Fintech, Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence and Internet of Things
– just some of the newest technologies that have been whizzing past our ears. These days, technology is in everything and we are getting better at it all the time. While those of us who were betas used to have to study for years to understand a computer, these days we all have one in our coat pocket and we understand the technology in no time. These days there are no beta types without alpha characteristics, nor alphas without beta characteristics. In recent years, technology and communication have become inextricably intertwined. The question now is how to build a bridge to bring the two of them even closer together.
During Credit Expo on 2 November – the sole topic of which was ‘Digitalisation’ –, Onguard, together with Don Ginsel, director and founder of Holland Fintech, organised an information session on fintech within credit management. Ginsel kicked off with the interesting fact that, as he sees it, we are currently experiencing a chain reaction. It is not yet visible, but new technologies like fintech, as well as, e.g., blockchain, will shortly become an indispensable part of our society. Even within credit management, because, according to Don, the world of Credit Managers will have changed unrecognisably in another ten years.
Fintech: hype or revolution?
Financial Technology – i.e., fintech – is a topic that is currently receiving a lot of attention and subsequent investment. “It reminds me to an extent of the internet bubble in the nineteen-nineties. For years, everyone was talking about the revolution of the century, the arrival of the internet. Everyone was enthusiastic, but not much was happening. People became disappointed, start-ups went bankrupt and we all went back to the ‘normal’ world. Up till the moment that we stopped talking about it. From then on, the internet burst upon us and we could no longer ignore its implementation”, says Don Ginsel.
The same thing seems to be happening with fintech. Start-ups are springing up like mushrooms and big players are searching for ways to respond to them. “Big established names are searching for ways to interact with these new innovative players and what we see is that a completely new infrastructure is developing which will involve all industries. It seems that this is not a hype, but a true revolution”, he continues.
Impact on credit management
New technologies are succeeding one another at a rapid pace. According to Ginsel, these new technologies are bringing products and services closer together, as long as users are open to the possibilities: “It starts with curiosity. It is important that we want to understand and find out what is happening. In this case, we ask ourselves the following question: what impact will fintech have on credit management?” Fintech is automating functions and Ginsel believes we have to be curious about this in order to continue developing. “The future has a lot to offer, both to companies and to individuals. Within every field of finance, innovation is booming and many developments are impacting credit management. Processing payments is not all that is relevant. Having the largest range of payment forms is also important. For instance PSP (payment service provider) offers webshops several payment solutions. This allows companies to gain customers’ confidence.”
Another consequence of this is that credit managers and controllers can complete work more effectively, says Ginsel: “With their data-driven service, fintech-parties are providing a service for both online webshops and consumers. After all, companies are gaining insight into their clients’ payment behaviour. Other possibilities for customers include, e.g., paying retrospectively, easier logging in and being provided with extra information.”
According to Don Ginsel, the new European Payment Services Directive, the PSD2, will also have an impact. “Within a few years, banks will be obliged to supply their clients’ payment details to third parties who ask for them. Naturally, clients must have given their permission for this. The world has so much to offer and, thanks to APIs, a complete dashboard of all the financial details of customers can be created. All the data that are available will make it much easier to estimate risks in advance, so that, in the future, credit management departments can focus on real problem cases. In the next ten years I expect administrative activities to be fully automated and out-sourced.”
According to Onguard and the director of Holland Fintech, fintech will definitely influence the credit management sector. However, organisations must decide for themselves how they approach it: “Focus, listen to customers, and above all remain curious about how your organisation can get carried along on the waves of this revolution.”