Canada Does FinTech ‘Exceptionally Well,’ Huge Opportunities Remain

Financial technology is one of the most important aspects in global financial functionality today.

Its very existence has permeated the whole planet and how we pay for things, changed the way banks and other financial institutions interact and even altered the face of business itself. No doubt that was the reason a panel was dedicated to this very topic at the recent Salesforce World Tour in Toronto.

The panel members included Troy Wright, the CEO of Lendified, Mike Katchen, the founder of Wealthsimple and Michael Garrity the CEO of Financeit and the discussion was how to survive and thrive in the FinTech industry in Canada.

Garrity right off the bat said that FinTech is “something that Canada does exceptionally well.  We’ve got some great financial technology companies that have been very active over the last 20-30 years.”  He went on to say that one of the reasons this sector is doing so well is the advent of cloud and mobile computing. He jokingly referred to the ‘Uberization’ of the industry and he hopes that one day his company “can be a verb.”

Another interesting point made by Garrity is that he said the way fintech is growing is by putting the power back in the hands of the user to recreate the industry: “You see that happening now in lending, wealth management, even currency.”

Adding to that point, Katchen said that the reason fintech is so popular is also because of trust. When online banking and other related services first came out, consumers did not trust the technology but over the years more and more people are taking advantage of the ease involved with automatic transactions, instead of having to go to the bank itself.

Wright made a good point that FinTech also is a fantastic way for companies to really know their customers and there is so much opportunity for growth—“Only 1% of customer data that’s available out there has actually been looked at.”  

He is saying that there is a “huge opportunity” for companies to understand their customers using data and analytics so they can offer “world class customer service.” This is a part of FinTech that sometimes gets overlooked because of other applications that are attention getters.

Wright also discussed a point that was made, which is are there too many players entering the FinTech space at this time because it is so hot. His answer to that is maybe, but customer experience is the key to success.  He believes that just like many industries, people who need these services are going to go to whomever provides the best service at the most competitive price and he is confident his company will do that.