The disruptive power of Fintech in the Banking industry. An interview with Philippe Gelis*
Reading time: 6 minutes
by Guia Pirotti
SDA Professor of Strategic and Entrepreneurial Management
“We believe that it is time to make a change in the financial services industry. Technological innovation and efficiency are and will continue to be the vehicles for this change”, Philip Gelis, Kantox
To Marc Andreessen’s famous statement, “software is eating the world,” Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group, added “and financial services are no exception”. The speed of technology and market changes are forcing financial services to adapt faster and more efficiently than ever before. Most financial services firms understand that digitization is part of their business. Large powerful corporations as well as “lean-and-mean” start-ups are entering the financial services industry. Industry reports estimate that over 4000 start-ups are ready for the market. Their goal is to revolutionize this conservative industry and gain significant market share.
Kantox is a Fintech company, founded in 2011. It offers a marketplace for SMEs to exchange currency, including peer-to-peer, enabling them to get a better exchange rate than the one offered by banks or traditional brokers. Kantox now serves more than 1.500 corporate clients, ranging from small businesses to mid-cap companies. The company employs 55 staff across its London and Barcelona offices.
In this interview, Philippe Gelis co-founder of Kantox, describes the main forces that potentially lead to what he calls "marketplace banking" - the worst case scenario or, in other words, the end of many banks that have not started to cooperate with Fintech start-ups yet.