Highlights from FinNext 2021

Speakers at the 9th FinNext Financial Innovation Forum covered a wide variety of topics, ranging from biometrics and omnichannel developments to the decreasing popularity of plastic cards and the rise of digital currencies. Here’s a quick look at the main discussions that happened at the Forum:

  • Going online – we’re moving toward a completely online society, even in banking. But we’re not there yet. We still have work to do related to biometrics, especially digital signatures and electronic image storage.
  • Offline and omnichannel management – many consumer choose offline solutions due to security concerns and a feeling of comfort in knowing no one can get stick their digital fingers where they don’t belong. We’re now starting to see hybrid solutions that allow for the online to be taken offline, e.g. the cold storage of cryptocurrencies.
  • Plastic cards – consumers seem to be quickly moving away from plastic for the convenience that smartphone payment technologies provide. While we still can’t fully get away from plastic cards (especially when traveling abroad), we’re definitely headed in this direction.
  • Machine learning – machine learning solutions are still in their nascency, but their adoption is increasing in nearly all facets of life. This direction will continue to be developed.
  • Digital currencies and the tokenization of non-cash funds – digital currencies and tokenized non-cash funds seem like an inevitability. Once developed, they will open up new opportunities for in cashflow for people, companies, financial institutions and nations. Now, we just need to ensure legislation and regulations surrounding them are put in place to support such measure.
  • FinTech trends – the 5 main trends in FinTech currently going on are: (1) the development of open data, (2) the seamless integration of financial services with other industries, (3) the development of digital identification, (4) the active development of marketplaces that allow consumers to easily compare financial service offerings and (5) the transformation of money (e.g. the rise of digital currencies).

Global financial market development – financial markets around the world are becoming more open than ever before, but we are seeing 3 different ways of doing this: (1) digital platforms, as seen in China, (2) open competition through open API development, as seen in the U.S. and the U.K. and (3) ecosystems around large financial institutions, as seen in Russia.