Fintech frenzy at Interop

IT practitioners acknowledge importance of fintech

Interop 2020 has ended-–and with a bang. 

Punctuated by excellent keynotes by FedEx, Microsoft, and VMware, Interop also held a series of panels on fintech– for the first time. While Interop is typically a conference for IT Leaders and high-level IT practitioners, the emergence of fintech – and the implications fintech has for IT– drew a great deal of attention by organizers and attendees alike.

One of the fertile discussions in the fintech breakout was on the “New World of Payments.”  Three panelists- Syed Hussain of Liquidity Digital, Sarah Wheeler of HousingWire (FinLedger’s sister publication), and John Thomas of Zact exchanged ideas on the series of innovations in payments and the need for fresh ideas coming from new companies. 

They all agreed that traditional fintech benefits from acquiring disruptive startups and then integrating them but that overall the mindset in financial services has to change.  Thomas suggested that the integrated platform approach is necessary in PaymentTech, not the point-solution approach while Wheeler opined that point-solutions can solve pressing problems.  Hussain believes that the new wave of PaymentTech will be centered on creating value for all assets, not just the canonically liquid assets we think of today.

A second and equally important panel was held on “Cloud-Native Fintech.” The group of luminaries on that panel consisted of Khadija Mustafa of Microsoft, Pulak Sinha of Pepper, Danielle Funston of Sentinel Compliance Group, and Interop veteran Dharmesh Godha of Advaiya. 

All agreed that with regard to the cloud, the “train has left the station,” suggesting that any and all large organizations will migrate to the cloud and that new organizations will be cloud-native.  Sinha, who has built Pepper as a leading data platform in the AssetTech space, argued that the scale, speed, and flexibility needed can only be done in a Cloud-native environment.  Godha and Funston cautioned the attendees that technology alone is not the silver bullet, that in fact, the people-transformation is just as necessary.  Mustafa, Funston, and Sinha all agreed that the “queen bee” here is data. 

As fintech grows in importance and continues to receive large funding rounds and capture the attention of influencers and pundits, we should expect to see it emphasized, even where it has not been before.

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