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Fintech without Tech?

Everyday I meet enthusiastic Fintech entrepreneurs, who have started their Fintech Businesses focused on lending, wealth management, payments etc. Most of these entrepreneurs have business background like sales / marketing / product. In their hurry to launch the business, typically they start without Tech...

Few suggestions to improve the possibility of becoming Fintech powerhouse (I don't like the word disruptor).

- Get Tech Co-Founder On-board: Identify a tech cofounder to start the journey with you. There are phenomenal tech experts, who are still working in technology companies or banks. Take your time to get someone with enough skin in the game by way of equity.

- Create in-house development team: Core of any Fintech is essentially Tech IP. It may be worth your time to build a powerful tech team, which can build your MVP fast and first time right. Full outsourcing is highly avoidable. Full outsourcing if required, must be done with extreme care and with regular reviews (I mean daily!)

- Scan the market for tech partners: There are many pure play technology Fintech players, who can simplify a component of your business (like Digital Identity). It makes sense to partner with them, rather than building each component.

- Focus on AI / ML: Most of the product differentiation in future will be through Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. Work on getting this embedded in the culture of your organisation, even if your MVP may not have this on Day 1.

Technology is a big enabler and needs tremendous focus & energy. Do not make the same mistake as Banks and NBFCs have made for last many decades. They have looked at Technology as Support function (and a cost centre) and hence have not been able harness the power of Technology.

Get ready to create your FinTECH Powerhouse...

 

Comments: (1)

Ketharaman Swaminathan
Ketharaman Swaminathan - GTM360 Marketing Solutions - Pune 23 August, 2017, 13:281 like 1 like

Based on my background of working in the IT industry for years, during which period I have been a supplier of technology to banks and of marketing solutions to fintechs and banks: 

  • With so much of fintechs' offerings running on banking rails, it's silly for them to claim to be disruptors of banks. Ergo, even I don't like the word "disruptor"! 
  • I agree that fintechs should have a tech cofounder. But I also know that it's extremely hard to find one, especially if the original founders come from sales / marketing backgrounds. Right or wrong, techies don't like to join sales / marketing founders. They understand the importance of these business functions only when they have founded a company and struggled owing to lack of sales / marketing.
  • While I agree that fintechs shouldn't reinvent the wheel, they should be sensitive to the risks of partnering with third parties. I've covered this in a blog post entitled Thriving On Chaos Of SMAC Architecture on my company blog.
  • I totally disagree that banks have not harnessed the power of technology. On the contrary, I think banks have made pathbreaking use of technology to reduce costs, increase profits and enhance CX. Credit Card, ATM, MBS, CDO, CDS, and Algo Trading stand testimony. How many other industries have created the equivalent of technology-driven products like CDO and CDS, or technology-driven business models like algo trading that expose limitations even with the speed of light?

More than anything else, for fintechs to become powerhouses, they need to create products and services that people really need / want. On that count, I'm gung-ho about Online P2P Lenders and Robo Advisors and skeptical about neobanks that offer yet another bank account / debit card.

Sameer Singh Jaini

Sameer Singh Jaini

CEO

www.TheDigitalFifth.com

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This post is from a series of posts in the group:

Fintech innovation and startups

Disruption, destruction, harmony and creation; Fintech’s new frontier – a place to discuss the cutting edge of innovation.


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