Fintech Start-ups: The Creative Fixers

Can start-ups correct the systemic flaws by providing a creative and alternative way of operating more ethically?

October 10, 2016 12:21
1 minute read.
Fintech Start-ups: The Creative Fixers

Fintech Start-ups: The Creative Fixers . (photo credit: Courtesy)


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Deutsche Bank is the recent poster child for “choosing profits over market integrity” at the expense of its shareholders and customers’ interests. It was recently fined by the US Dept. Justice for an unthinkable sum of $14 billion to settle an investigation into the mis-selling of residential mortgage-backed securities prior to the 2008 financial crisis. This follows a $US2.5 billion in April 2015 for rigging the London Interbank Offered Rate (Libor) during 2004- 2015. When fines are paid for failure to act responsibly, public trust is eroded. There is a vital need for change.

Can start-ups correct the systemic flaws by providing a creative and alternative way of operating more ethically? Yes. 

Start-ups disrupt the system by filling needs in a new way. Instead of bonuses and executive pay, the focus is on creativity and innovation. The benefits to the end-user ameliorate any trust that has been eroded by corporate misconduct.

Eric Ben-Artzi, a former risk officer in Deutsche bank, helped expose improper accounting practices during 2010-2011, as well as the revolving door between lawyers working for corporate banks and the regulatory bodies. The interesting part is his “ever-after” story following his whistle blower ordeal, starting anew in bondIT – a startup leveraging big data analytics to provide a fresh new way of investing in bonds. Working for a Fintech (financial technology) start-up, he continues in his efforts to improve the financial system.

The Fintech start-up scene, acts a creative fixer by leveraging new technologies. Sling enables financial services through an app and wristbands, tags and stickers instead of contracts, hardware, and costly infrastructure. MatchBox enables merchants to recover up to 1% of their lost revenue simplifying the traceability of payments in omni-channel commerce.  Currencytransfer clarifies international payment transfer costs, offering an alternative to the more complex, traditional banking operations.

Once regarded as competition to banks, Fintech start-ups are now welcomed by banks through partnerships and venture investments.  Innovative applications of new technologies and fresh perspectives are the answer for more effective and ethical practices.
With a young and keen spirit, untethered by cumbersome past practices and infrastructure, start-ups provide an opportunity to correct and create the change you want to see.

Maya Nix (@MLNix) focuses on marketing start-ups through creativity, collaboration and communication

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