Web Summit recap: The future face of FinTech

The bank account has long been central to our financial lives, but how did it get there, and more importantly, where is it going?

At Web Summit in Lisbon, Portugal, Trustly’s Vice President of Marketing took to the stage at the Swedish Hotspot to discuss the future face of FinTech.

Dating as far back as Mesopotamia, the bank account was originally in its most basic form a room to store valuables. The fact that they were located in temples meant that they were safe, because they were constantly guarded by priests, and convenient because they were centrally located.

Backlund talked through advances — and setbacks — in banking, from the Great Depression and the rise of credit cards to the invention of the first ATM and development of mobile banking apps.

Looking forward, Backlund explained that he believes hardware will be at the core of what drives FinTech forward.

“We see how strong two-factor authentication methods like BankID in Sweden can have a massive impact in establishing a digital identity among a population. With BankID, Swedes can file taxes, sign contracts, make payments and more. It’s very advanced, and other European countries are beginning to follow suit,” he said.

“The release of Apple’s new iPhone X is pretty revolutionary because it takes an existing facial recognition technology and incorporates it into a mainstream consumer technology,” Backlund said. “Fingerprint and iris scanning technology has been around, but a facial scan takes it to the next level. Assuming other hardware giants will follow, this gives us a glimpse into what the next generation of authentication will look like,” said Backlund.

Verification will no longer just be about “something you have and something you know,” which have been the traditional building blocks of two-factor authentication, but rather, we will start building on “something you are,” or biometric factors that are increasingly safer. Standardizing this technology across the globe will help people feel safer using it because it will be more familiar. It’s not a matter of the software, Backlund argued, but rather about the hardware that makes it available to anyone with a smartphone.

As financial technologies begin to make use of this, payments specifically will become so much more seamless until the notion of a physical transaction disappears entirely.

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