Copenhagen Fintech Innovation Day 2017 was held earlier today in the glass-clad House of Industry in central Copenhagen. Read our key takeaways from the talks on corporate and startup collaboration and why Asia can provide a glimpse of the fintech future.

Copenhagen Fintech Innovation Day 2017 was host to keynotes, panel discussions and two awards. All of them revolving around one theme: The roaring fintech ecosystem, both nationally as well as internationally.

DI Digital and Copenhagen Fintech co-organized the event. Thomas Krogh Jensen is the CEO of the latter and the first to address the auditorium:

“Welcome. Today representatives from the entire fintech ecosystem has gathered under one roof. There’s universities, banks, fintech startups and of course also government.”

All of them gathered to dicsuss the ins and outs of how the financial sector overall can benefit and deal with both current and coming digital disruption.

“Startups and corporations are hungry for collaboration”

Collaboration between startups and corporate is a hot topic. After twenty years in the financial industry and four years spent as co-founder of Startupbootcamp Fintech and Rainmaking Innovation, Nektarious Liolis spans across what might appear to be an unbridgeable gap. He sees great promise in cooperation, but there is a need for a change in the way larger corporations within the financial sector think.

“Both startups and corporations are hungry for collaboration, but there is an intrinsic flaw that gets in the way. Traditionally, banks don’t have a budget for research and development. The owners, the shareholders, look for return on investment. So there is a need for a change in mentality.”

During breaks the attendees had the opportunity to interact with several fintech startups

But there is great promise if the barriers are dealt with. Both corporations and startups can benefit from cooperating.

“Larger corporations can learn organizationally from how startups work in an agile fashion. That learning need to viewed as an return on investment as well. That is oftentimes not case. Big banks are not looking for a unicorn, they want to learn from the startups. The startups are nimble and therefore agile, but if banks cater to those needs cooperation can be successful. Corporations and startups need each other.”

Asia ahead

Last year Asia received roughly 95 billion in fintech investments. The Chinese and Indian consumers outpace the rest of the world when it comes to adopting fintech solutions for personal finances. Varun Mittal is Associate Director for Fintech at EY a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services and also works for Singapore Fintech Association. He took the stage to highlight some of the strengths of the Asian market.

“In China they have Sashimi Credit, which is owned by Alipay. It gives you a credit score, based on all your financial information. It is now being used as a way to create online trust. It is so widely used that when people set up their digital dating apps, they put that number in their profile text.”

According to Varun Mittal there has been two fintech waves in Asia. The first consisted of payments, peer-to-peer marketplaces, robo-advisory and personal financial management, but it is already in its maturity. The second wave is approaching and brings with it open banking, insurtech, regtech, digital identity and blockchain.

Varun Mittal at Copenhagen Fintech Innovation Day 2017

In China 40% of payments have been digitally disrupted, mainly by Alipay, according to Varun Mittal. But there are still other markets in the region, which has a lot of room for innovation. In Vietnam, Indonesia and Malaysia bank accounts has less than 40% market penetration.

“There is a huge potential for new financial services in these places. Perhaps, now, we can bring financial services to people that they were previously unavailable to.”