Sponsored Content

Legal Experts Mindful of Risks as Fintech Evolves and Grows

BCBusiness + Edwards, Kenny & Bray LLP The focus is on data protection as consumers embrace technology


BCBusiness + Edwards, Kenny & Bray LLP

Credit: iStock

Kelly Samuels, partner at Edwards, Kenny & Bray LLP, sees the impact as clients are becoming more immersed in fintech

The focus is on data protection as consumers embrace technology

One of the more revolutionary advances in the financial sector in the wake of the global recession is what those with a love for jargon call fintech: a term once used to describe financial technology applied to the back office of banks or trading firms, but which today describes a broad variety of technological interventions involving personal and commercial finance.

In short, if you pay your bills, or send money, or even apply for loans online, you’re already immersed in the fintech world; and like all things pertaining to the digital age, fintech is evolving so quickly that even the best financial institutions are hard pressed to forecast what it will encompass down the road.

It’s a realm that fascinates Kelly Samuels, partner at Edwards, Kenny & Bray LLP (EKB), to the point where she has made it a prime topic of discussion at public forums. 

“It’s something I see potentially impacting my legal practice, given that our clients are becoming more immersed in fintech and benefitting from its advantages as well as exposing themselves to legal issues and risks,” she says.

The advantages of course are self-evident, with the biggest being convenience and lower costs for consumers; but they don’t end there. For example, the recent rise of peer-to-peer lending via online services that match lenders with borrowers is viewed as potentially more desirable than the standard alternative of dealing with banks. 

“Such services especially appeal to millennials, who largely put their faith in the integrity of the digital world instead of the traditional financial system,” she says.

Samuels fully embraces the fintech evolution as unstoppable, but she also stresses that its risks must be considered, too. “Data protection and hacking are huge issues that everyone must keep in mind, but there are also more mundane yet equally important matters that require a working knowledge of business regulations,” she says. 

“Take the electronic delivery of documents: it has become pretty much second nature for many companies; but in certain cases under law you still have to provide physical documentation as well.”

More issues will doubtlessly come to Samuels’ attention as new technologies like predictive behavioural analytics and data-driven marketing increasingly take the guesswork out of financial decisions, and ‘learning’ apps will track the habits of users to help them improve their spending and saving decisions. 

“Fintech, including blockchain technology, will increasingly impact banking, wealth management, and insurance moving forward, further changing the way we carry out transactions,” says Samuels, adding that this will likely result in larger institutions and governing bodies placing increased emphasis on software and hardware regulation.

She concludes: “It’s exciting to be part of this revolution; and if adopted responsibly, fintech will continue to benefit companies and individuals. We’ll be keeping a close eye on its growth in 2018 and beyond.” 

Created by BCBusiness in partnership with Edwards, Kenny & Bray LLP