Three main tendencies will affect 2018: The initiation of PSD2, the question whether the hype surrounding cryptocurrency is real, and we will begin to see the real aftermath from the Brexit.

That also means that exciting times are ahead in the financial tech industry. The Nordic fintech scene is blooming, and every month new fintech startups see the light of day and the pace of change in the financial industry does not seem to slow down anytime soon.

When asked, 72 percent of employees in financial institutions believe that the most important sources of fintech innovation will come from fintech startups and only 36 percent believes that their colleagues are capable of creating innovation.

With a new Nordic fintech collaboration, the region can create a momentum as the UK and the London fintech ecosystem will struggle with maintaining and attracting talents as the effects from Brexit start to play a role. The Nordic fintechs must work closely together and embark on the journey to establish an initiative that will attract more investors and more attention than each country’s initiatives can attract on their own and scale solutions with a more rapid pace.

New verticals

The new fintech landscape is taking its shape as PSD2 and GDPR will become enablers for new ventures and business opportunities. In relation to this, we expect to see startups that operate with the term RegTech (regulatory technology) evolve from the fields of the Nordic ecosystem. A need to open up for APIs will also emerge for the banks, and we, therefore, expect to see a greater focus on open banking in the new year. And the Open Banking agenda will make fintech transcending into other verticals as Pentech (pension technology) and Insurtech (insurance technology).

The yearly fintech report from PWC concludes that a majority of global financial services companies plan to increase fintech partnerships as 88% express concern they will lose revenue to innovators. That goes to show that the financial institutions are embracing the startup’s ability to challenge the established and bureaucratic industry. We will see this even more so in the new verticals. A great example is the Munich insurance co-working space WERK1 which runs an insurtech accelerator and is partnering up with large corporations like Allianz.

From hype to reality

Flexibility and user experience seems to be the keyword judging from this year’s trends in user acquisitions. Next year I hope to see the startups challenging the established banks and financial institutions in other disciplines than user experience and accessibility. I look forward to observing how users react to new solutions to handle transactions and to follow the debate and if the cryptocurrency can win over the sceptics.

This year the value of cryptocurrency has increased massively. Going into 2017 the value of the total cryptocurrency was just above 18 billion US dollars. On this day when a Bitcoin passed the value of 10.000 US dollars the total market value is almost 324 billion dollars.

Speaking of. We will also follow the development in blockchain closely. PWC report shows that 77% expect to adopt blockchain as part of an in the production system or process by 2020. And we are especially keen on seeing the startups meeting the great potential to create social impact by the technology.