Jürgen Ingels: Fintech is outdated, Tech4fin is the future

Fintech has always played an important role in Belgium, especially in the years of 2000. Companies such as Capco, Business Architects and Jurgen Ingels’ own company Clear2Pay were all Belgian companies. All these companies have been sold to larger American players.

“These Belgian companies played an important role in the development of backend systems for the banking sector. Lots of the knowledge developed when creating these companies and solutions is still present in Belgium”, says Ingels. “Today, still many important Fintech companies are based in Brussels, such as Euroclear and Swift”.

Ingels believes that banks should shift mentalities. “Fintech is outdated. We should focus more on Tech4Fin. Innovative Fintech companies should be involved in the development of bank applications. This will allow banks to compete with the service levels of large internet companies such as Google and Apple”.
“Banks don’t have the time, money or people to transform digitally on their own. Therefore, banks should collaborate more frequently with different Fintech players. This way, banks can built new infrastructures that are in line with consumer expectations”.

There is no reason to believe that in Belgium we cannot built large and successful companies of a market value of 500 million euro or more. This may sound strange to some people, but I believe Belgium has the quality, the network, the people, the universities and the knowledge it takes to build these companies”.

However, Ingels also states that there has to be a change in mind-set.

“In Belgium, people are often very modest. Our focus should be much more international and we must create the courage to make bold choices”, says Ingels.

“When I showed my report card to my mother when I was young, she always focused on the one 6/10, instead of the three 9/10’s. We are used to focusing on improving the average. In my opinion, this is wrong. We should have the courage to make more bold decisions and focus on improving the three 9/10’s”.

“I believe it’s better to be really good in only a handful of things, than always wanting to be good in 25 different things”.

Read the entire interview (in Dutch) of Luc Blyaert and Jurgen Ingels here.

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