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An AI proposition is now 'table stakes' for fintech startups

An AI proposition is now 'table stakes' for fintech startups

An offering that harnesses AI is now the minimum expectation of a fintech startup, according to Ben Davey, chief executive officer of Barclays Ventures.

Discussing the investments and acquisitions landscape at Singapore Fintech Festival 2020, Davey states the fintech space has reached the same place with AI that it previously did with online, mobile and the cloud.

"Many years ago everything had to be online, then everything had to be mobile, then everything had to use the cloud," he says.

"That's where we now are with AI."

However, AI being "table stakes" presents the problem of a proliferation within fintech platforms and the risk of it being poorly deployed and without significant scale at large organisations.

Fellow panellist, Matt Dill, senior vice president of digital partnerships at Visa, expresses concern for what this could mean both for the fintechs seeking investment and the investors themselves.

"I'm not sure I'd know where to put my money - I might just buy stocks in Google," he says.

"Would there be the opportunity to invest in the kind of platforms that are going to deliver cutting edge innovation? Is there enough room in the marketplace for new startups?"

Davey however doesn't believe there should be a concern that there will be diminishing returns for startups offering new propositions that harness AI and the data therein.

"It's about exposing capability to developers to help make their products and services consumable," he says.

"Being able to provide new serices involves building up new verticals in other industries such as healthcare. No one player is ever going to 'win' healthcare."

He therefore believes that the "flow of access and enablement" will be in no danger of slowing.

The annual Finextra Fintech Outlook survey, developed in association with Smith & Williamson, seeks to gather the views and opinions of founders and senior management of the Fintech community in the UK with regards to business confidence, talent, tax, funding and the outlook for the future. Click here to participate.

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