“The big information void we’ve continually come up against in this space is, is anyone actually using this stuff?” — Imran Gulamhuseinwala, EY.
Fintech, or financial technology, is arguably one of the hottest areas of investment and startup activity at the moment, with billions flowing into the sector.
Evangelists believe that technological advances like cloud computing and the rise of mobile can combine with a distrust of banks to create startups that make finance cheaper and more accessible to a new generation of consumers. Think peer-to-peer lenders like Funding Circle and online money transfer services like TransferWise.
But at a Westminister Business Forum event on fintech this week there was an air of self-consciousness among those in the room representing the startups. Many of them felt they had to justify the hype to the more old-school finance types in the room.
As Tony Craddock, director general of the Emerging Payments Association, put it in his speech: “To what extent are consumers actually adopting this stuff?”
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