In May 2020, Fintechnews.ch launched the Fintech Influencer Switzerland Interview series, which presents at least once a week a short interview that we have conducted with the famous, long-standing Swiss fintech influencers to get his views on some of the industry’s most pressing issues and the hottest trends.
For this interview, Fintechnews.ch has spoken Oscar Neira * Codd & Date Suisse to catch up with him, hear his opinion about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the fintech sector, learn more about the Italian fintech landscape, and more.
Oscar was nominated by Marc Lussy.
Hi Oscar, what has changed for you personally during this pandemic?
A lot has changed.
However, not in terms of working from home, because I did that before the pandemic, but more about the basics. For example, if you asked me three months ago if I would have my own small garden, I would say: “No! Are you stupid? “Now, I have one. This is very hard work and I like it.
The reason for that was mainly to get out of my lethargy, and move and strengthen my body. But also learn how to grow your own food.
Do you think COVID-19 is a digital accelerator that has been missing from the industry?
I believe so. The COVID-19 pandemic has become an accelerator for remote work, among many other things.
On the other hand, there are articles from psychologists that say that after COVID-19, people will return to their old habits and behavior. I do not believe this will happen.
What is your focus now?
During confinement, I learned a lot about cybersecurity and secure customer authentication (SCA).
I learned that this is more than just installing a firewall and antivirus software, or not opening suspicious e-mails from insiders suspected of banks finding unclaimed inheritance.
This is actually a very important topic and diverse issues that start with basic things like asset inventory (equipment).
You are often in Italy and know the fintech trends there very well. What did we miss?
I don’t know why, but it seems that all countries or regions start their fintech trips with payment. Everyone thinks that payment is easy. Yes No.
Italy passes this stage and now has three main trends and segments: payments, microcredit / crowdfending, and insurance.
Looking back at Italian history, there must be some connections that can explain why these segments have advantages in Italy today: at 13th century, the Lombards gave credit throughout Europe; in the 14thth century, Florentines with the Medici dynasty had made foreign exchange and payments; and the first known insurance broker in the world emerged from Pisa in 1319.
Historically, Italians have a lot of knowledge and expertise in banking and insurance. Whether they are as good as technology is another story, but I’m sure the Italian fintech industry has a bright future.
I mean, the oldest bank in the world, Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena, was declared in 1472 and is still operating today. This implies that for centuries, they have remained innovative and managed to rediscover themselves to remain relevant.
Please tell us fintech in Italy that we have to keep an eye on?
I like Fabrick.com open banking platforms very much. They connect banks with fintech through market platforms.
Not only does Fabrick help banks with open APIs, this platform also helps fintech connect directly to all Italian banks (and hopefully international banks later) and manage all the different SCA models of each bank, reducing complexity and costs for fintech.
What can Switzerland learn from fintech in Italy or vice versa?
Fintech Italia needs to learn from their Swiss colleagues how to build more business-to-business (B2B) solutions and use cases. Fintech Italia must also focus more on international scaling.
At Swiss fintech, they can certainly learn more about a successful bank / fintech partnership from their Italian counterparts. I feel that collaboration between banks and fintech in Italy is far more useful than in Switzerland.
Which Swiss fintech startup should we have on our radar?
There are many of them. I think Sonect has great potential. There are also some excellent wealth technology platforms for asset managers and family offices that are ready for great success. If you ask about regtech, my real favorite is KYC Spider.
Please select Global Influencer Fintech Switzerland for one of our next interviews:
I nominate financial market and data protection lawyers Cornelia Stengel and / or Miki Vayloyan, CEO of KYC Spider.
* Swiss Bio Influencer Fintech Oscar Neira:
Oscar Neira is a senior consultant at PT Codd & Date Suisse, A business and IT consulting company specializing in ISO20022 payments, cyber security, data analytics and machine learning, and business continuity management.
He is also a correspondent for the moneytoday.ch financial platform where he regularly writes as an expert on subjects including open banking, PSD2, instant payments, SWIFT GPI, and related topics.
Neira is an advisor to many Swiss fintech startups, including Cashare.ch, Switzerland’s first crowlending platform, and Payrexx.com, a cloud-based digital payment solution provider, all-in-one, is a popular speaker at various international events.
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