Phocuswright Europe 2023: FinTech to aid bottom lines

Phocuswright Europe 2023: FinTech to aid bottom lines

Industry leaders discussed data, improved bottom lines and the next big innovation

Last week travel tech leaders from around the world came together at Phocuswright Europe in Barcelona for three-day event.

A panel discussion with top travel technology leaders shared insights on where they see the future for travel FinTech, the driver of improved bottom lines and data’s role in it all.

The panel, moderated by Pascal Burg, director of Edgar Dunn & Company, posed the question have we only just seen the beginning of travel FinTech. 

Roberto Da Re, founder and CEO of Travel Ledger said Europe is “driving the changes in the banking industry” with regulation setting the scene for travel payments.

Spencer Hanlon, global head of travel payments of Nium Inc, agrees Europe is “by far leading the charge” and that you can make a profitable business utilising FitTech capablities.

“The opportunity now that this technology in finance provides - the margins are staggering if you get it right.”

Will Plummer, CEO of Trust My Group argues legacy players are the issue for slowed adoption until now.

“Most of us use the high street banks and banks that are local to us and are all on platforms that are antiquated and cannot deal with borders effectively.

“Using swift as an intermediary bank and it takes 3-4 days and we’re in 2023.

“That doesn’t make sense if you’re trying to run your business in the digital age.”

Most agreed data will help fuel transformation of payments and bottom lines for companies. 

Da Re said: “Data is everything to us in terms of understanding the risk, data is the solution, but a lot of companies don’t have level three data to understand risk and exposure, which is ultimately going to cost you.

“Bottom line is the most important thing to a business and this will help”.

Knowing where a payment is at any one time thanks to data is key. 

Plummer agrees, he said: “The thing behind all this is data.

“Now suddenly because people lost money, we have this Armageddon.

“People needed to find solutions to get back in the game. They’ve innovated and now they’re trying to move forward with it all.

“It’s knowing the data, the risk, where money is, etc.”

In terms of what big innovation in this area we'll see next, Hanlon believes global shopping and the ability for an OTA to acquire capacity from anywhere in the world is what the future holds.

He said: “To be competitive you naturally need to be able to be global and offer it globally so payment needs to follow and be able to sell in paradigm and not in 3-5 days”.

Plummer said “the kind of technology where you’ve got a smart contract, or a government backed currency and physical asset” will be the next big innovation in travel FinTech.

“To move money through this technology, will revolutionise where we are going and offsetting like for like currency”.

Da Re believes any change in a way is good, so long as it’s changing the status quo but for him, blockchain is the next to make a difference.

He said: “Central bank digital currencies are going to be a game changer, but this will create disruption and limitations”.