The FinTech wave
FinTech companies, i.e. companies built around financial technology, are being founded around the globe. Only few of them are in Iceland. I can mention Aur, Kass, Netgíró, Invector, Meniga, Kóði, Faktoria as examples in addition to the commercial banks. There are most certainly more local companies.
Now, in the light of the fact that Arion bank intends to organize a hackathon (under the name FinTech party) in early June 2016 and provide an open API for contestants, vast opportunities rise for those interested in building financial applications that either enable or disrupt the banks. These companies need not necessarily be limited to services in Iceland. Most international banks already have APIs for the same purpose as Arion bank intends to open up. Well, you do the math for the rest. In short, there are excitingly many opportunities for Icelandic FinTech companies. Internationally, well known brands and companies are growing at an impressive rate.
Icelandic banking infrastructure is unique
Anyone who has lived outside of Iceland has experienced the tedious process of paying their bills in their (online) bank or just transferring money between banks, which takes at least one banking day. My meaning is that Icelandic customer banking experience may be useful internationally. With that said, there are of course many ways where services are lacking and what a better way to improve or develop new services than through a hackathon and/or an open API. Furthermore, with participation in Startup Reykjavik, with access to seed funding from Arion bank and mentor access, I see interesting opportunities for FinTech companies. Combined, this makes perfect sense for teams that want to fulfill their dream of developing fantastic solutions in a huge market with a local bank as a partner.
- API economy – From systems to business services – Deloitte University Press
- Fastest Growing Web API – ProgrammableWeb