Accenture’s FinTech Innovation Lab’s focus on FinTech as a Force for Good
On the 13th October, Accenture’s Fintech Innovation Lab (FIL) was proud to sponsor Innovate Finance’s FinTech as a Force For Good forum. The forum was the first of it’s kind, with a focus on showcasing the power of FinTech, and how FinTech can be a key driving force in creating a more sustainable & inclusive future for all.
The FinTech Innovation Lab introduced the Purpose-Driven stream in 2021 to answer our Partner’s call to see the top FinTechs that are addressing all things for-good, such as helping customers & banks become more sustainable, or focusing on improving help for vulnerable customers & debt collection. We’ve included the purpose-driven companies in our lab below for reference.
Now more so than ever, our Financial Services Partners are focused practical actions to improve Sustainability & Financial Inclusion. The FIL has equally decided to double down on these topics, and are promoting FinTech For Good applicants for our 2022 lab, alongside sponsoring a marquee event such as Innovate Finance’s Forum.
The Day’s Proceedings
The forum was held at Level39 in London, with all panels also being livestreamed. Key notes on the day included John Glen MP, Economic Secretary to the Treasury & City Minister and Chris Hayward, Sheriff of the City of London. Both speakers were focused on the impact of policy & government in being an enabler to both innovation & sustainability – notably referencing the UK government’s launch of the Green Gilt – £10 Billion raised for green projects and the largest ever inaugural sovereign green bond. In addition, the UK Government will soon be publishing a roadmap on how the Financial Sector can become more green.
We were able to kick-off the day’s panels with Alan Tang, Accenture’s own Head of Data Management at Mudano, with panelists including Nicola Ranger, Deputy Director for the Centre for Greening Finance & Investment and Head of Climate and Environmental Risk Research, Oxford Sustainable Finance Programme, Gavin Starks, Founder, Icebreaker One and Ryan Joyce, Head of FinTech UK&I, Salesforce. The panel was titled “Data, The Need For Transparency & AI: How Data Processing Can Leapfrog Us All To A Better World” You can watch the full session on livestream here, but the key takeaways include:
- Rapid Pace of Change: The pace of change in the last 5 years has been enormous and has significantly leapfrogged our progress towards Net Zero. This has been fuelled particularly with financial services leadership (e.g. Mark Carney) & policy changes (e.g. Mandatory reporting with TCFD)
- The FinTech Data Gap: Banks, pensions funds and financial services are extremely keen for accurate data on sustainability – and have noted that this is an area that with no immediate winner and still a key gap that FinTechs can fill.
- Connect not just collect: The EU Taxonomy is only one of the 40+ taxonomies in this space – we need to address the interoperability of data in this space, to ensure that all taxonomies relate to one another and even be able to create a wider web of data that tells a full story!
Accenture’s FIL also hosted our own panel titled “Bridging The Say-Do Gap: How We Can Increase Action Alongside Intentions”, with a star studded list of speakers including Vanessa Harding, Sponsor of FIL’s Sustainability Stream & MD in Accenture Banking, Emma Burnett, Head of Digital Solutions at NatWest, Emma Kisby, UK CEO at CoGo & Grace Francis, Chief Experience Officer at Karmarama. This conversation was aimed at how best consumers & financial institutions can play a part at increasing eco-friendly behaviours and actions. As above, you can watch the full panel on livestream here, but a few key points include:
- Natwest & CoGo have recently launched a significant partnership – with all Natwest customers being able to track the climate impact of their spend on their Natwest card, as well as providing useful tips on how to go greener. This partnership truly encapsulates the power of FinTech as a driving force for good!
- 84% of consumers say being eco-friendly is important to them, but only 50% of consumers then actually buy from eco-friendly brands! The panel discusses the importance of nudging customers (instead of outrightly presenting one option) as it’s important for customers to make these choices themselves.
- Perfect is the enemy of good – everyone needs to start somewhere! Most of us aren’t perfect, we know to reconcile the fact that every choice we make can’t be held to an impenetrable moral & ethical standard. We can all start small as every pound in our pocket is a vote of what we support!
If you’re interested in the full set of panels (including topics such as how B2B & B2C FinTechs stack up to get us to net zero and how FinTechs can help us further the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals) , simply watch online here.
To hear about future events that Innovate Finance will run, please click here to register for their mailing list!
Purpose-Driven FinTechs – FIL 2021
- CoGo – We make Ethical Living Easy; helping Users match their spending with their values, for people and planet
- Ophelos – Ophelos rethinks the debt collection industry by utilizing AI to help households get out of debt
- Percent – Building good into every financial transaction worldwide.
- Vested Impact – Vested redefines millionaire to be a person who impacts millions of lives
- Zeti – Pay as you use use financing of zero emission vehicles and infrastructure.
- Sust Global – Quantify the accelerating climate impacts facing the world’s largest financial institutions, investors & enterprise corporates
- Illumr – We help banks remove bias empowering them to comply with regulation
- Fairly AI – A centralized governance & audit platform providing QA for AI systems
Click here to find out about all FIL London Alumni!