The situation now is this: COVID-19 has forced businesses to rapidly reinvent, or lose their competitive edge quickly. Reinvention cannot be made without an active digital transformation, and the need to reinvent has only gotten more pressing.
To that end, Fintech start-ups' malleable and agile "plug-n-play" skillset is attracting even more
attention after the onset of the pandemic. Businesses are increasingly interested in co-existing and co-creating products that provide that decisive edge over their competitors technologically.
It is interesting to note, however, that innovation has always been on the radar for these businesses. Banks have always been cognisant of the need to adapt to the changing global climate. The advent of Virtual Banking in Hong Kong and Singapore is a clear example that demonstrates innovation even before COVID-19. Multiple companies ranging from Ridesharing companies "Grab" and Telco "Singtel" to Chinese Firm "ByteDance" are vying for the virtual bank license.
After COVID-19, however, Sachin observes a much greater impetus towards digital innovation. Companies are hungry for technology that will enable them to do business without compromising social distancing, while maintaining, if not enhancing, the quality of their services. He notes that this is evidently embodied in a study showing that the coronavirus has driven a massive 72% rise in the use of fintech apps in Europe
It is clear that established institutions see the need to co-create with quick-footed Fintech Start-ups to rapidly innovate, and that Fintech is in a very good position to excel in the near future.
After the interview with Sachin, it seems that one thing is clear: the race to stay ahead is very much shaped by how we use technology and data. Companies – Big banks and small start-ups alike – have always been looking to leverage on the advantages that technology provides. However, their sense of urgency has increased tremendously due to the pandemic and the changes it necessitates, and if you snooze on this race, you will lose it.