by François Masquelier, Head of Corporate Finance and Treasury, RTL Group, and Honorary Chairman of the European Association of Corporate Treasurers
Does the future belong to fintech? We are seeing a true technological revolution that will radically rearrange the landscape of banking in the short term. A transformation is in progress, but some of the people affected seem to be doing remarkably little about it. If they wait too long, some financial institutions could miss the digital train and be left standing on the platform. We must not stick our heads in the sand and pretend that nothing is happening. Even less must we think that, come what may, banks and other financial institutions will always be needed? The end can come through doing nothing, too.
“Tomorrow belongs to those who can hear it coming” (David Bowie)
The future belongs to fintech, a grotesque word but one in keeping with our times, a contraction of financial and technology. In the ‘fin’, we see or should see the banks and other financial institutions. However, it is not certain that all of them have taken on board this necessary and vital transformation in their business model. The technology is here and continues to beam out its enormous potential at lightning speed. Will the ‘financials’ be able to turn it to their advantage and adapt to this technological revolution? The question is vital, but difficult to answer. To paraphrase Alvin Toffler, we are facing a sort of fourth wave, although some people dispute it vigorously. It is no longer an opportunity to be grasped but a precondition of long-term survival.