In spring 2022, the Financial and Capital Market Commission (FCMC) conducted a survey of Latvia’s financial and capital market participants for the third consecutive year with a view to clarifying the scope and trends of the innovative financial technology (FinTech) used in Latvia.
Overall, 186 market participants were invited to participate in the survey. Of these, 144 participants responded to the survey, of which 74 indicated that they were currently using an innovative solution for the provision of financial services, while 28 of them had already created a special team for the development and implementation of innovative solutions. The survey results and conclusions to be drawn were based on data submitted by market participants.
This year, more market participants responded to the survey than last year (77% of respondents invited this year compared to 69% in 2021 and 40% in 2020). The share of market participants using an innovative solution for the provision of financial services increased by 68%. The survey shows that one sector of market participants – licensed alternative investment fund managers – is not currently using financial technologies.
This year the scope of the survey was extended and included new emerging financial innovations identified at European level.
The FCMC survey shows that currently six technologies are the most frequently used by market participants: provision of application programming interface (API), cloud computing services, digital customer acquisition, digital platforms, biometric solutions and insurance technologies.
Comparing the year-on-year data, it follows that two FinTech solutions – provision of API and cloud computing services – maintained their top position. Whereas two technologies, covered in the survey for the first time, – digital customer acquisition and digital platforms, ranked third and fourth in the 2022 survey.
Over the year, there had been a significant increase in the use of the following FinTech solutions: cloud computing services, provisioning API, biometric solutions and big data.
The innovations included in the survey were divided into four groups: new business models (Group 1), new and innovative processes (Group 2), new and innovative technological applications (Group 3), as well as new and innovative products (Group 4).
The analysis of Group 1 innovative technologies shows that FinTech solutions are mostly used by insurance and credit institution segments. The most popular solutions in these segments are insurance technologies, environment-friendly business model and open finance, while regulatory technologies, P2P insurance, next-generation financial market infrastructure and BigTech are less used. Crowdfunding business model is not used at all. Private pension funds and savings and loan associations use financial technologies least of all.
The analysis of Group 2 innovative technologies shows that the insurance and credit institution segments still use FinTech solutions the most with following best-recognized solutions in these segments: cloud computing services, biometric solutions, big data, artificial intelligence, machine learning, namely innovations that were included in the 2021 survey, as well as digital customer acquisition, payment initiation service and account information service. Two innovation solutions of this Group are not used: distributed ledger technology and coin offering. In this Group, private pension funds and savings and loan associations use financial technologies least of all.
The analysis of Group 3 innovative technologies shows that that the insurance and credit institution segments still use FinTech solutions the most with the following most popular solutions: provisioning API, robo-advice, smart contracts, namely innovations that were included in the 2021 survey, as well as digital platforms, instant payment and chatbots. Next best action and tokenization are less used. One innovation solution, blockchain, is not used at all. In this Group, payment institutions, electronic money institutions and private pension funds and savings and loan associations use financial technologies least of all.
The analysis of Group 4 innovative technologies shows that the representatives of insurance, credit institutions and private pension funds use FinTech products of this Group, while the representatives of other financial market segments do not use the innovative products of this Group at all. The most popular solutions are on-demand insurance, parametric insurance and pension tracking system. One product of this Group is not used at all, namely cryptocurrencies.
The results of the survey indicate that percentage of market participants planning to develop and implement new and innovative processes and innovative technological application innovation group Fintech solutions in coming years has increased by 143% over the year, with a particular focus on the solutions already in use: API, cloud computing services, artificial intelligence, machine learning, biometric data, automated advice, digital customer acquisition and digital platforms, as well as the solutions not yet used, namely crypto-assets.
The commitment of financial market participants to develop innovations is also demonstrated by human resources dedicated for that purpose, namely 34 market participants have set up a dedicated team for the development and implementation of innovative solutions with an 87% increase in their number since 2021.
Among the barriers to the introduction or successful operation of FinTech solutions, market participants indicated the regulatory framework, such as compliance with laws and regulations, legislative restrictions, complexity of legal requirements, as well as the lack of experienced IT specialists on the market and financial barriers (limited financial resources, lack of investments). The above barriers were also indicated by market participants also in the 2021 survey. The following were indicated as new barriers to the introduction of innovations this year: complicated move from historical to new solutions, customer ability to adapt and unclear cryptocurrencies regulatory framework.