On Tuesday January 21st, Spaces Herengracht provided a platform for the very first Amsterdam Talks Tech of the year. For this edition, we welcomed entrepreneurs, developers, bankers and those eager to learn as we ventured into the wonderful world of FinTech.
The Netherlands is an ideal birthing ground for all kinds of solutions in this rapidly changing industry. With an investment climate that heavily promotes innovation, the future of FinTech is looking ever bright. However, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows as the challenges are plenty. That’s why we’ve collected the best advice from our speakers and bundled it for you. Let’s talk Fintech.
- Conny Dorrestijn, Founder BankiFi
- Joran Iedema, Founder of Dyme
- Bernadette Wijnings, Founder Blanco Fintech
- Richard Straver, Founder of Online Payment Platform
- Guido Vermeent, CEO of Payconiq
Like most tech-focused industries, Fintech brands are facing the same challenges most tech companies face. Making it in the mobile game has never been more important, as it’s rapidly becoming the go-to platform for financial solutions. Combine that with the behemoth task of meeting development speed requirements, and you’re facing quite the challenge. With a product that’s never quite finished and an environment that’s continuously changing, flexibility, patience and time are required.
The challenge of sustainability
A large part of becoming relevant today is through running a sustainable business. Growing a FinTech-based brand that meets current sustainability standards requires establishing a clear underlying purpose, or as Dorrestijn puts it: ‘You can’t survive on buzzwords like valuations and unicorns’. Simply having a good product isn’t enough, you need to want to achieve something with it.
That’s where the connections come in. Stay close to yourself and talk to the people around you. Think about the things that hurt them in life and think about what you can do to solve the problem. Once established, take a deeper dive and think about how your business will sustain the test of time. Also, ensure to get a fair share of outside advice to challenge the proposition.
Once it’s up and running, perfection from the start is no hard requirement. Simply perfect the process of testing, releasing, failing, and repeating the process. It can be painful but it’s needed to achieve success in the long run. In this industry, the one thing that has to stand out is the sales pitch. A damaging or misplaced image can be hard to get rid of after 2 or 3 mishaps.
Living up to the hype
With FinTech startups poised as a vital part of increasing general societal QoL, safety and transparency, the hype-building can be overwhelming. However, when compared to traditional banks a lot is actually done exactly the same according to Dorrestijn. One big difference aside: banks are an institution that requires protecting. This creates risks for FinTech brands, but also opportunity. Banks have the funds and staying power to acquisition the challenging FinTech brands. Rather than removing traditional banks from the equation, they can be at the forefront of promoting innovation and finding better solutions.
There are more influenceable factors that can be used to benefit a smaller business, however. Think about gaining your customer’s trust. The large institutions tend to be anonymous forces, whereas a small brand is very up-close and personal. Establishing such trust is the foundation on which a business can continue to exist and expand.
Scale up: go or no-go?
In the end, the real question is: does your product have what it takes to succeed globally? In the world of finance, the differences per culture and country are near-infinite. Think Germany and Japan, two countries with a predisposition towards paying in cash. Odds are, your product might not make sense elsewhere. Determining the risks involved and potential rewards are key. And then, once your Fintech product stands, you can start making change.
About Amsterdam Talks Tech
At Spaces, we’re all about providing a platform for experts to talk about what they do best. Amsterdam Talks Tech is part of our TechTalks series, a series of events we started organising to give our members and anyone who’s interested a place to meet up, talk about the topics that matter to them, and expand on their network. Interested in what we have to offer? Check spacesworks.com/events to find events near you.