Over the past decade, the financial industry has undergone a significant transformation, driven by the rise of financial technology (fintech) and the concept of open finance. Fintech refers to the use of technology to improve and innovate financial services. Accessing services like mobile banking, payment, lending, budgeting and investing via mobile devices has exploded over the last few years, notably in Africa. Couple this with quickly evolving capabilities within open finance, which refers to the idea of using open data that enables the secure sharing of financial information between different institutions to benefit consumers, and we’re creating an open and inclusive financial system accessible to all. Together, these trends have had a major impact on the way that financial services are delivered and consumed and have opened up new opportunities for consumers and businesses alike.
The financial technology (fintech) landscape is ever-evolving, and as we step into 2024, the industry continues to push boundaries, redefine norms, and revolutionise the way we interact with our finances. Let’s explore the compelling trends that are set to shape the future of fintech in the coming year.
When Bitcoin, a “purely peer-to-peer version of electronic cash”, was released in 2008, blockchain (the technology that runs Bitcoin) made its public debut.1 The brainchild of a person or group known by the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto, its expansive technological capabilities were then somewhat unknown. Fast forward 12 years to 2020, there’s now a growing recognition that blockchain can serve as a pragmatic solution to various business problems across industries. Identified as a general-purpose technology (GPT), blockchain is similar in scope to the disruptive power of the internet, the steam engine, and electricity. Even business leaders wary of tech-based solutions and global ‘hype’ have come to realise the larger, transformational importance of this digital technology.2 In order to revolutionise business and redefine companies and economies utilising blockchain technology, it’s necessary to have a foundational understanding of its capabilities and applications.
The rise of big data, automation, artificial intelligence (AI), and robotics raises questions about what our future working and business lives will look like. As we move towards an even more digital age, companies and employees are both asking: To what extent will technology replace human intelligence and make jobs obsolete? Previous assumptions about automation and non-employee labor are giving way to a deeper understanding of its challenges in the workplace.
The Weylandt family has been travelling to Indonesia for three generations, discovering its abundant materials, craftsmanship, vibrancy and culture. Java, our latest collection, is a distillation of years of collaboration there; we’ve combined the best of what we’ve created with excellent artisans and refined it into an iconic, heirloom collection steeped in heritage.
The Weylandts‘ home on the coast of the Atlantic is a chance to reset and revel in the beauty of one’s surroundings. Chris Weylandt and his partner Kim Smith have realised a place where interiors, nature and gathering with friends and family fuse together. The affinity for seamless design and laid-back living make it a sanctuary to recharge, the essence of the Weylandts brand.
Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) is of crucial importance in the workplace. Interdisciplinary thinking focused on turning dialogue into action is more crucial than ever. But it takes awareness, sensitivity, and collaboration to improve structural and social impediments and achieve an enriching and humane working environment.
Meet Rachel “To me, sustainability means thinking about the long-term consequences of all that we do, on people and the planet. It’s easy to think that sustainability is a young people’s mission. I don’t think that’s the case. I have a part to play both domestically and professionally in making the transition to a low carbon economy.” – Rachel Delhaise, Head of Sustainability, Convex Insurance Climate change is now a firm fixture on board agendas. As businesses start recognizing the need to respond to global pressures such as resource scarcity and social inequalities, the responsibility of ‘sustainability’ is no longer confined to NGOs and activists. It’s integral to ensuring that businesses can continue to operate on a planet with finite resources. But addressing climate change takes corporate leadership and direction.
Growing up, Vuyile Mbatha had an inquisitive mind. The only sport she had an affinity for was chess. “I figured I’m more of a thinking person; let’s get into books, let’s understand things, let’s strategize,” she admits. As the corporate head of leadership and learning for a financial service firm, her natural curiosity and thirst for knowledge has propelled her career and expertise forward. Having completed not one, but 15 courses through GetSmarter – from the LSE Negotiation Programme, to High Impact Leadership from the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL), to MIT Sloan’s Artificial Intelligence: Implications for Business Strategy – her learning journey has followed an exemplary trajectory.
We’re experiencing a fundamental shift in the way that we work. Times have changed and our approach to business and the workplace needs to change with it. Rapid advances in automation and artificial intelligence (AI) have the potential to significantly disrupt labor markets, and will likely transform almost all occupations to some degree.¹