Fintechs are growing and impacting more of their users’ everyday lives. But with great power comes great responsibility, which makes stable infrastructure key if growth is to be maintained.
A decade ago, only tech-savvy bankers knew what “fintechs” were. Today, the term has become mainstream and the products from financial tech-start-ups affect our everyday lives.
This new stream of financial innovation and increased competition is great news for consumers. But according to Bill Fenick, who has spent the past 25 years working with financial services and seen the growth from within, it also represents some challenges.
“Fintechs are starting to mature and really grow big. Start-ups are fantastic until they’re not. When they get too big without the maturity to control the beast they have become, it becomes an issue,”
says Bill Fenick, Vice President for Enterprise at Interxion: A Digital Realty Company.
Scale calls for security
Advances in technology have lowered the barrier to enter the financial service industry. The cloud especially has made scaling much faster and crunching vast amounts of data more affordable.
“Fintechs are mature and realise that they can place several applications in the cloud. This creates incredible amounts of data and data streams – but when you have data, you also need a lot of control around it,” Fenick says.
With their colocated data centres, Interxion are experts when it comes to securing stable, scalable infrastructure for fintechs.
Customers depend on their highly secure and highly connected data centres to comply with GDPR, financial and regulatory demands, as well as secure a smooth user experience. Among their customers are Saxo Bank, e-money and Nasdaq.
“If you have a bad experience two or three times with an application that won’t load, you might not want to use it again. At the same time, fintechs are coming under more regulatory pressure, which means that they must start looking at their infrastructure. If a regulator knocks on the door, they must show them their equipment and the security around it,” he says.
An operating system for infrastructure
There is no definitive answer when it comes to picking the right solution for scalability and security. In some respects, the cloud is the correct answer, while data centres are a better solution elsewhere. This is exactly what Interxion wants to facilitate: to offer a global platform that combines connectivity and security – an operating system for the fintech’s infrastructure.
“In our data centre in Copenhagen, we have direct access to Azure and AWS. This means that fintechs can put their applications next to the cloud. It also ensures reduced latency, more control and resilience and cost efficiency,” Fenick explains.
This way, fintechs have security and compliance from a colocated data centre, as well as the cloud’s flexibility thanks to strong, direct connections to the providers.
The constant shift in technology
When it comes to data centres and the cloud, the financial industry moves from “either/or” to “both/and”. The shift is also happening with larger, financial service providers, who are slowly shifting from investing in their own data centres to a combination of colocation and cloud.
“Dedicated data centres are quite costly, and they are not connected enough to internet exchanges and cloud providers. So, they are looking to move their infrastructure to cloud and colocation data centres,” Fenick explains.
It is still slowly taking place, but the direction is clear. Companies are embracing new infrastructure technologies instead of owning proprietary data centres. Just like start-ups, they realise the key role infrastructure is going to play as a competitive differentiator going forward.
“Technology always improves. The more people realise their dependency on technology, the more fintechs understand that they need the best infrastructure possible,” he says