The first thing you’re probably wondering is what is FinTech? FinTech stands for Financial Services Technology. It’s the latest phrase that highlights the collusion between the latest technology wizards and financial products. (There’s also HealthTech, InsurTech and RetailTech!)
So when you hear FinTech what do you think? Do you think of skyscrapers in Canary Wharf? Of young charismatic tech developers with their soy frappuccinos in Shoreditch? Of shiny apps and devices that cost hundreds, if not thousands, of pounds? You probably don’t think of the average British high street, or the average British customer. Indeed, the disassociation between the silicon world of FinTech and the bricks and mortar of our British towns is a problem that the Government have acknowledged, and is something they’ve asked us at Post Office to help them solve.
Last week Henk Van Hulle, Business Innovation Director and Rob Houghton, Group Chief Information Officer (CIO), were invited to speak at a House of Commons event called ‘FinTech - advancing the efficiency and inclusivity of financial services’. Attendees from Parliament and financial service companies came for debate and discussion around how technology and innovation will change how we interact with our finances in the future. Topics ranged from block chain to Artificial Intelligence as we joined the conversation on how the future looks for financial services, and to see how we can demystify these ideas to the Great British public.
But where do we fit into this?
Being invited alongside some of the most innovative FinTech companies in the UK, Post Office stands alongside these organisations as the intermediary between the exclusive world of FinTech financial services and the reality of financial interaction in the UK. As the retailer at the heart of 11600 communities we are in the unique position to bring the voice of these communities to the table at events such as this one.
We’re already having a huge impact in the lives of our customers by providing them with access to cash from their bank accounts. Just imagine the difference we can make in bridging the gap between the world of FinTechs and the great British public. This is an opportunity to change how people will interact with financial services in the future, and to ensure that even the most vulnerable in our society can reap the benefits of technology when managing their finances. Truly epitomising who we are, a commercial business with a social purpose.