Liesbeth Becker Hoff, Maxcode: "Fintech remains a prolific industry, regardless of the tough regulations"

Monday 31 October 2016 08:29 CET | Editor: Melisande Mual | Interview

As it transitions from a disruptive tech trend to a mainstream industry, fintech is gaining significant ground among digital users

Blockchain, digital identities and wearable payments – what does the fintech future hold?

As it transitions from a disruptive tech trend to a mainstream industry, fintech is gaining significant ground among digital users. A recent survey shows that 15.5% of digitally active consumers have used at least two fintech products within the last six months. As awareness of the available products and services increases, adoption rates are expected to double within the year.

Liesbeth, Chief Business Development Officer at Maxcode, gives an input on what the future holds for the Fintech industry and what are the trends that companies should be preparing for. Since more than 10 years Maxcode is intensively involved in Dutch online payment solutions (e.g. iDEAL) for banks, The Dutch Payment Association, and a variety of companies that are active in the payment domain.

How do you see the fintech sector today?

Fintech remains a prolific industry, regardless of the tough regulations. It has generated more than 17 different subcategories and has seen 1000s of companies being created in the last years.

Just a quick look at these subcategories and you’ll find anything from highly niched areas as financial research tools or equity investment platforms, to broader areas such as payments or business management tools.

While there are a number of companies building more generic products and services, there is a path towards dissecting the financial industry into small segments, decentralizing it, rebuilding it and innovating each area at a time.

What do you think are the next trends in financial software?

In terms of actual trends, predictive technology and big data are probably the first ones to come to mind. Blockchain and alternate currencies also have a potential to disrupt. Last but not least, mobile and wearables are already influencing money transfers, customer service and digital security, and are paving the way for digital identities to become an even bigger trend.

How do you see the impact of predictive analysis then?

Predictive analytics, user tracking and machine learning will allow financial institutions to develop automated processes for on-the-spot credit decisions, for example. This benefits both customers and the bank when, for example, a customer who is overextended on their credit card is given an automatic credit line extension and authorization (a machine-based decision), instead of facing an embarrassing decline when they cannot pay the restaurant bill.

It is a game changer, as it allows financial organization to make use of data and payments behaviour to reduce decision times and bureaucracy, in this case.

For the SEPA members, Access-to-Account (XS2A) as part of PSD2 increases the possibilities to use accountholder’s information for analysis purposes. XS2A offers third party service providers (TPPs) to have access to payment accounts when the accountholder provides explicit consent to do so.

PSD2 distinguishes two types of TPPs: payment initiation services providers (PISP) and account information service providers (AISP). Imagine what this might mean for large online retailers like Schwarz, Carrefour, Tesco, etc. They can facilitate their customers with all kinds of tailored financial services. This will boost the customer loyalty!

You mentioned digital identities as a trend, why is that relevant?

Digital identity solves the problem of fragmented identities. Bringing some cohesion to this issue will provide the banking sector with new opportunities, as well as new social responsibilities. This will impact how we relate to one another, how we do business transactions and even redefine the notion of trust.

What do you see as the main benefits of digital identities?

With the rise of mobile and e-payments the requirement of secure and verifiable digital identities will become mandatory.

We need to be able to verify online identities not only in banking and payments, but also when accessing sensitive information such as medical records. As support and use of online and mobile financial services is rising, the demand for digital identification services increases, making financial markets and consumers more likely to adopt the new payments model, rendering most transactions cashless.

iDIN is a by the Dutch banks developed authentication mechanisms that is flawlessly integrated with Internet Banking. Maxcode already implemented iDIN within SURFnet, a widely used Identification Service Provider amongst Dutch students, universities, and companies cooperating on academic level.

What else should be on the radar for industry start-ups and established companies alike?

Probably the API Economy would be it. This digital, automated exchange of business competencies allows organizations to integrate core services with one another, in order to develop and expand business cases and new markets. “Connect to stay ahead” as you have to continuously evolve to take advantage of the business opportunities from today’s markets.

About Liesbeth Becker Hoff, MSc

As Chief Business Development Officer Liesbeth is responsible for spotting new trends in the Fintech domains Maxcode is active in and translate these to opportunities for Maxcode. She manages organizational and strategic business development by optimizing marketing and communication strategies. Her focus is expansion and positioning of Maxcode. She is sincerely interested and keen to understand the potentials of new ideas.

About Maxcode

Maxcode The Netherlands focuses on designing API’s and software development with a strong track record in online Payments (. e.g. iDEAL, MyBank), Identification solutions, and Fintech. Maxcode works for several main banks (amongst others ING Bank, ABN AMRO Bank, Rabo Bank) in the Netherlands as well as for many companies that are active in the Fintech industry, varying from Payment associations, e-Billing Service Providers to start-ups offering mobile solutions.

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Keywords: fintech, blockchain, online payments, cryptocurrencies, machine learning, digital identity, interview, Liesbeth Becker Hoff, Maxcode
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