by: Grow VC Group
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Today, fintech goes beyond leveraging technology to transform banking services. It strikes at banking’s very innovation core and delivery models.

From new approaches to commercialisation, collaboration models and the breaking down of internal silos, fintech is challenging how financial services are prepared, presented and consumed at retail and institutional levels.

Delivering tomorrow’s leading financial services will not be dissimilar to serving up a Michelin star gourmet dining experience. A different approach, one we term Cafe Fintech, where multiple best-of-breed ingredients are fused to deliver superior financial services and enhanced customer experiences.​

In today’s traditional approach, incumbent financial services organisations have built end-to-end capabilities in-house, under one roof. Everything from front-of-house services, such as customer on-boarding, account management and customer advisory, through back-of-house services ranging from risk management, payments, transactions and settlements.

The Emerging API Ecosystem

In stark contrast to the traditional approach, tech startups and others are re-creating core financial services from the ground up. From e-wallets, payment gateways, ID verification, KYC, AML and others, these building blocks are designed to be integrated and run with others.

Commercialised via licensed APIs (automated programing interface), features can be scaled, switched on, switched off – and replaced. The increasingly advanced range of APIs now on offer begs the question – why develop stand alone in-house solutions? From a pure innovation cycle point of view, they offer a credible alternative to acquiring or buying out companies seen as threats to incumbents.

For example, it is possible today to combine several APIs to create an online lending service capable of connecting issuers and borrowers, including the algorithms allowing participants to set their own market rates. Throw in payment gateways, custodian services, AML and online KYC checks, and you have a market ready platform.

The API Supermarket

Think of the API ecosystem as a supermarket of hundreds of ingredients or features. Some can be consumed raw without preparation. But in order to deliver the best experience, the combination, presentation – and timing – will deliver a competitive edge.

Cafe Fintech

We coined the term Cafe Fintech to convey important parallels across two very different industries. A Michelin starred restaurant, where the best professionals in their chosen areas of expertise are brought together to offer unrivaled service. From front-of-house, comprising Maitre’d, Sommelier and Waiters; to the heart of the operation, the kitchen, comprising Head Chef and Sous Chefs.

Today as front-of-house, Grow Advisors advise on how to get the best service from Cafe Fintech. This starts with understanding a client organisation’s digital culture, and alignment with future goals and opportunities in terms of customer service. Drawing parallels, this means ensuring the best table, appropriate lighting and ambience. From there, we discuss the menu and courses. Recommending the specials (best practice), to advising on pairing dishes with drinks, and ensuring impeccable service. The menu, a collection of dishes, comprises features which in turn are made up of technology ingredients. This is where Cafe Fintech jumps into action, in the kitchen.

What would you like to eat today?

Today, we are developing a range of Cafe Fintechs, each comprising an expert team delivering digital services to address opportunities in different verticals. From automated wealth solutions, to capital raising and online lending. Each cafe comprises the best in class chefs.

Fintech has become more mainstream, yet still leaves many organisations with unanswered questions on exactly how to incorporate meaningful technological innovation into their businesses. By recognising that the evolving landscape is much more dynamic and accessible, we hope a greater number of organisations will take a seat at the table.

As a global pioneer and leader of digital finance, The Grow VC Group is championing an industry-wide awakening and acclimatisation of disruption in financial services. Our consulting and advisory unit Grow Advisors offers professional services aimed at fostering and growing the use of digital finance around the world. From funding solutions to marketplaces and co-investment models, we help disruptors and incumbents alike, to set business strategy and deliver technology solutions.

Grow VC Group and Grow Advisors were both recipients of Finance Monthly fintech firm of the year 2015.

You can read the whole article on Grow Advisors Blog and it will appear as a special feature in the May edition of Finance Monthly.

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Grow VC Group The Grow VC Group is the world leading, global pioneer of securities crowd funding, peer to peer marketplaces, new investment models and global business development. Established in 2009, the Group has developed new investment models on six continents and continues to innovate the global market.

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