As the saying goes, money drives development and makes the world go round. Throughout history, humans went from exchanging sea shells, stone tools, coins made of rare metals to eventually using banknotes attached to the gold standard. And since the recent development of fintech, humanity might be on the verge of yet another history-changing moment. As the number of fintech startups continues to grow, the world of financial services is experiencing the never-before-seen level of evolution.
To keep up with the times CFA Association Russia and EY held a four-hour seminar themed around fintech and the future of banks. Four speakers were invited to the EY office on Saturday to share their expertise on the issues of fintech.
Alexander Filatov, a member of B&N Bank’s board of directors, and Dmitry Khamrakulov, a managing director of VTB Bank, gave the first presentation of the seminar. Alexander and Dmitry dove into the details of cryptocurrency and explained how the digital payment system could affect the traditional banking sector.
Above: Alexander Filatov (on the left) and Dmitry Khamrakulov
According to the speakers, with the development of fintech companies, the banking sector in the future is expected to take a hit. Only a small fraction of banks will be able to compete with new technology, and even then they would be extremely specialized only in certain areas of the industry
“That’s why banks should be trying to come up with new technological solutions even faster than Google,” said Alexander, questioning whether it is even possible to think that banks could outmatch the global Internet giant.
Next was Yuri Gusev, CFA, from EY Russia's Valuation and Advisory team. In his presentation, Yuri talked about the results of a study that focused on the development of the fintech industry in Russia. The audience was eager to hear about the findings of EY experts.
Above: Yuri Gusev, CFA
In contrast with other countries, large Russian banks, such as Sberbank, Alfabank, Otkrytie and Tinkoff, are actively involved in the development of fintech and often are first to provide cutting-edge services to their clients. For example, the EY study revealed that last year 20.6 million people were using Sberbank’s online banking app. To put this into perspective, 20 million is the population of Sweden, Norway, and Finland put together.
“We probably won’t have plastic [cards] in 10 years, because everything will be in our phones,” Yuri quoted Oleg Tinkov, a famous Russian entrepreneur and the founder of Tinkoff Bank. Indeed, the data from the study shows that the global society is quickly moving toward this idea.
Last but not least, Dmitry Kalaev from the Internet Initiatives Development Fund (IIDF) told how emerging tech companies could receive financial help from his company. Founded in 2013, IIDF is a Russian capital venture fund that invests in tech start-ups in the early stages of development, thus helping young and talented IT-entrepreneurs develop their ideas.
Above: Dmitry Kalaev
Overall, the seminar turned out to be a success. Considering the amount of people that wanted to attend the seminar, CFA Russia is planning to put together a longer and more detailed two-day training course on fintech. Stay tuned for more information.