At the Luxembourg House of Financial Technology (Lhoft) launched on 27 October 2016, Bankable founder and CEO Eric Mouilleron listed several critical factors for a successful collaboration between innovative start-ups and traditional financial players.

“Innovative start-ups in the fintech industry and finance professionals are eager to join forces to work on developing new projects,” says Eric Mouilleron, a London-based fintech specialist who chose the Grand Duchy’s Tier IV data centres to launch his technological platform. Bankable is currently developing a platform for banks which facilitates the setting up of new customer-friendly payment solutions and services. Major financial institutions – among them Deutsche Bank – have already embraced the platform.

Moving beyond the “gadget” view of fintech

Eric Mouilleron believes that it is all too often the case that the myriad of possibilities offered by fintech are viewed as mere “accessories”. His advice to finance professionals is to consider developments in the sector in a more strategic way: “Quite frankly, when you look at the situation objectively, it is entirely plausible to envisage transformations occurring thanks to partnerships with innovative technological experts which offer very comprehensive responses to complex issues.” 

Building trust when it comes to partnerships

The fintech sector should not be seen as a threat to the traditional financial services industry. “On the contrary,” insists Eric Mouilleron, “many innovative firms wish to develop successful partnerships and join forces with well-established stakeholders in order to promote innovation and greater flexibility. While fintech is certainly characterised by a desire to break with traditional models, it is open to achieving this goal with or without already-existing players.” In any case, “it takes two to tango,” he says, with both sides having to find common ground and a mutual objective in order to build a relationship built on trust. “According to a significant number of start-ups – themselves the biggest proponents of technology – it is in fact traditional stakeholders – most familiar with the sector – who are best placed to push for and implement change.”

A start-up must be capable of creating concrete solutions

The financial sector is highly regulated and therefore particularly sensitive to security challenges. “Start-ups must be ready to develop foolproof solutions”, insists Eric Mouilleron. “This particularly relates to transaction security and penetration testing. On the other hand, experienced financial stakeholders are obliged to invest in partnerships in order to ensure the prompt implementation of projects.” There is give and take on both sides.

It is vital that everyone is on the same page

“A project or partnership must be an income-generator for both parties, otherwise it simply will not work,” says Mouilleron. If the partnership enables existing players to come up with innovative new solutions for their customers or indeed improve their service offer, the fintech entity will of course seek to generate revenue and reach a wider client base. “It is of course vital that the expectations of both parties are clearly set out from the very beginning.”

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