Fintech District and MEDICI become partners to provide smart tools together with more and more in-depth and updated information for all those companies looking at the fintech sector with growing interest and chosing to become corporate members of Fintech District to be in the front row among those who can observe and interact with the fintech ecosystem which is not only Italian but also international.
In this double interview with Clelia and Giuseppe we explore,not only the partnership but also the current Fintech scenario, between Italy and the world.
Giuseppe Marchese, Head of Business Development Europe at MEDICI
What does Medici do? Why did you choose to partner with Fintech District and what is it?
MEDICI is the world’s leading FinTech Research and Innovation Platform. As a premier destination for FinTech insights, MEDICI has over 13,000 FinTechs on the platform, which enables FinTechs to scale and create global economic impact. By partnering with banks, various technology companies, and FIs globally, MEDICI is committed to supporting the complex financial services ecosystem and enabling stakeholders to benefit from the industry’s accelerated growth and global impact.
The idea behind the partnership with the Fintech District is to provide useful insights and support to its corporate membership. For instance, through our platform, they can have access to up-to-date FinTech related information, unique data, and a proprietary database of more than 13,000 companies listed. As we see this relation, empowering the Italian FinTech Ecosystem with global data is the ultimate mission of the partnership.
From your point of view highly international, 3 strengths and 3 weaknesses of the Italian fintech ecosystem.
As you correctly said, we are a global company which has started to actively looking into the Italian market “only” 3 years ago. For what is our understanding, we see that the ecosystem here in Italy is very focused and concentrated in a couple of verticals (P2P lending, Wallet, Crowdfunding, Payments) and that is probably due to the Italian Regulation, which makes very difficult to establish a new solution for other verticals. For example, for all of the sub-vertical of RegTech (KYC, AML, Fraud Prevention, Regulatory Reporting, etc) working in Italy is very hard due to strict Regulatory Requirements.
The great thing about the Italian FinTech Market is that it is driven by very motivated and talented people, behind every solution there is (most of the time) a young entrepreneur who is putting all of herself/himself to make the change happen. I can tell that the community is well connected and there is a huge willingness to sharing experience and expertise – especially here in Milan which is the heart of Italian FinTech.
Above all, I really believe that FinTech in Italy, especially after PSD2, is a very high growth market, whit Financial Institutions and Regulators now willing to collaborate and to approach to new solutions, so making Italy the next-to-be country for any FinTech!
And 3 fintech ecosystems outside of italy to keep an eye on “because they will surprise us”. And why?
Regarding this question, I may be a little bit biased since we are supporting the Qatar Development Bank along with the Qatar Government in creating and developing the Qatari FinTech Hub. Hence, for sure you will have to monitor and look closely at Qatar as a growing Ecosystem for the development of FinTech in the Middle East Area.
I reckon the Indian Ecosystem is one of the strongest and fast-growing FinTech Ecosystem globally. MEDICI has an office in Bangalore, right into the heart of the FinTech scene and we can tell for sure that greater things and solutions have to come. Just have a look at UPI to have a quick understanding of what I am referring to.
Lastly, Australia is my pick. Personally, I have lived in Melbourne and seen what this country has to give when it comes to innovation – no matter the industry. One of the key aspects is the strong support of the local government, always ready to support entrepreneurs and innovations. More than that, global accelerators and large corporates are investing a lot into FinTech. For example, in Melbourne Startupbootcamp already held a first edition of the FinTech accelerator and it is ready for a second one.
Clelia Tosi, Business Development Manager at Fintech District
Why a partnership with Medici? What advantages for the community?
The Fintech District wants to increase the value for the community stakeholder year after year. The partnership with Medici and,in particular the access to the Medici Inner Circle Platform, is part of this perspective because it allows Corporate Members and our team to deepen their knowledge of the global Fintech scenario, its numbers and trend topics, to better understand the ongoing and prospective dynamics.
Three strong points and three weak points of Italian fintech today?
- PARTNERSHIP: At last there is an increase in the number of strategic and operational partnerships between Fintech and Incumbent operators. This confirms the idea that fintech does not disintermediate incumbents in the relationship with the customer, but, on the contrary, improves their effectiveness and often also increases the efficiency of processes.
- KNOW HOW: About half of the Italian fintech founders come from previous experiences in the banking or insurance sector. Consequently they know the dynamics, languages, processes and limits.
- REGULATION: The regulations, and in particular the new Sandbox decree and the entry into force of PSD2, open new perspectives that can certainly bring a competitive advantage to our country if well understood and exploited by all players in the ecosystem.
- FUNDING: The level of funding, both from individuals and VCs and institutional investors, is still much lower than in other European countries, although it has almost quadrupled in the last year. This bodes well for the future.
- VISION: In some cases the strategic vision of entrepreneurs is still too anchored in the concept of SMEs. The meaning and characteristics of start-ups are poorly understood, in terms of exponential growth, risk appetite and innovative culture.
- COMPETITION: The global scenario is very competitive and dynamic: it is increasingly complex to make a difference and climb beyond the national borders. This is also because of the challenges launched by Big Tech giants.
Has the international look at Italian fintech changed? If so, how?
There is still a long way to go, but surely the interest towards our country is increasing. The most famous European unicorns, including N26 and Revolut, have chosen Milan as the home of their South Europe Head Quarter. The Fintech District is also increasingly recognized as a gateway by institutional stakeholders from foreign countries (every week we host or get in touch with foreign interlocutors and we have a continuous relationship with more than 10 International Hubs). Investors are also beginning to learn about our top players (especially in the lending and payment areas).
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