EFA President Marc Roberts on the newly-formed fintech affiliation’s goals and goals.
Picture supply: Marc Roberts/European Fintech Affiliation.
Final week a brand new pan-European fintech group sprung into existence.
I say sprung, in actual fact the European Fintech Affiliation (EFA) quietly launched on the finish of 2019 with a pitch to current a unified entrance over key European fintech points.
Its ‘official’ unveiling was additional delayed by coronavirus, however the group lastly emerged from stealth final week.
Curious to seek out out what the EFA was seeking to carry to the desk, AltFi caught up with the Affiliation’s president and basic counsel for Raisin, Marc Roberts, to seek out out extra.
Fintech’s European angle
“There are topics are being discussed at a European level, and we think our voice has not been heard enough…we want to rectify that,” Roberts informed AltFi.
So what sort of subjects? Effectively, tons, however the crux is that it’s anyplace the place monetary companies regulation stays geared in the direction of an analogue approach of doing issues.
Take into consideration cross-border monetary companies, stated Roberts, these at present may need to run native KYC and AML checks as there’s no idea of a digital id.
Or shopper safety legal guidelines, that are gold-plated at a nationwide stage, so then require fintechs to launch totally different platforms for each nation they function in to abide by every of them.
“Plus there are specific issues like the incentivisation of employees across Europe, we need a system where employee stock options allow staff to move around across Europe,” he stated.
To date the Affiliation has printed two place papers on European anti-money laundering laws and the MiFID II/MiFIR assessment session.
“Overall we really want to advocate that digital products are a benefit for the customer,” stated Roberts.
And whereas there are already nationwide fintech associations lobbying for this stuff, like Innovate Finance within the UK, Roberts is obvious that the European coverage scene is totally different from what’s taking place at an area stage and desires a extra particular focus with a Brussels-based Affiliation.
A brand new membership
To date the EFA has drafted in 21 members from throughout the European fintech spectrum, together with various lenders like Mintos, digital banks like Kontist, and digital wealth suppliers like Scalable Capital.
For now the Affiliation is managed by a board of six, with representatives from Moneyfarm, N26, Funding Circle, Finleap, TransferWise and Roberts from Raisin.
Roberts is obvious that the organisation needs to develop its membership to incorporate “a broad membership representing fintechs that have a strong European base and want to influence policy here.”
To that finish EFA will stay open to UK fintechs even after Brexit, and Roberts even prolonged the invite to US and non-European fintechs as lengthy as they’re lively in Europe.
“We want to represent all European fintechs, even if we don’t have a member in a particular area.”
To be able to obtain that the EFA has a staggered membership payment construction, relying on the dimensions of the fintech, nonetheless Roberts declined to disclose what that was.
Whether or not the EFA can break by the noise and change into the “one voice” of European fintech we’ll have to attend and see.
Sufficient business teams have been launched with a trumpet of pleasure, solely to discover themselves torn aside (or worse, paralysed) by diverging members’ pursuits.
There’s additionally a query round bundling so many fintech verticals (banking, lending, financial savings and funding) collectively in a single Affiliation, when every vertical already has a European equal representing the normal gamers in these areas.
Regardless, the launch of the EFA can actually do no hurt, and would possibly even do some good if Roberts and his colleagues handle to push a few of these fintech points a bit larger up sure coverage makers’ agendas.