Watch Martin Hargreaves, our chief product officer, in conversation with Polly Jean Harrison at Innovate Finance 2022, on why collaboration is key, identity is bungled, and blockchain will power the future.
After speaking on a payments panel at the recent Innovate Finance Global Summit, our chief product officer, Martin Hargreaves, sat down with The FinTech Times’ Polly Jean Harrison to share his perspectives.
Disarmingly, his opening salvo is that – in retail fintech at least – we’re running out of trends. Citing the lack of consumer interest or compelling product, Martin suggests that “the biggest trend in fintech is, it’s looking for the next big trend.”
Citing Quant’s own projects around the world – some driven by development banks with a view to financial inclusion, some governments projects, others purely commercial – Martin notes that the common thread is the substantial number of players involved and says that “collaboration is mandatory; the industry will remain very cross-connected.”
One area where Martin believes the sector is falling behind is identity. It’s important because it unlocks so many other applications but it’s currently fragmentated and therefore hampering innovation, driving people to stay with a handful of incumbents. “Standards and sharing identity information in a way that empowers consumers is the next step in terms of scaling payment networks.”
Turning to the future, Martin considers payment rails and, specifically, whether blockchain will eventually replace them. He notes that one key advantage of blockchain networks is that it’s so easy to add instruments and applications to them. As such, they lend themselves well to new initiatives – such as government services, supply chain, or trade finance – many of which involve payments. The distinction between these and existing payment networks is thus eroding. For now, they’ll integrate. “We’ll see – over the long term – whether they replace or coexist with them,” Martin concludes.
Watch the full interview: