Weekend takeaway: Feast your eyes on 10 essential fintech reads

28 Apr 2017

Image: Ossile/Shutterstock

As we wrap up yet another fab Fintech Week on Siliconrepublic.com, we leave you with these 10 essential fintech reads (and more if the desire so takes you!).

Fintech Week

1. Is fintech Ireland’s hidden secret and open opportunity?

Starting off Fintech Week, Prof Theo Lynn and Dr Pierangelo Rosati from the Irish Centre for Cloud Computing and Commerce (IC4) at Dublin City University weighed up the fintech opportunity for Ireland, concluding that this small country happens to have “all the pieces of the fintech jigsaw”.

One of those pieces is infrastructure, be it the data centres supporting the growing fintech industry or a strip of road linking Dublin to Belfast where a new payments cluster is forming.

2. Old financial services, new tricks: How 15 classic brands are tackling fintech

While it’s easy to get dazzled by fintech’s unicorns, plenty of long-established financial services players have shown there’s life in the old dogs yet, teaming up with the next generation to learn the new tricks of the trade.

One of Ireland’s leading brick-and-mortar banking institutions is unlocking the open banking revolution while other banks are turning to instant messaging platforms to court millennials. Certainly, more customer-centred services will make for better banking, but banks don’t necessarily need new thinking to nail this. In some cases, they could learn from what they used to do right.

3. 6 top companies hiring in fintech right now

Our Careers team has been hard at work examining all aspects of the changing world of work in finance. You can see more of their advice on securing a job in this sector, what kind of jobs are available, and how the internet of things and tech culture are changing these careers in the weekly Career Republic round-up.

4. Regtech: The last line of defence against raging forces of finance

The fintech industry is fragmenting, with new sectors emerging, fit for entrepreneurial tech-led disruption. We explored fintech’s breakout sectors starting with regtech, one of the fastest-growing areas.

“The term regtech doesn’t do much to quicken your pulse. However, if you consider the trouble it could save us all in light of what unfolded after the collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008, then you will appreciate its importance,” writes John Kennedy.

5. Insurtech stakes its claim as most innovative industry of them all

The next sector up for examination was insurtech, tackling an industry of big money with big innovation. Gordon Hunt maps the insurtech sector from Ireland to India, China, Singapore and beyond.

6. Wealthtech to make investors an awful lot of money in the years to come

Within the burgeoning sector of wealthtech, there is a whole army of eager advisers willing to make investors a lot of money, and they never need to sleep. Colm Gorey provides an overview of the sector and how it’s making use of emerging technology such as blockchain and quantum computing.

7. Blockchain 2.0: How it could overhaul the fabric of democracy and identity

By far the hottest thing in financial technology, you simply couldn’t have Fintech Week without a deep dive into blockchain. Colm Gorey considers the possibilities a trackable, tamper-proof ledger system can have beyond the financial services sector, while the IC4 researchers returned to debate blockchain’s legitimacy and John Kennedy took a visit to Deloitte’s Dublin blockchain lab.

8. Digital banking revolution hits Africa: Interview with Branch’s Matt Flannery

After helping to lend $1bn to small businesses all over the world, Matt Flannery is bringing digital banking to Africa with Branch. He spoke to John Kennedy about his financial inclusion goals ahead of his appearance at Inspirefest this summer.

Inspirefest will also explore the vast potential of blockchain with Leanne Kemp, whose company, Everledger, is regarded as one of the leaders using this technology. Other sessions will take in a discussion on leading through design with Bank of Ireland’s head of design thinking, Lesley Tully.

9. Meet the Irish wealthtech start-up eyeing global expansion

From offices in Dublin and Waterford to lucrative new markets in Canada and Singapore, Fund Recs is one of Ireland’s rising success stories.

“There’s not a lot of industry you could do it with really, because not many would have such a presence in Ireland but with the funds industry being so big here, it was possible,” co-founder Alan Meaney explained to Colm Gorey.

All week, we have been profiling exciting fintech companies, from Irish start-ups Plynk, Corlytics and AQMetrics to N26 (one of Europe’s hottest fintech properties) and Rakuten, the Japanese e-commerce giant that recently established the Rakuten Blockchain Lab in Belfast.

10. What is it actually like to deal with a mobile-only bank?

Finally, as more and more banks shut their branches, Colm Gorey looked at what it’s actually like to go mobile-only in the banking world.

Inspirefest is Silicon Republic’s international event connecting sci-tech professionals passionate about the future of STEM. Book now to get your Early Bird tickets.

Elaine Burke is the host of For Tech’s Sake, a co-production from Silicon Republic and The HeadStuff Podcast Network. She was previously the editor of Silicon Republic.