It's been a pleasure for us to arrange the Hackquarters X | Fintech with great panelists ranging from Singapore to the United States on 30 March 2021. Hackquarters X is a new series of online events addressing the startup ecosystem's hottest verticals initiated by Hackquarters in 2021. Topics covering Fintech were put on the table during Hackquarters X | Fintech online event. We experienced an eye-opening session thanks to the speakers and participants from all around the world. Current trends in Fintech, Covid-19 effect & post-covid era predictions on the vertical, women's inclusion in finance, next generation of payment experiences, and Hackquarters perspective & action on Fintech were in focus this time.
Hackquarters X | Fintech started with the welcome speech of Hackquarters CEO Kaan Akın. He began with a general overview of the Fintech ecosystem and continued what Hackquarters does for Fintechs. "It is very distributed vertically; it covers many aspects of our daily and professional lives. Investments in FinTech are quite high. Since 2019 Hackquarters, in partnership with Visa, is running Visa Innovation Program with 30+ Fintech in the pipeline. So far in the program, alumni startups have made PoCs, received mentorship, benefitted from the perks to grow their businesses, and accessed funding & VCs more easily."
Following Kaan Akın, Keynote Speaker Sümer Uysal, the team lead of FinTech and Wealth at AllianzX, Germany, made a stunning presentation about Emerging Trends in the FinTech Industry. As well as emerging trends, he shared the vision of AllianzX regarding FinTech startups, the dynamics of the industry, and significant transformations during covid-19. He touched on many points in the industry ranging from ESG Investments to BNPL. "Investors recognized underserviced small businesses struggling with liquidity and money movement. Early-stage Fintech like Credit Key aims to compete with BNPL giants like Klarna and Affirm."
Sümer Uysal's Keynote Speech was followed by the Fireside Chat: Women's Inclusion in Finance, moderated by Canan Akmanoğlu Bayrak, Founder of Manibux and Nithyasri (Nithya) Sharma, Manager of Strategy at Women's World, US. "What is financial inclusion, and what are the objectives?" Canan Bayrak asked Nithya Sharma. Nithya's response included notable points. "1.7 billion adults do not have access to financial services; 1 billion of them are women. When it comes to the underbanked population, there is still % nine gender gap."
About women's inclusion in finance and economy, Nithya added:
"It's the right thing to do, but it is also a smart thing to do. There is a clear case for women's participation in the economy. McKinsey's study shows that if there were equal participation of men and women in the economy, the world's income could increase by trillions of dollars because many small businesses and micro-enterprises are owned by women. There is a billion-dollar credit gap."
"How do you see innovation in the covid and post-covid era?" Kaan Akın opened the panel.
Soumen's answer gave us a clear framework for the financial conditions in Asia- Pacific economy.
"Asian economy is 90% driven by SMEs. Pandemic stimulated SME's acceptability of tech. SMEs require payment technologies, using them effectively right now. This gives some parts in payment technology, including "Buy Now, Pay Later," a considerable acceleration."
When the discussion comes to the obstacles for innovation in FinTech, Jonathan Vaux shared his aspect on the challenges innovation faces.
"We all accept that we are living in a global world. However, we are still facing local challenges to spread financial innovation. When regulations are tried to be set, local difficulties hinder us from experiencing the innovation at the same level. I'm living in the UK, and you might live in another country. Local financial conditions in your country can make us benefit from the progress in financial services unequally."