Fintech resilience and the future of ESG

May 11, 2023

Funding slowdowns. An unpredictable economic climate. Fintech has faced challenge after challenge, but the fintech community is still growing, thriving and hungry.

This was the key takeaway at the recent Fintech Meetup 2023 in Las Vegas, where thousands of fintech executives came together with bank executives and vendors to discuss advancement in financial technology.

The recent shockwaves have been a shot to the industry, but that doesn’t necessarily hint at a larger systemic problem. While the challenges fintechs face are real, I think they force those in the industry to sharpen their focus and enable the best companies and products to rise to the top.

There are fantastic fintech companies doing interesting things in emerging spaces with nascent technology that can reach their full potential through partnerships with corporates for scale, security disciplines and distribution channels.

Sustainability is becoming critical

While sustainability and ESG can easily be pushed onto the sidelines during complicated economic times such as these, I would argue that they are more important than ever. For organizations, having an ESG strategy is now being seen – and should be seen – as a component of risk management.

Proposed regulation and legislation in Canada and the U.S. could make ESG table stakes in the future, but for now, larger banks and eco/community-conscious financial institutions are leading the charge. All institutions will have to examine the capabilities they have to understand their carbon footprint and use the capabilities of fintechs to manage their footprint through sustainable choices and/or carbon offset marketplaces.

Carbon footprint tracking relies heavily on data and modeling. Currently, that data is scattered – but fintechs are well positioned to resolve this challenge. There are fintechs in pockets all over the ecosystem that specialize in products accessing accounting, payroll and SKU-level data with customer consent and through collaboration can deliver better, more accurate products. These partnerships ultimately give us an opportunity to lower the barriers to entry and enable reduction in carbon emissions across the board.

About the Author
Christopher Kirby, Senior director, FIS Impact Ventures
Christopher KirbySenior director, FIS Impact Ventures

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