In this edition of our collaboration with #RiseUp15, we speak to Aaron Phethean about the Temenos Fintech Innovation Jam happening this weekend and how this event sets out to transform the Fintech ecosystem across the Middle East.
Among the range of events the Riseup Summit brings along this coming weekend, Fintech (financial technology) companies and startups from Egypt and the Middle East will get the opportunity to demo their products and solutions to the world’s largest financial institutions, which are coming together on Saturday 13th at the Temenos Fintech Innovation Jam. Headquartered in Geneva, Temenos Group is a market leading software provider that partners with banks and other financial institutions to transform their businesses and stay ahead of a changing marketplace.
Following a successful inaugural Innovation Jam in Istanbul, the company has now taken the event global with a series of upcoming international innovation jams to take place in London, Miami, Dubai and Singapore in 2016. Ahead of his participation at the Riseup Summit, Temenos’ MarketPlace Director Aaron Phethean tells CairoScene how this game-changing event sets out to transform the Fintech ecosystem across the Middle East.
How will the Innovation Jam work?
At Riseup, we are inviting innovation Fintech product companies to a global innovation event; we are connecting Fintechs with nearly 60 banks from their region in the group round, and over 200 banks from around the world at our Temenos Community Forum (TCF) final event, which will be held in Barcelona, in May 2016. Each demo will last for 7 minutes and the audience will vote to choose three winners at the end of each event.
How are startups disrupting the financial sector?
Startups and Fintech are having an impact on the financial industry in many ways; if we look at a few numbers and the impactful companies, Fintech investment in 2015 is nearing $30 billion, an important rise considering it was $12.2 billion in 2014. For 2015, estimates indicate that one third of investment is going to be in payments, and one fourth into crowdfunding and social lending.
In my observation, the best startups are helping banks and financial services; but few are truly disrupting. Consumers are the winners with better security; for example InAuth, the mobile-first products for authentication and fraud prevention, used within Uber App; or CryptoPhoto, a mutual authentication system with simple security, which eliminates annoying passwords and key fobs.
They are also offering better access to financial services, advice and tools, as we have seen with the rise of many personal budgeting apps and software, such as Strands, or MoneyThor. In Kenya, they launched a bank account operated fully through the phone called Mpesa. And there are many, many others that improve access and transparency with financial systems. But it often starts by improving the existing central bank, interbank, or bank infrastructure rather than by replacement or disruption.
What is the Temenos marketplace?
A fantastic route to market for many Fintech products and solutions. Our vision is to make it possible to build and run entire financial solutions (even a whole bank) completely from our business to business website portal. Today we are making it easier than ever to see software from Fintech providers working with the Temenos platform.
What opportunities for startups do you visualise in Egypt's or other Middle Eastern financial systems?
Egypt has excellent mobile penetration - 109% according to some analysts, and there is only a 20% penetration of bank accounts. Here lies the greatest immediate opportunity: Future solutions that improve transparency and add economic value, communication, and trust.