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Rodrigo García de la Cruz (CEO of Finnovating) had the amazing opportunity of participating with two geniuses like Matthew Gamser (SME Global Finance Forum – IFC – International Finance Corporation) and Isio Nelson (BAI) and talk about how to create ecosystems and platforms for global collaboration with the world of FinTech innovation, for the Breaking Banks Europe podcast episode: “Building A FinTech Ecosystem”.
Ever wondered how to build a fintech ecosystem? Here’s a summary of the key points throughout the episode.
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The beginnings of Finnovating, the platform that connects the fintech ecosystem.
After some years working in international banks like Citibank, Barclays and Santander, I realized 12 years ago that I needed to jump into the FinTech ocean to understand the impact of technology and the new digital business models.
During these past few years, I have had the opportunity:
- To connect the FinTech innovation to banks and other companies.
- To create a Community of CEOs of FinTech in Latam and Europe of more than 3k FinTech
- And to cofound and be the president of the Iberoamerican, European, Spanish FinTech Associations and Alliances, gathering more than 40 countries.
But I realized that it wasn’t enough. So this is why I founded Finnovating a digital and global space to accelerate the connection and the collaboration between both industries. This space has quickly become the first B2B Matching as a Service platform that connects 60K FinTech solutions in the world with corporations like banks, insurances companies or investors to reinvent the way of connecting, investing & doing business worldwide. What began as a small idea, is now a network for over 150 countries!
What is a FinTech ecosystem and a banking community?
CEO: For me a FinTech Ecosystem is more than simple FinTech union. We need to talk about its different players:
- The other X-Techs (InsurTech, RegTech, WealthTech…) as the boundaries have disappeared. Today we can find +500 interconnected activities.
- The investors and accelerators who fuel the innovation of the ecosystem.
- The regulators and supervisors.
- The experts.
- Events, associations, etc.
All are part of the ecosystem. Before, a Banking community was about the group of banks and financial companies. But Now a banking community needs to incorporate the FinTech ecosystem, and the active and recurrent communication with FinTech. In fact, in some decades we will not able to differentiate between a FinTech or a banking community. Both will be the same.
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What are the key elements to create a banking community?
CEO: Internal or internal market pillars:
- The first pillar is the regulation of the market (sandbox spaces and innovation hubs) .
- The size of the clients’ market and their digital needs.
- Another pillar is the maturity of the innovation.
- And the conditions of the markets and interest rates.
The external or global pillars are:
- The FinTech ecosystem: 70% of FinTech are now B2B, and 25% are SaaS with embedded solutions.
- The spaces of collaboration and co-creation that the ecosystem can use.
I would say that launching spaces to create your own innovation and technology-based communities is a starting point. I believe that any bank should have their own ecosystem of FinTech to talk, connect, collaborate, invest, organise events and buy.
The 4 challenges of creating the right ecosystems:
- Connecting the different sides of the ecosystem: in Finnovating we put together FinTech, banks and investors.
- Give value to all the sides: in Finnovating we help banks to identify, connect and collaborate directly with any FinTech solutions in the world. We also help the FinTech to have visibility and to create business.
- The cold start to create a network effect: you need a minimum size to start. Before we launched we had a community of 3,5K FinTech in Europe and Latam and this is why today we have active FinTech from over 120 countries.
- Open data: as LinkedIn does, we need to open the data and give the power to any user to update their profiles and have all visibility possible. We also want to democratize the access to any FinTech solution, it doesn’t matter the size of your bank, if you want to launch open innovation projects, you don’t need to be a big bank to do it.
How to build collaboration with startups
CEO: We have seen a substantial increase of collaborations between companies and FinTech multiplying by 5 during the pandemic, and raising to a massive 27 times up to 2025. The only way to be more efficient, innovative and digital is with the collaboration with the external embedded FinTech solutions. However, this type of collaboration is one of the more complex businesses for a bank. Let me tell you the evolution of the collaboration in the last decade:
- The first 5 years the collaboration was more marketing and theatre than real projects. The incubators and accelerators are very expensive and not very agile solutions for every bank.
- However, in the last 5 years, and more after the pandemic, we have seen how the collaboration has changed from the innovation side to the business side. The most successful banks start the collaboration from the business units, identifying what they need, and them the innovation or tech department look for the best solutions outside. And here is where the Finnovating platform is helping more than 100 banks a month to find the best solutions worldwide.
I believe this covers everything that was talked about during the podcast episode. I had a great time talking about how in less than a year we’ve built a platform for tech startups where: +60k companies and members from +130 countries are now coexisting in the perfect space for investors and open innovation! I would love to give thanks for the invitation Renata Alves and Matteo Rizzi, it was a real pleasure from Finnovating to be able to participate in a world-renowned podcast such as Breaking Banks Europe! Discover the complete episode here!
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