On July 9, 2020, six US fintech startups gathered for Fin & Tech Talk, second in a series of four, to share their experiences in their respective fields. Silicon Valley, the origin of several of the companies, contains all of the world’s classic fintech business models, and the participants represented a broad-cross section of the industry.
Three of the six companies represented were in the field of payments. Visa can claim to have invented fintech over 50 years ago with the development of credit cards. Unlike some payment brands, it is customer-facing and has become a household name. Stripe, meanwhile, is much newer but is a backbone of the e-commerce economy. Its target user base has always been developers at startups like Amazon and Uber, who were impressed by its simple API as the “GDP of the Internet” was just starting to become a major force.
Ripple, meanwhile, is associated with the blockchain currency RippleNet. Rather than end users or startups, the company takes financial institutions as its customers. Its solution features greater interoperability than pure peer-to-peer payment methods.
The remaining participants in the talk were all involved in some aspect of software development. Automation Anywhere was perhaps the closest among the speakers to a pure software company. Its product adds a layer on top of a variety of existing systems to streamline tasks that would otherwise require manual labor.
RiskIQ focuses on cybersecurity from the perspective of counterparty, or “attack surface” management. Traditional IT focuses on internal systems. With greater connectivity, attacks can now come from a variety of platforms, or even from unrelated rogue actors attempting impersonation. Finally, DataRobot is a data science company whose dashboard helps its clients maintain “humbleness” in their analysis. It creates forward-looking alerts for problems that may not yet have materialized.
The event was organized with the help of the American Institute in Taiwan, and took place at the Fin & Tech Village in Taipei. Some delegates participated via video from Singapore. The Fin & Tech Talks aim to introduce bankers to the fintech ecosystems in various countries so that they can understand the benefits of cooperation and possible models to use.
The next talk will be held on August 20 and will feature delegates from the United Kingdom.