Regulatory issues are set to be the biggest hurdles facing financial technology firms over the next year, according to a survey of fintech founders and investors.
With the fintech industry booming, regulators around the world are scrambling to build frameworks that cover new products and services such as bitcoin and P2P lending.
Of 101 fintech entrepreneurs and investors surveyed by Silicon Valley Bank, 43% expect this growing tide of red tape to be their biggest impediment. A quarter of respondents think that reticence of corporations to adopt new technology will be their biggest challenge, 18% changing consumer behaviour, and 15% access to funding.
The US is seen as the market with the greatest potential for fintech growth by 36% of those quizzed, ahead of Asia on 22%, and Europe, which lags on just 14%, despite the UK government's high profile push to make London the global centre of financial technology.
While many outside of the industry worry about a fintech bubble, perhaps unsurprisingly just 17% of those asked by Silicon Valley Bank think that the sector is overfunded.
Traditional financial services players are now scrambling to embrace the blockchain but survey respondents are split, with 46% agreeing that it "is a technology looking for a problem to solve" compared to 54% that think it is one that "is providing a solution for financial institutions".
However, when asked to identify the greatest opportunity for fintech disruption, "infrastructure" (including blockchain and API) is the top pick according to 24% of respondents. Payments is the choice of 23%, insurance and alternative lending both receive the backing of 20%, with wealth management and robo advising identified by just 13%.