Alexander Innovation Zone SA held the 7th online evenTIZ Live Story on “Fintech, Challenger Banks & Digital Payments: The Future of Banking” by Sotiris Syrmakezis, Fintech & Digital Transformation Expert on Wednesday, May 26, 2021.

Mr. Syrmakezis, starting from the digital transformation of modern companies, analyzed the factors that “gave birth” to fintech, referring to the perfect storm that has occurred due to the customer demands that are now the “Millennials” and Gen- Z and the special relationship they have with the banking system, the development of technologies focusing on smartphones, the decrease of impediments for new players to enter the market  (regulatory framework) and the funds available for investment. Referring to the VC’s, he mentioned that “fintech now covers more than 40% of the total investments globally with increasing trends”, with the largest part being the payments and lending.

Fintech companies offer flexible solutions in all areas where a bank operates, presenting innovative and technologically advanced products, thus claiming a share of the banking market. In particular, Mr. Syrmakezis referred to the special expansion of fintech companies in UK but also in other countries, due to the large concentration of the banking system, with leading examples in the field being the N26, Revolut, Monzo and Starling Bank. As he noted, considering the payments, this disruption is even greater leading to the bypass of debit and credit cards as well as POS terminals, something that has already happened in China, India and Southeast Asia, and is expanding in Europe, as well.

On the other hand, fintech companies are also facing difficulties in consolidating themselves in the market, limited income, inability to collect large deposits and limited ability to lend, making it difficult for them in relation to large banks. In particular, Mr. Syrmakezis stressed that “it is easier to change a partner than a bank”, noting the power and the advantages of the big banks.

In the case of Greece, Mr. Syrmakezis noted that the cash decrease in our country, the rapid increase in card transactions, the large increase in POS acceptance, the increase in online shopping due to the pandemic are some of the factors that create the framework for new players to be active in the Greek market, referring at the same time to existing ones such as the unicorn VivaWallet as well as FlexFin, Finclude, Intellisolutions, etc.

evenTIZ is a series of short online live stories where distinguished people from around the globe share their stories and knowledge. evenTIZ is addressed not only to start-up founders, but also to all those who are interested in the field of innovation and entrepreneurship.

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