Canada Fintech Forum: Leading Innovation in Finance

Canada Fintech Forum: Leading Innovation in Finance

As part of our continual commitment to present the latest news at the forefront of Fintech, we attended the 6th edition of the Canada Fintech Forum on October 29th, to both provide live coverage on our platforms and host a masterclass on AI in Finance. The multi-day event is organised by Finance Montréal with a primary objective to identify and foster business opportunities for financial services. It also exists to facilitate talent discovery, networking and interest into new technology trends in Finance while promoting Canada’s robust financial technology expertise.

“Businesses are moving from competitors to partners in technological disruption” — said Louis Léveque, CEO of Finance Montréal, as he opened this year’s annual conference. It was a largely shared sentiment by those in attendance, and several senior leaders took the opportunity to speak on key themes affecting Fintech: obtaining value with Artificial Intelligence; the future direction of banking; open innovation and open banking; the utility of blockchain; and how Fintech evolves financial services.

The values of open banking saw spirited discussion, with Rob Galaski of Deloitte declaring it a global movement rather than piece of policy; more specifically, a movement “where customers have the right to share their information with third parties because they own their data”. Elevating the concept to a global movement implies it will have far more social and cultural impact than an imposed piece of legislature. Galaski expands on this, stating “open banking could be understood as the evolution of data sharing methods across organisations driven by customer demand”, indicating it will likely spearhead a change in how data policies and business models are envisaged within the finance world.

Rob Galaski on stage at Canada Fintech Forum.

The always pertinent topic of gender equality in the finance industry was addressed early, with Frederick Chenel, President of CFA Montréal, stressing the need to prioritise strategies to escalate the amount of women in finance. This was a recurring response, as increasing numbers of thought leaders agreed more needed to be done to inspire greater action, starting in the workplace.

Janet Yellen, former Chair of the Federal Reserve (and powerful female figure in the industry), spoke at length on her views of the potential of technology intersecting with finance.

Janet Yellen (left) on stage at Canada Fintech Forum.

When asked for her ‘take’ on the global economy, Yellen replied that “conditions are excellent” as “when you see where the U.S economy is now, inflation is settled at about 2 percent, and creating 2000 jobs per month. Policy is giving a significant boost, emerging markets are beginning to feel the pressure because the U.S Dollar goes up again, but growth outside the U.S seems good. 2018 should be a good year.”

The looming prospect of an overheating economy remains a cause for concern, as while the Federal Reserve has “had the foot on the gas for years”, it is always difficult “doing it at the right place and stopping at the right time”, as the employment rate may drive inflation to peak above their target of 2 percent.

Yellen was adamant in her approach to how careers could be affected digital transformative power of FinTech, claiming it’s the government role to “find people ways to help retrain. The role of central bank for the economy as a whole is to allow those to find new opportunities.” The replacement of banking jobs via technology is inevitable, and it remains the responsibility of policy makers to ensure the economy creates sufficient and appropriate replacement jobs for those left painfully at the wayside. In light of this, she raised the opportunity for those in Fintech, or a collaboration between banks and FinTech, to introduce schemes to maintain these workers in the industry, albeit with newly acquired digital skills. There is reason to believe in Fintech’s promise to make financial services more accessible and inclusive, as with each day we have see fewer people globally unable to access a bank or financial services.

FinTech being made more accessible worldwide has further repercussions than simply affecting consumers, they have likely affected investment in financial technology too.

David Nault, General Partner of Luge Capital, claims Canadian FinTech venture investments are on track to hit CA$600m in 2018. While admittedly, this pales in comparison to the funding seen in the U.S or UK, it paints an optimistic future for the Canadian startup landscape. He adds “10 years ago no big firms wanted to partner with a FinTech, but now–almost all of them have partnered up.”

As aforementioned, the multi-day event also saw CFTE providing the world’s first combined online and physical masterclass on AI in Finance, held in association with Finance Montréal and Ngee Ann Polytechnic. Attendees were treated on October 31st to robust conversation featuring our co-founder Huy Nguyen Trieu who delivered an opening address, and Founder of Asia’s leading FinTech accelerator, Supercharger: Janos Barberis, who offered his guidance on the best practices in AI in Finance today. Additionally, Huy also held a discussion with senior leader Manuel Morales on the most impressive real-world applications of Artificial Intelligence across Canadian Finance.

Most importantly, the day also saw AI in Finance course completionists be rewarded with certifications in a graduation ceremony, as well as attendees divided into groups to create their most inventive proposals applying AI in Finance.

Team Nine on stage with Janos Barberis & Huy Nguyen Trieu.

Never was ingenuity more apparent than in Team Nine’s winning proposal – “AiAA – an AI Asset Aggregator to help consumers improve financial planning using diverse sources of data.” We wish to congratulate the team (Vincent Giroux, Eric Benoit, Leandre Kouamou Yepmou, Mansib Rahman, Afuad Hossain, Jens Ravivomanana) once again for their commitment, and for proving innovation is truly boundless.

In summary, Canada Fintech Forum continues to a be a leading conference to inspire and facilitate growth in the industry, and we are openly looking forward to next year’s edition! Also, we are covering further industry events live, including this month’s Singapore Fintech Festival, so stay tuned on our platforms!

As part of our continual commitment to present the latest news at the forefront of Fintech, we attended the 6th edition of the Canada Fintech Forum on October 29th, to both provide live coverage on our platforms and host a masterclass on AI in Finance. The multi-day event is organised by Finance Montréal with a primary objective to identify and foster business opportunities for financial services. It also exists to facilitate talent discovery, networking and interest into new technology trends in Finance while promoting Canada’s robust financial technology expertise.

“Businesses are moving from competitors to partners in technological disruption” — said Louis Léveque, CEO of Finance Montréal, as he opened this year’s annual conference. It was a largely shared sentiment by those in attendance, and several senior leaders took the opportunity to speak on key themes affecting Fintech: obtaining value with Artificial Intelligence; the future direction of banking; open innovation and open banking; the utility of blockchain; and how Fintech evolves financial services.

The values of open banking saw spirited discussion, with Rob Galaski of Deloitte declaring it a global movement rather than piece of policy; more specifically, a movement “where customers have the right to share their information with third parties because they own their data”. Elevating the concept to a global movement implies it will have far more social and cultural impact than an imposed piece of legislature. Galaski expands on this, stating “open banking could be understood as the evolution of data sharing methods across organisations driven by customer demand”, indicating it will likely spearhead a change in how data policies and business models are envisaged within the finance world.

Rob Galaski on stage at Canada Fintech Forum.

The always pertinent topic of gender equality in the finance industry was addressed early, with Frederick Chenel, President of CFA Montréal, stressing the need to prioritise strategies to escalate the amount of women in finance. This was a recurring response, as increasing numbers of thought leaders agreed more needed to be done to inspire greater action, starting in the workplace.

Janet Yellen, former Chair of the Federal Reserve (and powerful female figure in the industry), spoke at length on her views of the potential of technology intersecting with finance.

Janet Yellen (left) on stage at Canada Fintech Forum.

When asked for her ‘take’ on the global economy, Yellen replied that “conditions are excellent” as “when you see where the U.S economy is now, inflation is settled at about 2 percent, and creating 2000 jobs per month. Policy is giving a significant boost, emerging markets are beginning to feel the pressure because the U.S Dollar goes up again, but growth outside the U.S seems good. 2018 should be a good year.”

The looming prospect of an overheating economy remains a cause for concern, as while the Federal Reserve has “had the foot on the gas for years”, it is always difficult “doing it at the right place and stopping at the right time”, as the employment rate may drive inflation to peak above their target of 2 percent.

Yellen was adamant in her approach to how careers could be affected digital transformative power of FinTech, claiming it’s the government role to “find people ways to help retrain. The role of central bank for the economy as a whole is to allow those to find new opportunities.” The replacement of banking jobs via technology is inevitable, and it remains the responsibility of policy makers to ensure the economy creates sufficient and appropriate replacement jobs for those left painfully at the wayside. In light of this, she raised the opportunity for those in Fintech, or a collaboration between banks and FinTech, to introduce schemes to maintain these workers in the industry, albeit with newly acquired digital skills. There is reason to believe in Fintech’s promise to make financial services more accessible and inclusive, as with each day we have see fewer people globally unable to access a bank or financial services.

FinTech being made more accessible worldwide has further repercussions than simply affecting consumers, they have likely affected investment in financial technology too.

David Nault, General Partner of Luge Capital, claims Canadian FinTech venture investments are on track to hit CA$600m in 2018. While admittedly, this pales in comparison to the funding seen in the U.S or UK, it paints an optimistic future for the Canadian startup landscape. He adds “10 years ago no big firms wanted to partner with a FinTech, but now–almost all of them have partnered up.”

As aforementioned, the multi-day event also saw CFTE providing the world’s first combined online and physical masterclass on AI in Finance, held in association with Finance Montréal and Ngee Ann Polytechnic. Attendees were treated on October 31st to robust conversation featuring our co-founder Huy Nguyen Trieu who delivered an opening address, and Founder of Asia’s leading FinTech accelerator, Supercharger: Janos Barberis, who offered his guidance on the best practices in AI in Finance today. Additionally, Huy also held a discussion with senior leader Manuel Morales on the most impressive real-world applications of Artificial Intelligence across Canadian Finance.

Most importantly, the day also saw AI in Finance course completionists be rewarded with certifications in a graduation ceremony, as well as attendees divided into groups to create their most inventive proposals applying AI in Finance.

Team Nine on stage with Janos Barberis & Huy Nguyen Trieu.

Never was ingenuity more apparent than in Team Nine’s winning proposal – “AiAA – an AI Asset Aggregator to help consumers improve financial planning using diverse sources of data.” We wish to congratulate the team (Vincent Giroux, Eric Benoit, Leandre Kouamou Yepmou, Mansib Rahman, Afuad Hossain, Jens Ravivomanana) once again for their commitment, and for proving innovation is truly boundless.

In summary, Canada Fintech Forum continues to a be a leading conference to inspire and facilitate growth in the industry, and we are openly looking forward to next year’s edition! Also, we are covering further industry events live, including this month’s Singapore Fintech Festival, so stay tuned on our platforms!

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