10 Themes to Watch in the Fintech Space in 2023

2022 was a tough year for fintech as rising interest rates and the so-called “crypto winter” depressed the value of many fintechs around the world. As we march into 2023, here are 10 fintech themes likely to be important:

  • New rules for cryptoassets – with all things crypto facing setbacks in 2022 and the rising interest of regulators in central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), it is reasonable to expect new rules to established for how cryptocurrencies and other cryptoassets can be handled.
  • New buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) rules – the popularity of BNPL and other short-term, interest-free credit solutions from third-party lenders has brought the attention of regulators. Expect new rules to outline how this space operates going forward.
  • Updated open banking regulations – open banking has changed how firms access financial data, ultimately enabling consumers to be able to better manage their accounts and control their finances. As countries examine their digital finance and retail payment strategies, open banking regulations are likely to be updated to better fit the current context.
  • The rise of embedded finance (EF) – the integration of traditional finance and banking services into a non-financial service business, EF solutions allow EF providers to offer financial services to create new revenue streams. Retailers and telecommunication companies are the best positioned to take advantage of this new space.
  • Tighter rules for appointed representatives – fintechs have often made use of the ‘Appointed Representative’ regime to comply with regulatory requirements, especially at early stages of development. This has lowered the entry barrier for many fintechs, allowing them to launch products and services more quickly. However, increased concerns that this is being used to avoid regulatory scrutiny means that this is likely to change.
  • New Customer Duty – the new Customer Duty is scheduled to come into force on July 31, 2023 in the United Kingdom. It describes a tiered suite of principles, rules and outcomes requiring companies to avoid causing foreseeable harm to retail customers and to deliver good outcomes for them. Similar initiatives in other markets designed to protect consumers are likely to follow.
  • Artificial intelligence (AI) – AI solutions underpin many fintech innovations, but this is becoming an area of increased scrutiny as regulators work to outline frameworks for focused on how AI is used.
  • Moving from bigtech to fintech – bigtech firms have expanded rapidly into the financial services market, especially those related to payments. But many are now venturing into credit and insurance services, taking them out of the so-called bigtech realm and placing them firmly in the fintech category.
  • Developing operational resilience – a number of high-profile IT failures and data breaches in the financial services sector has caused regulators to put in place a regulatory framework that promotes the operational resilience of companies. In fact, most financial companies are now required to map and test their key business services, developing impact tolerances for disruptions.
  • Third-party regulations – as financial services have increasingly transitioned into cloud computing, they have become reliant on the cloud infrastructure provided by a small number of bigtechs. The potential failure of such critical third-party service providers has become a major concern for global regulators. New regulations on how to regulate these providers is likely coming.