Ouir Fintech expertise on NFS

Future of fintech – a glimpse from Nordic Fintech Summit

Ouir Fintech expertise on NFS

Fintech insights straight from Helsinki

I recently had the opportunity to attend the 2024 Nordic Fintech Summit in Helsinki and it was truly fantastic! The event was not only packed with valuable meetings and discussions but also incredibly enjoyable. With approximately 660 participants, mostly business professionals from the Nordic fintech sector, the summit provided insights into current trends and future directions in fintech. Scalac stood out during our talks with industry experts regarding our tech solutions and knowledge on scaling businesses – not just fintechs. 

Sunny, warm weather only enhanced the atmosphere of the Nordic Fintech Summit. We have even witnessed firsthand the phenomenon of white nights when it doesn’t actually get dark at all!

The minimalist design, excellent filtered coffee everywhere, top-notch tap water, and the ubiquitous presence of Moomins added a unique charm to our whole visit. But now, let’s focus on the things that made you read this text – what were the most valuable (in our, Scalacers, opinion) insights you could hear at the Nordic Fintech Summit?

Scalac Fintech Experts on NFS 2024

Future of Fintech – key topics and discussions

Open Banking, Open Finance, Data, Digital Payments, and AI

The summit covered several crucial fintech areas: Open Banking, Open Finance, Data, Digital Payments, and AI. Meeting people from diverse yet common sectors enabled an exchange of knowledge. Everyone was quite engaging and outgoing, especially the Finns, contrary to common stereotypes about them being “distant, quiet, and private.” The fintech community demonstrated a strong collaborative spirit, which was essential for tackling the industry’s complex challenges. Speaking of which…

Innovations shaping banking by 2035 – Georg Hauer’s insights

Georg Hauer’s panel on the future of banking was very enlightening. He discussed how innovations prevalent in China and Asia, such as superapp fintechs like KakaoPay, could shape global banking by 2025. Key trends for the next decade include the potential tripling of online banking users, seamless banking integrated with e-commerce, new regulations, and the disappearance of traditional bank branches in favor of specialized flagship stores. Hyper-personalization, AI-based compliance and KYC processes, as well as the tokenization of stocks, bonds, and IDs are expected to revolutionize the sector.

Payments driving ESG sustainability – Monika Liikamaa’s speech

Monika Liikamaa delivered a powerful speech on how payments can drive ESG sustainability transformations, which was a highlight of the event and prompted strong reflections on global issues. She used eye-opening materials to illustrate the significant role of the criminal sector in fintech, emphasizing the need for ethical practices and sustainability in the industry. This focus on ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) is crucial for fintech companies aiming to balance profitability with social responsibility.

Institutionalizing digital assets – Anti-Jussi Suominen thoughts

Anti-Jussi Suominen’s discussion on strategies for institutionalizing digital assets emphasized the significant barrier to crypto adoption posed by compliance. His provocative comments, such as “porn, guns, and crypto,” underscored the challenges of understanding and regulating digital currencies. This perspective is crucial for fintech firms aiming to navigate the complex regulatory landscape while exploring the potential of digital assets.

AI’s impact on financial services – Linas Beliūnas insights

Linas Beliūnas talked about the significant impact of AI on financial services, focusing on data-driven strategies and future market influences. He emphasized how AI can improve operational efficiency, customer service and drive innovation in financial products. Additionally, Linas highlighted the ethical and privacy concerns associated with AI that fintech companies must address to build trust with their users.

AI in Fintech

Dynamics shaping the payments industry – Anna Maj’s panel

Anna Maj’s panel focused on the fragmentation of the payment market and the predominance of digital wallets. Her insights into global trends, such as the 50% global usage of digital wallets compared to 30% in Europe and 70% in Asia, along with the importance of improving cross-border instant payments, were particularly insightful. These trends underscore the need for fintech companies to adapt to changing consumer preferences and enhance the efficiency of payment systems.

Historical and regional insights – their impact on fintech

The summit discussed not only the future of fintech, but also how fintech has been adopted in different regions over time. For example, Finland was the birthplace of the world’s first phone-based bank, Merita Bank, in 1995. This was well before many other countries started mobile banking. The Nordic countries are leading the way in using mobile payment methods, but they have found it challenging to share their digital expertise with the rest of the world. Each Nordic country has its unique strengths and challenges in fintech. Sweden, known for digital banking, created Swish, one of Europe’s most innovative mobile payment apps. Finland, Norway, Denmark, Estonia, and Lithuania each have their specific fintech solutions and regulatory environments.

Interestingly, while cash is no longer commonly used in Finland, unlike in Sweden, it is still regarded as an important critical infrastructure worth continued investment. Finns still enjoy using physical cards rather than mobile phones for payments, contrasting with the dominant mobile payment culture in Stockholm. This distinction highlights the diverse approaches to fintech across the Nordic region and the importance of catering to local preferences.

It is noteworthy that while cash is no longer widely utilized in Finland – unlike in Sweden, it is still considered a crucial aspect of infrastructure deserving of sustained investment. Finns still enjoy using physical cards rather than mobile phones for payments, contrasting with the dominant mobile payment culture among their Swedish neighbors. This distinction highlights the diverse approaches to fintech across the Nordic region and the importance of catering to local preferences.

Networking and hospitality at the Summit

The Nordic Fintech Summit was great for networking and knowledge sharing. The hospitality was excellent, with dinner, snacks, drinks, and pizza available, creating a relaxed atmosphere – yet buzzing with business energy. The central location of the venue also provided opportunities for sightseeing, which the Scalac team gladly took advantage of.

Future of fintech

The Nordic Fintech Summit 2024 thoroughly examined the future of the fintech industry, highlighting important challenges and opportunities. The event featured stimulating panel discussions, a unique atmosphere, and a well-thought-out space for networking. We gained valuable insights that will help us shape our future strategies for cooperation with the fintech sector.

The rapidly evolving fintech environment requires us to tackle challenges and take advantage of opportunities discussed at the Summit. This will be essential for fostering innovation and driving growth not just for Scalac, but any organization. The Nordic Fintech Summit has laid the groundwork for an optimistic future, and we are eager to contribute to and reap the benefits of this ecosystem.

P.S. Read also our thoughts from trip to the Stockholm Fintech Week, earlier this year.

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Sylwia Wysocka
Sylwia Wysocka

Sylwia Wysocka a Business Development Specialist at Scalac, where I help businesses craft cutting-edge digital solutions. I'm a dedicated professional, passionate about understanding and exceeding client needs. Beyond work, I'm a nature enthusiast and a people person, finding joy and inspiration in the natural world around me.

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