FinTech community must be true to itself
The FinTech community has the potential to blow 'destructive' financial services wide open – if it can avoid being sucked in by existing systems says Invstr CEO Kerim Derhalli.
Invstr is a micro-investing app that helps members learn how to invest and then start investing with just a few dollars.
The app has seen roaring success, having been downloaded more than 500,000 times in 192 different countries and facilitating more than 3.8m transactions since June 2016.
However despite the innovation FinTech such as Invstr brings, the company’s CEO Kerim Derhalli believes the biggest challenge facing the FinTech community is to be true to the purpose and opportunity that the sector represents
"We have learned that many financial intermediaries tend to destroy value not add value - they are a tax on the global economy," he told BusinessCloud.
"The disruption we’ve seen in every other consumer sector where the empowerment of individuals has done away with intermediaries is a real opportunity and a space that FinTech is well placed to capture.
"That is where FinTech can and should thrive, rather than merely helping existing financial intermediaries do their job a little bit better. If you can capture that space you can build a multi-billion dollar business."
It’s vital then that emerging disrupters don’t become seduced by the existing financial system says Derhalli.
"People are failing to understand the difference between FinTech and financial technology," he said.
"Financial technology has been around for centuries. FinTech is something that has grown out of the Information Revolution."
Derhalli believes FinTech is about empowering individuals to take charge of their own financial destinies, putting them in a position where they can manage their own money.
"If all you’re doing is helping existing financial intermediaries do their job a little bit better you’re doing financial technology not FinTech," he said.
"For me, FinTech is the manifestation in the financial markets of the information revolution. It started with the public internet, social networks, the sharing economy and now cryptocurrencies – it’s all about empowering individuals."
For Invstr, this means giving users access to data that was formerly the reserve of the large financial institutions, he says.
Through this they can learn to interpret how real world events can impact on the stock market. Ultimately this gives them the tools to take charge of their own personal finances and make smarter investment choices.
The young company is making leaps and bounds in this direction and in the last year alone has introduced competitions for its users, awarding the top members who have made the most profit on their Invstr virtual portfolio with US dollar cash vouchers.
These can be used to trade on its integrated DriveWealth platform.
"Invstr helps people learn about investing in ways that we are all accustomed to – by playing games, learning from our friends and by accessing relatable content all in a single app," said Derhalli.
"We then enable members to start investing through our partnerships with Drivewealth and SIC Stocks."
Derhalli will be speaking at BusinessCloud's event ‘The Future of FinTech’ in London on 12th July.
Run in association with Money&Co, Another Crowd and Tech Nation, a stellar line-up of speakers will share their views on how to get a slice of the rapidly growing £20bn sector. You can still book your place for FREE.