UK Fintech industry can benefit from standards says new research

27 July 2016

New research published by BSI has revealed the important role that standards could play in helping to strengthen and speed-up fintech’s development in the UK. The research, prepared by Finextra, gathered insights from a cross-section of fintech companies, banks, trade associations, technology vendors and wider, and has been published in a new report entitled A Roadmap for Fintech Standards.

The UK fintech market, estimated to be valued at £20bn, is already seen as a global centre helped by a regulatory environment that promotes innovation.  BSI commissioned the research to investigate where standards could best support UK fintech and help provide leadership in global standardization following interest from the industry in 2015. This latest research shows there could be a further opportunity to complement regulation with standards, to promote the UK’s unique position in fintech.

The analysis found a number of priority areas where standards could help promote greater cooperation and integration amongst the industry and provide assurance to consumers. The report highlights three key areas where standards have the potential to unlock barriers to fintech growth, such as by streamlining the procurement process between banks and fintech’s, and makes a number of recommendations as to how this could be taken forward. Challenges were also highlighted in relation to data and systems interoperability and consumer trust where standards could help provide assurances.

Dan Palmer, Head of Market Development at BSI said: “Fintech is an exciting area for the financial services industry, and this research shows how standards have a role in helping fintech firms gain acceptance from consumers and integrate with other financial services companies. The next steps are to work with the fintech industry to take forward the report’s recommendations.”  

Diana Pardes, CEO and co-founder of Suade, said: “The research highlights the key role good standards can play for the wider adoption of Fintech. Standards improve efficiency in decision making and hence can also foster innovation and business model changes if nurtured properly and openly. Standards around procurement and collaboration could pave the way and facilitate the conversation, triggering more pilots/PoC’s/projects, reducing this sense of risk that can be associated when dealing with new technologies.” 

Keith Saxton, Chairman of techUK’s Financial Services & Payments Programmes, commented: ''BSI's research reaffirms the central role standards play in the financial services industry and its technology infrastructures. Proactive collaboration in standards will promote the UK's leadership position in FinTech innovation and support the critical shift of the industry's infrastructures to digital systems.''

The report emphasizes the importance of broad industry representation in developing standards for fintech and an inclusive approach to galvanize support. Going further, it recommends that a dedicated community should be convened around fintech to spearhead the necessary follow-up work on standards and any standards creation. 

The reports can be downloaded here.