blockchain to create potentially a more modular and updatable infrastructure,” said McWaters.

McWaters also stressed that industry standards need to be created in order to increase the efficiency of FinTech ad that stakeholders need to play a key role in this.

“Core to the creation of infrastructure is the underlying assumption that development is not a technology constraint but a stakeholder restraint, we need to establish standards to be built upon.

“For example if you wish to establish a clearing system based on blockchain, how do you get the stakeholders on the same page as your technologists.”
“We are just starting to see the beginnings of standards, we’ve been talking about this thing called blockchain but only now just seeing it in action due to creation of standards.”

Fellow panellist Dr Leda Glyptis, Sapient Global Markets also stressed the importance of integrating new developments with “legacy” systems and that “evolution” of systems was required as opposed to complete revolution.

Banks are exploring new forms of disruptive technology through partnerships with FinTech firms and their own innovation, however there have been few implementations so far.

There is also an increasing amount of collaboration and collective work towards the progression of FinTech.

Earlier this month, The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) has announced plans to launch a FinTech innovation hub and regulatory sandbox following in the footsteps of UK, Australia and Singapore in launching a FinTech hub.