Canada FinTech Forum 2022: Succeeding in the Next Phase of Financial Services Digitization
Financial industry professionals gathered in Montreal on November 7, 8 and 9 for Canada FinTech Forum 2022 to discuss the latest developments in financial technology and explore emerging global trends. This marked the 9th edition of the event, a Finance Montreal initiative, presented by Portage Ventures. This year, Frédéric Béland, CFA, and Christian Lachaussée, CFA, both members of CFA Montréal’s Fintech Committee, were among the attendees.
CFA Montréal has been taking a specific interest in fintech for the past few years. The sector has grown to become a permanent fixture of the financial services landscape. The fintech field is complex and multifaceted, not to mention rife with innovations that can be applied to the investment, payment, insurance and banking worlds. With this comes many appealing growth opportunities, which venture capital investors and financial institutions now have no choice but to consider in their portfolios.
What Frédéric Béland particularly enjoyed about this year’s FinTech Forum were the talks by Shopify’s Harley Finkelstein and Lightspeed Commerce’s JP Chauvet. “It was very interesting to hear what these two e-commerce titans had to say about their respective mission and strategy when it comes to the retail market,” said Béland. He sees the event as a way to keep his knowledge about these technologies fresh, get to know top providers and learn more about innovative solutions to business issues.
Christian Lachaussée agreed. Hearing JP Chauvet speak was a particular highlight for him, giving him food for thought about new approaches to leveraging technology to create synergy and boost returns, for example through the vertical integration of the industrial sector. Many of the speakers were clear in their messages that the integration of a potentially disparate industry, combined with a deeper understanding of market forces and a more structured pricing process would lead to better productivity and greater organizational efficiency. “It’s a presentation that looked at the gains for small-cap markets and identified some long-term vulnerabilities for leaders in a given industry,” he explained.
And what about blockchain?
Blockchain infrastructure, which is the backbone of the decentralized financial ecosystem, was the focus of the talk presented by CFA Montréal, entitled “Unlocking the next frontier of finance with web3”. Speakers discussed blockchain technology and decentralized finance, which form the foundation of the new Web3 paradigm, emphasizing that they will influence how securities are managed and take financial innovation to new heights, the likes of which have not been seen since high-tech burst onto the financial scene.
These innovations are all the more important at a time when Canada is contending with the twin challenges of fostering greater transparency in the financial sector by opening up banking services and implementing privacy legislation to ensure that individuals have more control over their personal information. Web3 can be, and is, an elegant solution to both these issues.
“The session gave us a set of concrete lessons learned from cryptocurrency markets, just as the Binance crypto platform was announcing that acquiring the beleaguered FTX.com was off the table. You don’t get a lot of real-time learning opportunities like this one!” Béland stressed.
The conversation about blockchain continued with a panel discussion on the benefits of the technology and the issue of accountability in a decentralized network. “Figure President Asiff Hirji said something that really made me sit up and take notice: ‘If you make money by acting as an intermediary, you are dead.’ His energy and very relevant examples of how blockchain is used were nothing less than inspiring,” he added.
What is your biggest takeaway from the Canada FinTech Forum?
For Béland, it’s what Ravy Por, Partner, Artificial Intelligence and Emerging Technology, KPMG Canada, said. “She thinks a 10% cybersecurity tax should apply to every project.”.
Be sure to plan to join CFA Montréal at next year’s Canada FinTech Forum, to be held in the fall of 2023.
Frédéric Béland, Chair of CFA Montréal’s Fintech Committee, during the opening remarks of the conference "Unlocking the next frontier of finance with web3".
Stephanie Choo (General Partner, Portage), Kirill Gertman (Co-Founder and CEO, Conduit), Shamyl Malik (Founder, Haruko), Jillian Friedman (Chief Operating Officer, Ether Capital).
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