FTT Embedded Finance


At the end of last year, FinTECHTalents partners Aperture met with some leading experts to understand their view on the future of financial services. One message kept reoccurring; unity is key for survival.

Collaboration for greater power

“An ecosystem chain of services that are interconnected will be very powerful and we’ll start to see new business models coming out.” – Ruth Wandhöfer, Partner at Gauss Ventures

Fintech originally started with taking the ‘low-hanging fruit’ and in areas where banks weren’t as strong in terms of income ratios and focusing on clients. New business solutions are emerging because people now understand the regulatory requirement, however, a lot of what is coming out is quite niche and specific which can make it very hard for large organisations to onboard these smaller firms. As soon as we start to see FinTechs/RegTechs collaborating, these small providers will have more clout and scale to be stronger to negotiate with larger organisations.

BigTech banking success through partnership

“I personally think <BigTechs in banking are> more likely to be partnership led. So certain banks that have cracked the innovation level plus how to provide those banking services, will look at teaming up with other large tech providers or businesses in other sectors.” — Gemma Steel, General Counsel & Head of Financial Product Innovation at Project Imagine

We will see banks-as-a-platform

“When you look at the open financial ecosystem, we’ll see more payments and transactions being embedded in other platforms.” — Pol Navarro, Digital Director at TSB Bank

There is a platform play where banks can have a role with their customers. For example, if we know that in two weeks your business will need to pay tax and at the same time you will need to pay the salaries of your employees. With these things happening at the same time, you will have a cashflow problem.

Banks can provide some lending to support this but at the same time, there is also an opportunity for a bank to connect their platform with services from other providers who can also offer other services to address this problem. Whether it be FX solutions, providing better information about new ways to make a payment, etc. Like TSB did with Square, in terms of connecting a bank platform with others, Fintechs can sometimes provide a better solution than those existing in a bank.

Headless banking will emerge

“Somebody still presenting banking services to me, is still a bank. They may not have a licence, but they are still a bank.” – Dharmesh Mistry, Banking Entrepreneur and Investor

The notion of super-aps peaked too early, but the idea that you go to one place for everything that you need for a given context is the future. That’s my definition of experience driven banking. What banking has lacked for the last 200 years is context. We don’t live to bank, we bank to live, it’s the other way around and as a restaurant owner or a property developer, what are all the things that I need as well as the banking products? I expect to get these all in one place.

Partnering is needed for survival

“In terms of partnering, in the future there will be those that are quick and move with others, and those that are dead.” — Jamie Broadbent, Head of Digital & Innovation, at RBS International.

Historically, all big banks saw themselves as a fortress, building walls to keep others out. Now we are recognising that we are part of a finance ecosystem. We are one big tree in an interconnected rainforest; you cannot be siloed. In order to thrive in our environment you have to connect and work with other people.

Everything and every merchant will be connected

“Eventually person-to-person payments and eventual person-to-merchant payments will become the building blocks, or eventual rails; built across all, so that everything and every merchant is connected.” — Bradley Leimer, Co-Founder, Unconventional Ventures

This is a replication of what we are seeing in Asia. Across all of the world, with every single player from Facebook with Libra and with Chase and all of their different entrance points into the payment system, it’s really an acknowledgement that payments really are greasing the wheel for every other customer value proposition that is centred around it.

And this idea that we are all connected digitally. Eventually this data will be able to be optimised, that is the biggest thing that’s lacking. There is no acknowledgement that incrementally, on a daily basis, we can make subtle changes to every level of consumer and business finances to allow them to be managed better. We need to facilitate a shift in the way that value is derived from financial services to customers in order to optimise.

To hear more from our interviews with industry experts visit Aperture YouTube’s channel.