FinTech at Davos


In January 2016, the global banks proclaimed that they are all FinTech innovators now, reported Bloomberg in its coverage of the annual World Economic Forum conference in Davos.

No such grandiose headlines for FinTech this year. The inauguration of President Donald J. Trump gave attendees other things to opine on, and 2016 produced the kinds of things that interest techies but don’t make for bank-executive pronouncements. The innovators are emerging firms, not global banks, though large financial instititions will make or break cryptofinance implementation.

This year, the FinTech conversation at Davos, hosted by Henry Blodget, CEO and editor-in-chief of Business Insider, noted the growth in FinTech activity in Asia, where the largest FinTech investments took place last year. Panelists discussed the habits and desires of a new generation of customers, the digitization of currencies, and the great mobile shift.

The importance of regulators and their lack of FinTech preparation came up as well, as covered in a bobsguide report. Watch the full Davos FinTech panel.

White House sets forth FinTech framework for United States

The White House National Economic Council published “A Framework for FinTech,” a whitepaper which outlines the agency’s expectations for firms within and interacting with the FinTech sector, the Econo Times reported. The principles within the document include: maximizing transparency, considering consumers first, and building cybersecurity and privacy protections from the beginning. The report gives an overview of the reports published over the past year and endorses the so-called “responsible innovation” framework for FinTech promoted by the United States Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.

Can London-Brussels FinTech bridge save FinTech startups from leaving UK?

Following the UK Brexit vote, startups and entrepreneurs became concerned about the lack of connection between the UK and other European countries, which could slow FinTech growth. But the Belgian government-owned platform called “B-Hive” signed a memorandum of understanding with Innovative Finance to ensure that FinTech startups from both the UK and Belgium could collaborate with one another for creating and marketing new financial technologies, The CoinTelegraph reports.

Bank products are dead. “Long live experiences!”

For some time, banks have viewed brick-and-mortar branches to be the most important means to generate revenue and build customer relationships, but not anymore. Brett King, who has predicted the decline of bank branches since 2005, writes in a post for LinkedIn Pulse that banks must turn their attention to digital products if they want to stay relevant, citing trends in the U.S. and abroad.