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What is driving change in FinTech? The Fin or the Tech?

23 November 2017

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After a 10 year career in a tech environment and through my experience within the Department’s Financial Services team I have spent my fair share of time deliberating FinTech as a sector. Just how much does finance and technology play a part in our daily lives and what opportunities does FinTech offer the Isle of Man?

The term “FinTech” is undeniably now a widely used term and is a sector that I have watched evolve over recent years. Finance Weekly summarise FinTech as “a business that aims at providing financial services by making use of software and modern technology.”

I expect the future of FinTech to be very interesting and it will no doubt present both challenges and opportunities as new businesses enter the market looking to disrupt and innovate the sector. Businesses should see this as a chance to embrace the potential for technology, enhancing their offering from within an already mature finance sector.

FinTech is streamlining processes within traditional financial service providers and replacing legacy systems. For example the way in which we interact with our banks is changing, smartphones give us instant access to personal banking applications, goods can be purchased instantly with worldwide online payment systems and digital currency can be stored in an e-wallet.

The perception is that there is an underserved market for consumers and small businesses who struggle to gain access to traditional financial services. As an example, new payment technologies and crowdfunding platforms are offering new ways for start-up businesses to access financial services.

In May 2016, the Isle of Man’s Financial Services Authority, in collaboration with the Department and industry, created a regulatory environment for debt and equity based Crowdfunding platforms to establish on the Isle of Man.

The regulations made the Isle of Man the first International Business Centre to create a regulatory framework and new licence class for businesses operating Crowdfunding platforms.

What’s driving the changes? The Fin or the Tech? Depending on your perspective, you could say that the jury is out and we are awaiting the verdict as when it comes to driving change, both finance and technology play a vital role in the development and success of this exciting and evolving sector.

The Island has a long established Finance Sector as well as an emerging digital and eBusiness sector. Both industries are supported via strong regulatory frameworks and a supportive government. As an Island we are very well served from a technology point of view, with access to multiple data centre providers, points of presence across the UK and Ireland for data transit and a leading edge fixed and mobile infrastructure, demonstrating how working collaboratively can in fact, drive the change in one another.

Discover more about the FinTech sector on the Isle of Man by visiting: www.whereyoucan.com/Sector/FinTech

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