Recap: NRC Live — De Fintech-Realiteit

19 May Recap: NRC Live — De Fintech-Realiteit

Last week, NRC Live brought fintech innovators together in Amsterdam to discuss and showcase their new solutions brought forward by blockchain, artificial intelligence, mobile payments and robo advisory. They also awarded the Fintech 2017 Impact awards.

On Thursday the 11th of May, NRC Live hosted the conference – De Fintech-Realiteit – with cooperation from partners Topicus, Capgemini and KNAB bank. The conference was set out by NRC Live to stimulate fintech innovation and answer the following questions:

  • How are new technologies like blockchain, mobile payments, artificial intelligence, crowd funding and robo-advisory shaping the future of the financial industry?
  • What cultural change is needed to prompt fintechs and incumbents to cooperate harmoniously?
  • Regtech: How can algorithms help financials to comply to all regulations?
  • How can PSD2 help your organisation grow?
  • And finally: How can the Netherlands become a fintech leader?

Together with a large delegation of Dutch fintech companies, participants were challenged to answer these questions through readings and interactive sessions with fintech companies and corporates who are looking to innovate. It also included a discussion panel, where leading figures of the industry came together with the public to discuss certain issues within the sector.

Discussion panel

Our own Don Ginsel appeared in the second round of the discussion panel to discuss several topics with the other panellists, Cora van Nieuwenhuizen, fintech rapporteur for the European Parliament, and Reinier Pollman, program manager at Innovation & Fintech at the AFM. The topic of the discussion revolved around the position of the Netherlands regarding fintech. Two of the topics discussed below:

Will Amsterdam become the next biggest fintech capital in Europe?

Although none of the panellists believed that Amsterdam could take over from London in terms of scale and venture capital investments, the strength and usability of solutions brought forward from the Dutch Capital can certainly compete with their international colleagues. Don mentioned that the successful deployment of solutions was particularly strong in Amsterdam, with high levels of adoption.

Is cybersecurity the defining barrier for further fintech adoption?

Again, the panellists agreed that cybersecurity threats are not the biggest barrier for fintech adoption. However, many individuals are still wary of new, unknown solutions. Threats from sources like ransomware can harm the speed at which consumers will trust new players in the market, even if their solutions are safer.

Reinier Pollman from the AFM pressed the issue of trust in financial services as a whole. With more and more of the offerings moving online, people have to feel that their private data and money remains in safe hands, because a system without trust cannot really exist.

On this issue, Cora van Nieuwenhuizen suggested the importance of people actually using the new solutions, geting to know them better and becoming more comfortable with where the financial industry is moving. Continuing on about the use of crypto currencies and the trust the participants in this event had in (for example) Bitcoin, she asked how many individuals had actually purchased a crypto currency like Bitcoin. Even though there were slightly under 200 people attending, only a few hands went up. Clearly, in the case of widespread adoption, much work still has to be done.


The 2017 Fintech Impact Award

The award is an initiative by NRC Live to stimulate innovation in the financial services industry and challenge current industry innovators. During the conference, awards were handed out by the public and a jury of finance professionals.

This years’ finalists were mobile insurer InsureApp, online lending solutions provider Milestone, core banking solutions provider Ohpen, challenger bank Bunq, Torch, which seeks to make real estate transactions more transparent using blockchain, procurement platform for insurers Openclaims, personal finance app Budgently and mortgage app Dynamic Credit.

The prizes and the jury

Both the audience and the jury selected winners for The Fintech Impact Awards. The jury members included Janneke Willemse (journalist), Willem Vermeend (Fintech envoy), Don Ginsel (Holland FinTech) and Oscar Kneppers (Rockstart).

The public chose Bunq as the most impacting Dutch fintech company, while the specialized jury decided that the cooperation between Bunq and Budgently was an admirable feat in the current environment, worthy of jointly winning first place.

More on the winners

The winners were lauded for the joint impact they had on their sector and for their client, who looked for a new way to incorporate the budget planning solutions from Budgently with the banking services from Bunq. Both parties have a clear vision of creating a better future for financials services, providing products that are cheap, easy to use and really benefits customers. Furthermore, the jury found that the cooperation showed the potential of PSD2 third party access banking services.

Note: Due to the nature of the event, many of the supporting links are in Dutch.