Finextra's top Future Series reports of 2023

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Finextra's top Future Series reports of 2023


This content is contributed or sourced from third parties but has been subject to Finextra editorial review.

With 2023 drawing to a close, we take a look back at our most downloaded Future Series reports over the course of the past year. Finextra’s Future Series is an annual editorial report series covering a fintech topic at a high level and includes interviews from financial institutions, usually a global range from EMEA, APAC and the Americas.

Top Future Series reports of 2023

10. The Future of Fintech in Latin America

Latin America is a region with undoubtedly high user penetration across the internet and associated services, but obstacles to financial inclusion remain and prevent individuals from being banked or served by their financial services providers. What this means is that Latin America is ripe for fintech companies to leverage this opportunity and offer a solution to this substantial, yet online, population. However, some progress has been made. Organisations in Brazil and Mexico saw a staggering $6 billion in investments into fintech companies in 2021. Further to this, in Brazil, the number of finance app downloads increased by 274% from 2019 – 2022 and in Mexico, the number of downloads more than tripled. Paraguay, however, is the country with the highest share of adult population using mobile money services. Digital payments is the area of fintech that is most widely used, accounting for nearly eight in 10 users in 2022. Personal finance, neobanking, and alternative lending are also present within Latin America, with Nubank as a clear success as the largest digital bank in Latin America and one of the largest in the world with 1.34 million. This report, in association with NovoPayment, compiles expert insights from a range of firms, including BBVA, Kueski, and PagBank PagSeguro, provide predictions for the future of fintech in Latin America.

9. The Future of ESGTech 

With every passing year, we are seeing our chances to tackle climate change diminish, but we are not without the opportunity to make a change. The summer of 2023 was the world’s hottest on record according to NASA, with Europe being stuck by the largest wildfires ever recorded, Storm Daniel decimating Libya, and record-breaking downfalls in Hong Kong. The financial sector has a big role to play in changing the trajectory of the world. The opportunities presented by ESGtech (Environmental, Social, and Governance Technology) play a large part in that. This report aims to analyse a variety of the ESGtech options and present a future the impacts they could have on our future. Focusing on sustainability will be pivotal for the financial sector moving into 2024. This Finextra report, produced as part of SustainableFinance.Live, features expert views from DimitraHeavyFinance, McKinsey & CompanyMVGXRimm Sustainability, and Zumo, and explores how financial organisations use ESGtech to make substantial change.

8. The Future of Fintech in the Middle East

The opportunity across fintech in the Middle East is vast, but certain niches are also increasing in popularity. For instance, in 2017, there were 1,389 sharia-compliant financial firms worth a combined $2.4 trillion in assets in 56 countries and the Islamic finance industry grew 11% YOY because of fintech growth in the Middle East, according to Reuters. The article continued to reveal that Islamic banks continue to retain the lion’s share of the industry, accounting for 71% of total assets, but growth remained muted at 5%, with consolidation pressures mounting in the Gulf and Southeast Asia. Statista also found that while the majority of Islamic fintech companies are based in the United Kingdom, followed by Malaysia and the United Arab Emirates, only nine Islamic fintech companies are based in Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia has the largest market for fintech services with $17.9 billion, while the net largest market for Islamic fintech services was in Iran worth $9.2 billion. If the Middle East leverages technologies such as AI, blockchain, cloud and data, the region’s fintech firms will only prosper across the digital banking, digital payments, personal finance, lending, and investment sectors. This Finextra report, in association with Paymentology, compiles expert insights from a range of firms including, FILMENA Fintech AssociationNOW MoneyTarabut GatewayTweeq, Strategy& (part of the PwC network), and Wio Bank, and provides predictions for the future of fintech in the Middle East.

7. The Future of Fintech in Africa

Two years after the global financial crisis, Kenyan payments, money transfer and micro-financing service M-Pesa became the most successful mobile phone based financial service in the developing world. This was also just three years after its launch by network operators Vodafone and Safaricom. Further to this, transaction flows sent by banks have grown by an average of 10% year-on-year during this 10-year period. Alongside this, mobile money payments have exploded, with the monthly value of transactions increasing 25 times over between 2010 and 2018. The digital payments market has matured faster in Africa than it has in Europe: the number of electronic payments in France grew from 33 million in 2009 to 61.5 million in 2018, but in Nigeria, the number of electronic payment transactions grew from 66 million in 2008 to over two billion in 2018, according to Statista. Further to this, the number of digital payments users is slated to amount to a staggering 611 million users by 2027. However, Africa’s largest market will be digital investment with a total transaction value of $994 million in 2023 and the digital assets market is expected to show a revenue growth of 36% in 2024. This Finextra report, produced in association with Kora, compiles expert insights from a range of firms, including: BinanceCloud AfricaData Scientists NetworkJUMO, Mojaloop FoundationTymeBank, and Yoco, and provides predictions for the future of fintech in Africa. 

6. The Future of Digital Banking in North America

2023 was characterised by increasing amounts of uncertainty and a lack of clarity across the financial world. The collapse of banks, including Silicon Valley Bank, Signature Bank and First Republican Bank, in March 2023, added strain to already unsettled financial markets. While market volatility has remained relatively stable, soaring inflation and climbing interest rates slowed economic growth and this is expected to continue into 2024. While forecasts regarding the length and severity of a possible recession are speculative, experts are even more divided about stock market predictions for 2024. Optimism is strong in many investors who expect that 2024 is the year rates will stop rising and predict bullish turns that will see markets soar to new heights. Yet with many other factors affecting North American markets, the only certainty we can expect as we look towards 2024 is more uncertainty. This Finextra report on the outlook of North American banking trends, is produced in association with Money20/20 and includes key insights and commentary from industry experts at EY and Mastercard.

5. The Future of Fintech in the UK

This Finextra report, a special edition for Innovate Finance Global Summit and UK Fintech Week 2023, collates interviews with a number of leading fintech firms operating in the UK and explores topics that will be covered at the event in London. Key insights from the likes of Archie, Creditspring, Harrington Starr, Konsentus, KPMG, Moneyfarm, Nova Credit, OakNorth, Open Banking Excellence, Ozone API, Pave, Pollinate, PPRO, Quantexa, Sonovate, Thought Machine, Truelayer, and Zopa, cover how fintech firms across the UK are preparing for the future. 

4. The Future of Regulation, Risk Management, and Compliance

Financial institutions are on course to find themselves caught in a perfect storm of risk and compliance-based challenges during 2023, as market-led trends, technology advancement, and regulatory shifts continue to dominate the headlines. The constant threat of disruption resulting from emerging technologies, business model transformations, and ecosystem changes will force executives to make significant and strategic choices to drive organisational success. Only careful preparation and a sharp eye to the future will be enough for firms to pass through the eye and on to calmer waters. This Finextra report, which compiles expert insights from a range of firms, including: Linklaters, Mazars, Valcon, Pinsent Masons, FladgateSaifrEncompassComplyAdvantageQuantexa, OnfidoDuco, and Santander, to gain a deeper understanding of these pressures bearing down on financial institutions across the industry. 

3. The Future of Digital Banking in Europe

Europe’s fintech sector remains at the core of the financial services industry, rather than at the fringes as it was once before. According to McKinsey, in each of the seven largest European economies measured by GDP – France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland and the UK – at least one fintech firm ranks among the top five banking institutions. This Finextra report, a special edition for Money 20/20 Europe, collates interviews with a range of leading players across the financial services and fintech industries operating across Europe and explores topics that will be covered at the event in Amsterdam. It features key insights from AccentureClearScore, Deutsche BankINGNiumPlumRippleSociété GénéraleTinkVisa, and Zopa that will discuss how digital banking across the continent will evolve.  

2. The Future of the Global Financial Ecosystem

The role that financial institutions play in the global environment will continue to be placed under the microscope as situations continue to develop. In light of this, there has never been a better time for those in finance to come together and have frank and open conversations about their future. This applies to not only environmental and social goals for banks, but also the adoption of and adaptation to new technologies. No longer can these issues be placed on the side and given lip service, they need to become an integrated part of each financial institution’s core policies and practices. However, ever increasing this challenge are the continuously changing global circumstances. Due to these circumstances, communication and collaboration are essential drivers for 2024. This Finextra report, produced in association with Swift, includes commentary from BBVA, BNP ParibasBNY Mellon, Deutsche Bank, INGJP MorganLloyds, McKinsey, NatWestSEBStandard CharteredUniCredit, and Wells Fargo.

1. The Future of Payments

The payments and transaction banking industry may be unsure of where the fintech evolution will go next, but what is evident is that models for public and private sector collaboration must be established. What this means is that financial services must reach a resolution for the continued challenges around cross border payments, correspondent banking and liquidity management, if we are indeed on the cusp of the instant payments era. The European legislative landscape must also be looked upon as a support, not a hindrance and more must be done to implement the clever use of data so industry participants can forge ahead with initiatives such as open finance, banking as a service and turning payments processing into a business opportunity. Further to this, as technologies such as cloud, artificial intelligence (AI) and robotic process automation (RPA) are utilised for innovation, banks and other financial institutions must step up their fraud prevention and cybersecurity games and establish new ways of customer authentication. Now is the time for commercial banks to lead and the emergence of central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) has proved that strategic potential is there for this sector to thrive and pave the way for the next generation of payments. With expert views from Banking CircleQuant, and Wise, in this report, you will learn from industry leaders about the events and trends defining global payments in 2023 and beyond. The report includes insights from BNY Mellon, Cecabank, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, ING, Nationwide Building Society, NatWest, SEBA Bank, and Société Générale.

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This content is contributed or sourced from third parties but has been subject to Finextra editorial review.