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Fintech: hit or miss?

12 July 2017 11:56, UTC

Experts believe that there have been no significant results in fintech and most of the new tech projects turned out to be useless. Which technologies have met the market needs and which have fallen short of expectations, in a review by Bitnewstoday.com.

Technologies to look at

In terms of potential, technologies themselves are not in such great demand as a combination of technical solutions, marketing, business processes, knowledges and infrastructure. The key objective is to meet the needs and solve the client's problems, to provide a convenient, profitable and effective service.

Michail Zhigunov, marketing and products director at the Russia-based project "Sovest" singles out a few innovation clusters: "Biometrics and remote identification; Blockchain (as a philosophy of decentralized security systems); commercialization of big data as well as smaller data, development of artificial intelligence; API, smooth integration of banking services in daily life".

"Biometrics is one of the outstanding world's trends. There are a few purely Russian projects in this segment: Vision Labs (facial biometrics and 3D scanning), Yandex-led start-ups, STC (voice biometrics) and many others.

More and more projects are based on Blockchain and cryptocurrencies. For example, "33 elephants" company has some prototypes for real estate deals that proved to be demanded in Singapore and the USA. Technologies of data storage optimization are considered promising as well. A good example is GridGain, US company founded by Russians with development centers located in Russia.

Robo-advising and data enrichment may be considered as spheres in "implementation" zone", - says Michail Tsykarev, Head of the promising technologies department at Ural Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

Experts pin their hopes on implementation of robo-advisors which would help non-specialists to manage their assets and generate their wealth. Assistant is supposed to make a real-offers for investment-activity based on consumer's risk tolerance as well as his goals and expectations. According to some reports, in 3-4 years robo-advisers will manage assets totalling more than $2 trillion.

Where do the best Fintech developers live

Experts point out that the USA is the leader in terms of attracted investments and the total number of fintech start-ups. In addition, the UK has been very active recently (London is ready to soften the legislation and organize "sandboxes"), as well as a number of EU countries. At the same time some interesting fintech projects may be found all around the world. For example India plans to switch from cash transactions to mobile payment and credit solutions.

Technologies that failed to meet the expectations

According to experts, limited user experience, infrastructure problems, monetization issues and other challenges have led to failure of the following technologies: SMS-banking, QR Code payments, Bluetooth-based proximity solutions (iBeacon), new technologies for loyalty programs.

Use of BigData technologies in various areas demonstrates uneven results. A clear indication of it is said to be the fact that Russia's Yandex has closed down most of its BigData projects aimed at retail and banking market. But on the other hand it has significantly increased investments in similar projects in the industry.

In addition, Blockchain technology has lowered expectations. This technology used to be considered by many as a "magic pill" which can improve all the processes, but now the best mind are working on specific scenarios of applying distributed database technology.

At the initial stage it is hard to say being 100% sure whether a project would be successful and would it be able to turn from a rough draft into a really working solution. However, it can be concluded with great certainty that if developers can not answer the question "What is the problem solved by the technology they develop," the project can be rolled back at the very idea stage. Although history knows many cases, when not quite successful ideas led to the birth of breakthrough technologies.