The latest company to join FinTech Alliance is Samsung Electronics. We caught up with the global tech giant to discuss its FinTech journey and what Samsung plans to achieve as part of FinTech Alliance.
Where is Samsung currently on its FinTech journey?
FinTech, or technology in finance overall, has been part of Samsung’s consumer and enterprise proposition for a long time.
With the Samsung Pay wallet launch in 2015, we entered the consumer mobile payments market. This moment defined our long-term development strategy.
Since then, we have created a handful of applications and services around financial digital security (Samsung Pass), innovative payments acceptance methods (Samsung mPOS), digital identification (Samsung Digital ID) and recently also cryptocurrencies (Samsung Blockchain Wallet).
Consequently, Samsung Pay has become a nucleus that sparked creation of the entire ecosystem of complementary platforms that now can address variable needs of market partners.
What are your next steps in the UK FinTech ecosystem?
After five years of intense joint effort from our business and R&D teams, we feel that Samsung has a well-crafted portfolio of both branded as well as white label solutions that can address the most sophisticated technical and business needs within variable FinTech market verticals.
With this portfolio ready, we now want to proactively demonstrate our full capabilities and familiarise FinTech stakeholders with our vision of future mobile technologies.
Samsung is a complex entity with global mass market outreach but we are aware that FinTech industry requires a specific approach based on agile methodology, individual attention and dynamic ideation process.
Why have you chosen to join FinTech Alliance?
We decided to join FinTech Alliance so we can communicate and exchange ideas with the industry in an efficient and direct manner. We want to encourage a wider audience to put our services and solutions to the test – and we’d be pleased to see FinTech industry feedback.
We want to listen to the market stakeholders and discuss brand new business opportunities and proof of concept. Finally, to make this happen we will make our selected APIs and software development kits (SDKs) available, and keep our R&D doors open for new partnerships.
What emerging FinTech trends in the UK are you most excited about?
Certainly, even the standard metrics showing speed of market growth are daunting. It is apparent that FinTech industry is generational phenomenon and the statistical data from UK Govt 2019 official report speaks for itself.
The UK is currently home to more billion-dollar startups than anywhere else in Europe and its current 1,600 firms are expected to more than double by 2030. It’s also impressive how quickly the FinTech industry has managed to change the DNA of many traditional market players, with 56% of traditional financial institutions placing disruption at the heart of their strategy and 82% of incumbents expecting to increase FinTech partnerships in the next three to five years. This is also where we see an intermediary role for Samsung.
From the other perspective, the level of 42% adoption rate in UK – versus 33% globally – clearly shows that actual market demand can soon achieve mass scale and consumers are happy to experiment with different solutions to manage their finance in unconventional way.
We are looking warmly at dynamically growing product categories of mobile payments and money transfers as well as budgeting and digital security of financial assets. Together with blockchain, which has been listed as one of the eight most promising technologies of the future, there is a clear trend towards seamless and consolidated payment methods.
How can technology solve key problems in financial services?
Before deciding to enter the FinTech market we conducted market research, and encountered a list of the most common objectives of FinTech providers and individual consumers.
Whereas consumers look for low (or preferably zero) fees, convenience and an enriched array of services, FinTech providers at the same time are in need of technology and configuration that can improve this user experience, reduce operating expenses, allow for scalability and increase market outreach.
The combination of user friendliness (preferably a seamless experience) and high level of security is the holy grail for today’s financial services providers.
At Samsung, we believe that a combination of hardware technologies – the core of our business – and market standards can solve plenty of problems. Current mobile hardware technologies have reached a level of unpreceded sophistication which can turn a smartphone or tablet into a handy replacement of a secure bank branch or personal financial adviser.
Finally, there is also an array of market standards and open protocols at our disposal, along with regulatory bodies that open up the world of innovation. PSD2, the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), or the entire suite of protocols managed by Global Platform, to name just a few, are good examples of how technology can bring finance and payments into the next level of digitalization and still ensure a proper standard of security and data protection.
How will Samsung contribute to this part of FinTech’s future?
As a global company with both hardware and services divisions, we are in a unique position to deliver the entire value chain of services and digital tools.
Last year in Europe alone we have shipped more than 65mn mobile devices – smartphones, tablets and smart watches – which makes us a true market leader in this domain. All those devices are ready platforms and carriers for FinTech applications which gets straight into the hands of the consumer.
We have a great flexibility in deciding whether to stand in the front line as a B2C consumer provider (through, for example, Samsung Pay) or silently do our work in the background in a B2B model, enabling other FinTechs to create and provide their own branded market propositions. Naturally, we are interested in both roles, and will diversify our proposition to offer a unique mix of B2B2C with pre-loaded contents of third party FinTech combined with our dedicated sales program.
Samsung mobile devices and services have been always associated with best-in-class security standards – and this is where we see our biggest contribution to the FinTech community. Our Knox platform, along with identity verification applications, private key storages and single sign-on modules, can help all FinTech players to deliver enhanced security layers to their applications and ensure compliance with strongest market regulations and directives.
Last but not least, thanks to our latest development of Samsung Blockchain Wallet and Platform SDK, we are now ready to cooperate with all blockchain-related FinTechs and support them in developing their own applications.
We are really excited to present all those ideas and platforms in detail to the wider Fintech Alliance community in the next few months.