A FinTech firm has called on big banks to tap into the innovation within smaller providers to ensure they stay relevant in the fast-paced world of technology. 

Kaye Rickards is the sales & marketing director at London-based retail FinTech Deko, which was created to tackle paper-based manual processes in the lending marketplace.

She says tech will eventually cut across all banking and finance - but that first there is a big challenge to face.

“The bigger the bank the more complicated the challenge is to change the existing tech that’s in place – legacy systems are cumbersome and costly so working with smaller providers means bigger banks can scale quicker,” she told BusinessCloud.

“Everything’s like a spaghetti junction in larger organisations – you have to unpick the processes before you redefine them and it can be a challenge for some parts of the finance arena but I think automation of those processes using technology can transform any business. 

“We’ve got lenders that use our tech as Software as a Service because it’s better than their own tech. They like it so much they put it into their own business and we are very proud of that.”

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Back in 2008 Deko had a vision that lending could become more like card payments and was the first to pursue this, using tech such as e-signatures to create a platform for lending for the eCommerce generation.

However progress in finance doesn’t mean ignoring existing regulation and legacy, says Rickards.

“In banking and finance you’ve got regulation, GDPR and all the other heavy-duty regulatory considerations and that will never change,” she said.

“You can do a lot with tech but you’ve still got to be respectful of those regulations, you can innovate around them but you can’t get away from them.

“You need to know how to treat customers fairly, you need to show finance options, APRs and terms and conditions transparently and you need to make sure the customer knows what they’re signing up to.”

This includes obtaining the right information and sending the customer back the right messages, says Rickards.

“All finance lenders have a responsibility to some degree to ensure the consumer knows what opting for finance will mean for them. That will never change.”

As FinTech grows companies must capitalise on supporting the finance process in a much more enjoyable way for the consumer to transact and borrow money, says Rickards.

“When you look at how people’s transactions happen – from shopping to banking and organising their daily lives – a huge percentage of today’s consumers don’t know any way other than using a mobile device,” she said.

“For example 65 per cent of all applications that we process come from mobile devices so having the ability to use tech to make the journey easier and the AI behind it to monitor and optimise it and make it better is absolutely crucial to a competitive edge.”