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Paris Fintech Scene Embraces New Technologies

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New banking models showcased at the prestigious Paris Fintech Forum 2023 offer valuable insights into the evolving landscape. The event rekindled discussions about the paradigm shift, emphasizing the need for transformative changes in business models rather than mere refinements of existing ones.

The event served as a platform to address various pressing issues, including shifts in buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) dynamics, the expansion of embedded banking and open finance, opportunities arising from digital assets, the regulation of cryptocurrencies, and combatting fraud in the financial sector.

New Technologies

As disruptive changes loom on the horizon, three prominent technologies emerged as key drivers of fintech strategies: central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), the Metaverse, and Artificial Intelligence (AI).

Remarkably, only two of these technologies were explored during the forum held in the spring.

The conference served as a platform for deliberating numerous pressing issues, including changes in buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) dynamics, the expansion of embedded banking and open finance, opportunities associated with digital assets, cryptocurrencies, and the necessity for their regulation, as well as addressing the challenges of fraud in the financial ecosystem.

Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDC)

Among the noteworthy subjects, CBDCs garnered significant attention. The Governor of the Bank of France expressed unbridled enthusiasm for CBDCs, considering them the most captivating fintech development. The implementation of money as a platform is poised to revolutionize the sector, paving the way for novel products and services that will facilitate the seamless transfer of value across the internet, independent of traditional banking networks. Undoubtedly, such transformations are bound to impact the strategies of retail financial services organizations.

Artificial Intelligence

AI emerged as the most disruptive force in the sector. Recent advancements have reinforced the notion that the paradigm shift occurs when consumers, rather than providers, embrace AI. Foreseeably, in the near future, financial decisions, transactions, and analysis will predominantly be entrusted to bots operating within the confines of relevant duty of care legislation. This concerted effort aims to foster financial well-being for individuals.


Another fascinating prospect that surfaced during the forum was the Metaverse. Surprisingly, limited attention was devoted to the potential opportunities arising from the imminent release of a more secure version of the internet. Even the venture capital (VC) panels failed to explore this area extensively, despite Apple’s forthcoming augmented reality/virtual reality (AR/VR) headset generating considerable buzz.

The success story of Apple’s AirPods provides an instructive example, as its shipments doubled annually from 2017, the first year of their market debut, until 2020 (according to insights from an Apple procurement expert). Forecasts by Goldman Sachs estimate Apple’s headset sales to reach an impressive $18 billion per year by 2028, making it a substantial addition to the company’s lineup of wearables, home devices, and accessories, which currently generate $41 billion in annual revenue. Notably, these projections do not account for potentially lucrative accompanying services. Should consumers demonstrate a willingness to invest in deeply immersive VR experiences, software sales could eventually surpass hardware expenditures, much like the prevailing trend in the gaming console industry.

From a fintech perspective, the focus lies not merely on the headsets or 3D interfaces, but rather on the transactional infrastructure they will stimulate and the ensuing demand for financial services. Notably, recent strides in generative AI hold promise as a catalyst, expediting the development of AR/VR technologies for metaverse platforms and their users.

Opportunities Beyond Entertainment

These developments are not limited to entertainment and leisure activities.

Taking inspiration from China’s proactive approach, where the government swiftly embraced the metaverse by supporting relevant technologies and establishing regulations, it is evident that the metaverse holds immense potential for bolstering the economy.

While Meta, Microsoft, and Decentraland primarily target consumer-centric metaverses, China’s focus lies in leveraging technological advancements to enhance business operations. Speculation suggests that Apple may adopt a similar approach, emphasizing specific features like communication and copresence to attract enterprise customers, expanding their reach beyond entertainment.

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