Fintech will change the world, but specifically for consumers, providers, and regulators.
That was the message from a fintech heavyweight, Jo Ann Barefoot.
Barefoot has enormous experience in finance and regulation; she was once a Senate staffer, previously held a role as the Deputy Chief of the Office of the Comptroller of Currency, a Managing Director at the big four accounting firm KPMG and is currently the Chief Executive Officer of the fintech company, Barefoot Innovation.
“I’m a keynote speaker on fintech and regtech, reaching thousands of people annually in the U.S. and throughout the world. I’m writing a book on financial innovation and regulation, an angel investor and co-founder of the startup Hummingbird Regtech, bringing better technology to AML and fighting financial crime.” According to her LinkedIn profile.
She was the latest guest with Andrew Busch, the Chief Intelligence Officer for the Commodities Futures Trading Commission, on his podcast.
On the podcast, Barefoot said regtech can be transformed because currently most financial regulations were designed for the so-called “analog era” or when things were done on paper.
“We can digitize,” Barefoot noted, thereby increasing efficiency for the regulators and the finance companies.
She also noted there would be a “Transformation of finance through fintech, mainly through the mobile delivery channel, mobile phones are the most democratizing force in the history of finance.”
She said that as a result of fintech we are near full global access to digital finance.
Finally, for consumers, she said referred to what the World Economic Forum called “driverless finance.”
“The ability to use our smart devices as consumers, or as investors, other, to bring all the information we need,” Barefoot said, “guide us in making good decisions, and do some of it automatically for us.”
“We just have to talk to Alexa, or the equivalent thereof, and start to get our problems solved. Or even have them take care of it without us having to worry about it.”
“I think the thing that should be exciting for the consumer,” Busch noted, “(A system that will) Help them make better choices with their banking- or their consumer- or how they get loans. All these things kind of wrap together.”
“The ease of the voice interface, which just sort of brings the answer to you, instead of you having to search around for information and struggle to learn it is really an enormous breakthrough, powered by artificial intelligence and machine learning, tapping into this vast new data.”
Busch said that devices now can get “infinite processing power, infinite speed at a low cost.”
This will transform how consumers will get data, Busch noted.
Both also noted that the growth of fintech will “disrupt the markets” and Barefoot noted this was not all positive because the fintech explosion “raises lots of challenges, especially for regulators, like how to protect privacy and cyber-security.”
“But on the whole it’s a positive,” she concluded.