After months of adapting to a new lifestyle and work due to the pandemic, many companies have had setbacks, while several others remain under uncertainty and stress, due to the lockdown policy. But an opportunity may have emerged for the fintech industry to think and act boldly. The question that arises is how can fintech companies respond to the needs imposed by COVID-19, by creating new opportunities for the future.
On the way to a cashless world
A very concrete example of how fintech companies are responding to coronavirus challenges is by accelerating innovations in digital payments. Social distancing took people away from physical money and brought about the need to use digital financial services and e-commerce. Even though this was an important trend taken into account by companies, after the pandemic it has undoubtedly become a necessity. In the words of Simão Cruz - co-founder of Portugal Fintech - to the ECO newspaper, today more than ever the market needs innovative financial solutions to operate more efficiently, smoothly, and safely.
Transformations in traditional banking
There is an opportunity for Fintech for traditional banks whose situation has been worsening due to the recent global recession. Financial uncertainty and the decrease in the size of deposits and loans force banks to look at fintech, to consider changes in the operational model, and investing in digital transformation.
Remote work brought challenges to companies and financial institutions
Remote work requires the right tools. Companies need to remain operational during the pandemic crisis and telework has become the new "normal" for many employees. For financial companies, this drives the need for an open bank and accessible financial files. At this point, Artificial Intelligence and Open Banking may open the door to a more efficient and effective financial sector, reducing the need for paperwork. The focus is then on digitization and the creation of adaptable digital solutions for the financial sector.
"Organizations will realize that innovation is good and it's not a challenge. We're seeing that with this coronavirus situation. Those who don't innovate and adapt are risking a lot." These were the words of Marco Nigris, director of The Fintech House, in an interview for our video and podcast series - Scaleup Portugal.
Know who is boosting the financial sector in Portugal
The Fintech House is a brand new hub for startups in Lisbon. It was created in 2016 by Portugal Fintech, a non-profit association working to create awareness and to help the fintech ecosystem. According to Marco, The Fintech House is “a place where the whole fintech ecosystem here in Portugal and in Europe could meet.” With the purpose of providing all the conditions for startups to grow, Fintech House has a partnership with Portugal Fintech Association and the biggest coworking network in Portugal, SITIO.
The main goal of this hub is to foster innovation and create an ecosystem where every FinTech, RegTech, InsureTech, and Cybersecurity company can interact with regulators, legislators, consultants, banks, investors, and other relevant entities.
Startups can join the community through their website, and through social media as well. Do you want to know more about The Fintech House? Find out more in the video below or listen to the full interview on our Spotify Podcast.
This episode is part of the Scaleup Portugal video and podcast series, a spin-out from our comprehensive ecosystem reports, which we wrote in collaboration with EIT Digital. A new episode of this 2nd season about ENABLERS is released every Wednesday. Stay tuned for the next episodes!