Our Senior Business Consultant, Adrian van Niekerk, attended the Fintech and Blockchain event in Sydney where a panel of industry leaders discussed how fintech and blockchain are continuing to shake up the delivery of financial services in Australia and globally.

The speakers included Maile Carnegie, Group Executive Digital Banking, ANZ; Peter Hiom, Deputy CEO, ASX; Toby Heap, Founding Partner, H2 Ventures; and Deb Walton, Global Managing Director, Customer Proposition, Thomson Reuters.

The panel discussed the importance for the industry to engage the fintech community; the effects of key technologies, like blockchain, in delivering disruption, and how regulation is stifling growth.

The top insights we took away include:

  • Blockchain is revolutionising the industry. With its un-hackable, tamper-proof record maintenance architecture, blockchain is a revolutionary protocol that eliminates the need for intermediaries to transfer assets and money between parties in almost real-time.

  • Blockchain reduces the cost of transacting. With blockchain, both parties (the payer and the payee) hold the transaction information, superseding the current error-prone reconciliation method. In essence, the simple database architecture, with cryptographic authorisation, is considered incorruptible.

  • The finance industry demands new players. With $70 billion per year currently spent on regulatory compliance, regtech companies and incubators are emerging to circumvent the system. The call for more frictionless solutions and better product accessibility is adding to the growth of these disrupters.

  • Regulators are stifling market growth and innovation. Regulators are playing catch-up instead facilitating innovation. Fintechs are succeeding by finding innovative ways to navigate regulation obstacles to provide new market opportunities.

  • Data is becoming more accessible. More data was created in the last two years than in the entire history of computing systems. As early as 2018, legislation will force the opening up of digital identity information. Open data standards will also further empower the consumer and industry.