A Director's Thoughts on FinTech North

Stephen Moss / April 30, 2019

Tags: BlogFintech

It was the FinTech North conference on Wednesday the 17th April, it was the first FinTech event I have been to. Honesty, I wasn’t sure what to expect.

The event was brought to my attention by our principle ReBuilding Society. They have helped support, found and promote the events since its launch. I am sure like most people, you are often told to “Come along, there will be lots of connections and business opportunities”. Personally, I don’t typically go to these events, but I trust the guys at RBS and so thought let’s give it ago.

I checked out the website (https://www.fintechnorth.uk/) before booking and one thing that caught my eye was the variety of different types and sizes of businesses. I also noticed that they have a pitching session, in which new and growing FinTech businesses have a whole 5 minutes to blow you away, which I thought was great for new businesses.

The point of this blog is to highlight some of the great companies I got to meet and listen to during the presentation, I highlighted my top three:

1 – https://fingopay.com/

Now, for anyone who attended the event they are going to say this company didn’t present and you are correct. However, I think this shows another side of the event and how the networking opportunities can lead to great relationships. I met Simon from Fingopay during a networking session and when he told me about his business, I couldn’t stop asking questions (sorry Simon).

Fingopay lets you prove your identity and pay using only your finger. It enables fast, safe and secure transactions. There is no need for cash, cards or passwords.

The reader uses Hitachi VeinID technology. Harmless infrared light maps the unique pattern of your veins. Our cloud-based matching system verifies payment in seconds.

Unlike fingerprints, your vein pattern leaves no trace and cannot be copied. It is an ideal biometric for high security authentication.

How cool is that! This is being trialled at the Manchester City football team stadium, you can read about this here: https://www.essentialretail.com/news/etihad-stadium-first-to-offer/

2 - https://www.innovatefinance.com/

The CEO is a lady called Charlotte Crosswell, who gave a great overview of the FinTech sector and how we compare with the rest of the world. Personally, I had never heard of Innovate finance so it was a real eye opener to just how big FinTech has grown and the opportunities in so many sectors that FinTech is having a direct effect on.

Innovate finance have over 250 FinTech members and operate as an association working to support and develop companies working across 36 industry verticals.

3 – Assetzcapital.co.uk

So, you might think this is a strange one as in many ways Assetz are a competitor to Sourced, but I have to be honest and say it was one of my favourite talks. I might be bias because I have a passion for the property and funding sector.

The panel included Stuart Law the CEO of Assetz. One point that stood out to me was the sheer size in which the peer to peer sector has grown and shows no sign of slowing down.

The talk that Stuart was involved in, was based on the future of SME banking and he was joined by some great people including Neil Rudge, MD of Shawbrook and Ewan Hutton CTO of Bank North, plus others.

The conversation offered a great insight into how banking is changing with challenger banks, peer to peer lenders and alternative options growing in popularity. It is going to be interesting to see how mainstream banks react and compete with them.

A key point that was raised a couple of times, was that they felt the technology of current mainstream banks isn’t efficient enough to meet demands, changes or scale.

The event for me personally, was a success. I did get to meet some great companies, learn more about the sector and meet some interesting people.

I know FinTech North holds events across the North of England, so I would encourage others to visit. Check it out: https://www.fintechnorth.uk/

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Tags: BlogFintech

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