2 questions for FinTech companies, a chat to RMI's Dominique Collett

"When FinTech companies come in to see us, we typically ask two basic questions. Firstly do they have a unique product offering, secondly do they have the ability to execute on the strategy.” That’s how Dominique Collett, Rand Merchant Insurance’s senior executive decides on whether or not there’s a possibility to fund a company.

The advent of social media has been a major source of disruption within the financial services industry, and companies are clamouring to get into the market. From peer-to-peer lending to block chain technology, regulators and banking professionals, are still struggling to understand what these technological changes will mean for the traditional banking business model.

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Twitter, Facebook and Wechat have all brought new opportunities for consumers to engage in new ways with their service providers. Bitcoin, an open source platform that uses peer-to-peer technology, which operates without a central authority, has been a major game changer.

Collett says while the change might've been fast paced it's helped to create a lot of opportunities in the financial services sector. "Innovation is happening especially in the small to medium enterprise sector. We're now able to have real-time credit scoring which means that people can get their loans within hours," says Collett.

So how does RMI hope to cash in on the excitement?

"At Rand Merchant Insurance (RMI) my work entails providing strategic advice both at the audit and risk committee level as well as helping to build our next generation businesses. We're a small team, which helps us to make quick decisions."

Internationally FinTech companies such as OnDeck, which provide small business financing solutions and Kabage the financial and data technology company, have radically changed the access to capital market for small businesses, says Collett. In South Africa a lot of investment and networking is still required. "That's why at RMI we've created the Alpha Code which is a financial services entrepreneurial club, which aims to provide networking opportunities for the local FinTech community."

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