Ah, the old office directory: page after page, or screen after screen, of names and job titles. Wouldn’t it be great to have a virtual directory that displayed employees’ faces, included the company hierarchy, and grouped employees according to responsibilities and expertise? Better yet, what if that directory could be navigated by using natural hand gestures?
By combining the power of the Microsoft Kinect sensor and the Oculus Rift virtual reality (VR) headset, we have created just that – a VR company facebook that lets users traverse the company’s human resources and find the right employee with a flip of their hand.
In 2014, my colleague Stephen Perin and I wrote “FinTech Is Cannibalizing Banks!” a White Paper that had a certain impact in France and even in Canada. We have been following the innovation in retail banking since 2010, and this WP was meant to create a sense of urgency.
In March, 2015, we organized a small Finovate in Paris (FinTech Day) where 20 French FinTech came to demonstrate their solutions. It was the first event of its kind in France. Sure, we are running behind when compared to London but now the French FinTech ecosystem is really expanding fast, is self organizing (Association Finance Participative). The funds raised, the acquisition, and the scaling of some actors is now underway.
Worldwide global Fintech investment jumped 201% between 2013 and 2014, breaking the $12B mark with more than 730 deals.
Investment in FinTech, Jan 2010 – June 2015, in USD (src: IC Dowson and William Garrity associates Ltd)
Insofar as FinTech domains expand faster and faster, many questions remain regarding this new eco system. Before the Fintech Montreal Event to which I was invited to participate, some of these remaining questions were sent to me. Here are the answers I gave.
The questions of 2015
Is the opportunity real or are we looking at another technology bubble like 2001?
Unlike what happened in 2001, the FinTech business model relies on the fact that FinTechs have identified customers’ pain points and, in response, provide them with outstanding user experience (customer centricity). Their transparent (no hidden fees) business models rely on data they analyze and collect. Data is definitely their new black gold. Their business models do not rely on clicks or page views. Besides, the technologies they use are rich and mature (mobile, cloud computing, Big Data, API, etc.). That was not the case back in 2001. Promises that were made in 2001 can be kept this time!
During our USI Event last summer we (Stephen Perin & Sylvain Fagnent) had the chance to interveiw Chris Skinner on the future of banking. Chris also did a presentation at this event (The future of money trade and finance).
This interview has been transcribed by Natalie Schmitz (Octo Technology).