Istanbul Fintech Week, of which the Financial Innovation and Technology Association (FINTR) is the main supporter, brought together industry representatives with a special organization held in Fişekhane on April 13-14. Organized for the 4th time this year, Turkey’s first global financial technology event, Istanbul Fintech Week, hosted three summits and more than 50 sessions for 2 days. The event, which started with the ‘Blockchain Fest’ on the first day, took place on the second day of the ‘Digital Finance Summit’ and ‘Women in Fintech Summit’ summits.
Chris Skinner, CEO of The Financer, one of the veteran names of the fintech industry, said in his opening speech:
“With the 2008 crisis, a fundamental change began in the finance and banking sector. We do not currently live in a world as we know it. There are no borders in this world. Internet governments do not recognize country borders. We rethink everything and have to think differently.
Many companies are trying to use cloud and mobile applications. In 2010, fintech represented 3 percent of the industry, reaching 38 percent in 2021. This rate is increasing even more. Each fintech startup is geared towards a specific need. They do not serve everyone. At this point, the weakness of banks emerges, because banks want to give everything to everyone and cannot serve them fully. That’s why fintech needs to go where banks can’t reach. For example, Stripe; currently the most valued fintech, with a valuation of $95 billion. This is equivalent to 9 Commerzbank values. It reached this value in 10 years, it fell to 65 billion dollars last year. The reason is that everyone is turning to digital and the uncertainties of the situation in Ukraine.”
“Invisible Finance” was discussed
At the Digital Finance Summit, expert guests discussed the transformation of financial products into products that can be offered in all services, payments 2.0, artificial intelligence in insurance, “only digital” banking and many more. Yapı Kredi Strategic Business Development and Innovation Director Itır Aydoğan, Odeabank Digital Banking Director Murat Bitirici, Türkiye İş Bankası Digital Banking Director Emre Ölçer took place. “Is digital-only banking possible?” The panel was moderated by KOOP Founding Partner Mustafa Baltacı. At the panel, KPMG Turkey Fintech and Digital Finance Leader Sinem Cantürk and The Fintech Times Economic Development Consultant Richie Santosdiaz spoke.
“Payment 2.0: What will the future bring?” In the panel, Mastercard Turkey and Azerbaijan General Manager Hüsnü Avşar Gürdal, United Payment Turkey Country Manager Adem Aykın and Garanti BBVA Payment Systems CEO Murat Çağrı Süzer made comments.
At the event, TSB Secretary General Özgür Obalı and SEDDK President Mehmet Akif Eroğlu made the opening speeches of the “Insurance Innovation Now” panel.
TSB Secretary General Özgür Obalı used the following statements in his evaluation:
“Technology is advancing at a rapid pace. Insurtechs and insurance companies must adopt extremely agile business models in the face of this rapid development. The working models of Insurtechs seem to be able to keep up with this pace, but success will only be possible by taking the experience of insurance companies as a guide and establishing deep collaborations in this field. In the light of all these evaluations, it is important for the insurance industry and Insurtechs to develop cooperation opportunities. I believe that with these collaborations, we will take part in the construction of the future as a stronger insurance industry with strong collaborations that will develop insurance in our country and increase insurance awareness.”
In his speech, SEDDK President Mehmet Akif Eroğlu said, “Digital transformation is not only as the transfer of conventional processes to digital and the establishment of a paperless environment, but also by taking into account the new behavior patterns brought by generational change and the destructive effects of technological change, new business models and innovative solutions that surround the customer with the right product at the right place at the right time. We see it as the creation of products. We consider increasing the low penetration rate in our country as an important opportunity and support it to increase it. In this sense, as a regulatory and supervisory institution, our main goal is to harmonize the regulation infrastructure with digital insurance from end to end, and we plan to include the definitions of digital insurance company and service insurance in our legislation.”
Women entrepreneurs of the financial sector took the stage
The success stories of women entrepreneurs and leaders who shape the financial ecosystem were also told at the event. Women in Fintech Summit title under Unconventional Ventures Founder Theodora Lau, Stratyfy COO Deniz Johnson, Meral Eredenk Kurdaş and Odgers Berndston Managing Partner Ayşe Öztuna Bozoklar took part in the sessions. In the panel, the steps to be taken to increase the number of female managers in the sector, the experiences of female leaders and recommendations that will inspire strong women in the sector were also shared.
Received the “Pioneers of Digital Finance” awards
On the other hand, within the scope of the “Pioneers of Digital Finance” program organized in cooperation with KPMG and FINTR, the banks that developed innovative projects in the field of financial technologies and the initiatives most open to globalization were given their awards. The Pioneer Bank (Leading Bank) award went to Türkiye İş Bankası, while the The Visionary Bank (Visionary Bank) award went to Yapı Kredi Bank.
On the other hand, The Collaborative Bank award goes to Fibabank, The Global Fintech award goes to United Payment, The Emerging Fintech award goes to Fimple, The Innovative Fintech award goes to Fimple. Agrio and the Financial Inclusion award were given to Papara.