By @SimonCocking. Great interview with Hazel Moore co-founder of First Capital, who are one of the sponsors for our upcoming Fintech 20 event on November 24th (get your tickets here).

Thanks your involvement in the Fintech 20 Ireland panel, what inspired you to get involved?

Ireland has an exciting and growing fintech scene, which we think has great potential. There is a good mix of disruptive fintech businesses who are challenging traditional business models, along with innovative software companies developing technology to enable banks to evolve their legacy systems and offer new services or improve existing practices. The Fintech20 Ireland is a fantastic opportunity for companies to generate recognition and to celebrate their successes.

How significant is / will Fintech innovation be for the companies you work with?

We think the banking and financial services sector is just at the beginning of major change. Other industries have already been significantly disrupted by the internet and by new digital technologies, and there are very large opportunities in financial services both for new entrants and for existing players. In our view, the financial services landscape will look quite different in the future and the winners will either be existing players who have successful embraced and adapted to change, or new entrants who build digital-first services without having to contend with the cumbersome legacy systems and processes existing in the financial services sector today.

What type of companies were most successful in terms of attracting your interest to vote for them?

We particularly like companies that help financial institutions manage key pain points in new and innovative ways. There’s enormous amounts of data in banks that could be leveraged to either improve processes (regulatory compliance and fraud prevention being two examples) or deliver better services, using technologies such as machine learning, artificial intelligence and biometrics.

What tips would you give to Fintech companies looking to do well going forwards?

Fintech is evolving – in the early days it was all about disrupting traditional banking models and looking to compete online directly for consumers. This is changing and many fintech companies are now looking to partner with banks in order to benefit from their scale and distribution channels, while banks are also more aware of the opportunity and willing to partner with fintech companies. Both sides potentially win, however it is important for fintech companies to establish a clear shared agreement of how to work together, with the right partners, for mutual benefit.

What trends are you excited about in Fintech in general?

In 2018 the implementation of the Payment Services Directive 2 (PSD2) will require the banks to open up their payments infrastructure, allowing third parties to access (with permission) customer account information to offer new payment services. There will be some really interesting innovation in payments in Europe as a result. There is also huge opportunity to work with banks to modernise their legacy infrastructure, to liberate data from silos, and to offer truly customer oriented services.

Anything you’d like to add / we should have asked you?

Many industries today are absolutely unrecognisable from what they were just a few short years ago. By contrast financial services has hardly changed – less than 1% of loans are made online for example. The advances that we have seen in fintech, in my view, really represent just the beginning. Financial services is a huge industry, and there is a big prize to play for. It’s exciting times!

What is the best way for people to find out more about FirstCapital? 

We work with companies on mergers and acquisitions, private equity and growth capital transactions. We’re always happy to have a chat to explore your requirements so please do give us a call on +44 20 8563 1563, or go to our website to find out more.

Fintech 20 Ireland event, November 24th, meet Ireland’s top Fintech talent, tickets available

If you would like to have your company featured in the Irish Tech News Business Showcase, get in contact with us at [email protected] or on Twitter: @SimonCocking

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