Broader Lessons From the Fintech Americas Conference
17 June 2019
A couple of weeks ago a few of us attended the Fintech Americas Conference in Miami, Florida. The event brings together fintech startups, financial institutions, investors, and many others from all over Latin America. While it’s an extremely insightful event for Latin America, the agenda and speakers usually focus on topics that resonate globally.
As usual, our time at these events is filled with meetings and speaker content. We typically come away with some interesting overarching themes and takeaways.
Banks are talking about building “platforms,” but the emphasis is still on sales rather than value: Platform businesses have emerged as dynamic examples of disruptors challenging the status quo, but the model (a la Amazon) has yet to really take off in financial services. Where it exists it often looks like an extension of sales/marketing. The power of the platform comes from the multiplier effect on value creation through bringing together both internal and external product, consumers, and channels under a single umbrella. Yet most initial attempts tend to focus on monetization of the platform model. Rather, the platform should strive for value creation, with monetization as the byproduct. Monetization as the primary goal tends to put institutions in a position where they take more value than they provide. Without providing value, platforms will lose their main contributors: communities, developers, and product creators.