Fintech Regulations: Steering the revolution

“Innovation is the ability to see change as an opportunity, not a threat”
~Steve Jobs

Would you trust just anyone to handle your food? Trust a stranger to handle your life savings? How about letting anyone claiming to be a doctor operate on you? Regulations are an important component of the trust between people and institutions.

Similarly, fintech’s growth has been explosive, undirected and unregulated. With rapid developments in AI, Blockchain and Big Data, fintech has gotten a seat at the adult’s table. Now the world is starting to take notice and ask some critical questions.

In my previous post “Fintech: The Hype Beast of Business“, I outlined that fintech has massive potential. If you haven’t read it yet, I recommend that you do first. 

The State of Fintech

As it stands, fintech faces several hurdles for future growth and development – the primary hurdle being a regulatory one.

Fintech is currently operating in a grey area, under old regulations that never had fintech in mind. A clear example of this is in the cryptocurrency space. Crucial issues come to mind. How do you tax a virtual currency? Who is accountable if there are problems? How are investors & customers protected?

These are the sorts of questions that make investors hesitant – and are ultimately the sort of issues that are slowing the rate of fintech adoption.

The challenge of regulating technology

Everyone has their idea about how technology should be regulated. Governments across the world are struggling to create a unified framework for how to move forward. China, the EU and the US find themselves at odds with data, international payments and overall fintech regulations.

Governments are racing to build these data regulations – the EU’s GDPR is a clear example. International conflict is especially challenging to an industry that promotes more accessible cross-border and global interactions.

Ultimately the challenges boil down to this:

  • Different global ideas about how to regulate fintech
  • Not being able to keep up with how fast fintech is developing
  • Lack of knowledge around fintech’s strengths and weaknesses

Overcoming the regulatory hurdle

Simply put, it’s going to be a while before we overcome the regulatory hurdle. There are three steps needed for fintech to overcome this hurdle and achieve its full potential.

A great podcast on the future of fintech regulation is by Suchitra Nair, a director in the EMEA for regulatory strategy. 

At its core – fintech is new for everyone. Everyone is going to be learning on the job, and trying to figure out the best way forward. Consequently, trial and error are going to play a significant part in determining the best model for fintech. Ultimately, fintech will experience failures – but we as consumers must not lose confidence as this is part of the process of development.

Why you should care

Although regulations are not the exciting part of fintech development – they are essential for the future. Ultimately, they determine how you interact with the platform and aim to ensure that you – as a user – are protected. 

As we move into a more integrated society – there need to be solid boundaries of how we interact with fintech. We need to understand what, where and how our data is stored, managed and analyzed.


In short, fintech is no longer a question of if, but of how. How will fintech develop, how will we interact with it, how will it fit into existing systems. Fintech’s need for regulation is a sign of its massive growth. It is starting to be taken more seriously – beyond just the hype. Fintech is going to have to overcome the regulatory hurdle to meet its full potential. 

If you liked this article or had any questions, feel free to comment below!


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