Fintech innovation presents new opportunities

February 26, 2015

By Stuart Green

Improvements to the customer experience, security and fraud protection, and data analytics all present opportunities for collaboration between the financial services sector and Ontario researchers and innovators, an OCE-sponsored forum heard.

“We are taking advantage of the strengths of both (financial services and technology) for the benefit of all,” Janet Ecker, President of the Toronto Financial Services Alliance (TFSA) told more than 150 attendees at the first partnering forum sponsored by TFSA and Ontario Centres of Excellence to discuss potential areas of innovation in fin-tech.

The day opened with an overview of the challenges and opportunities the financial services sector faces and the solutions technology and innovation can offer. A panel of academic researchers described some research underway that may have implications for the financial sector and several starts-ups talked about their technologies and how they might help financial services. Another group representing incubators and accelerators addressed how financial services can use them to connect with talent and start-ups with creative products.

Panelists representing some of Canada’s largest banks and insurance companies spoke to the need for constant improvement and innovation, and opportunities big data presents around security.

Other sessions focussed on research, start-ups and incubating and accelerating fintech companies and provided an unprecedented opportunity for the tech community and financial institutions to network.

“It’s clear that these are challenging and exciting times in the financial service sector, both in terms of what we are seeing emerging globally and the start-ups we are seeing here in Ontario,” said OCE President and CEO Dr. Tom Corr. “It’s important to remember that these organizations and many others are involved in supporting Fin-tech and none of us can do it alone. We all have a role to play.”