Finding the Balance Between Regulation and Innovation in the FinTech Industry

Fintech Ladies IL is a network for women working in the Financial Technology (“FinTech”) industry. The network brings together women from diverse backgrounds including startup businesses, banks, law firms, financial services, and FinTech companies. The network was founded with the goal of empowering and inspiring women working in FinTech.

On 11 February 2020, the network hosted its second meetup in Tel-Aviv, attended by high-powered women guest-speakers, including Anat Guetta, Chairwoman of the Israel Securities Authority (“ISA”) and Hedva Ber, Supervisor of Banks at the Bank of Israel.

Anat Guetta, began her speech with an inspirational quote from the Honorable U.S Supreme Court Justice, Ruth Ginsburg: “Real change, enduring change, happens one step at a time”. Ms Guetta related this quote to both the empowerment of women in the FinTech industry and the change in financial regulations which has become necessary in light of digitisation and innovation in the finance industry.

Ms Guetta explained the ISA’s mission to reform and adapt financial regulation to the changing technological environment, by considering the needs of FinTech companies in Israel; ensuring regulation is not overly burdensome to developing companies; and learning from the global FinTech community, to ensure that regulatory requirements are not a barrier to novelty and development, but will benefit the FinTech industry as a whole.

Hedva Ber followed with a presentation on the revolution of the banking industry in light of FinTech, including the rise of open banking. Open banking allows customers to “own” their financial information (held by banks and other financial institutions) and control how this information is shared with third parties. These third parties, which include apps, help customers gain a more comprehensive understanding of both their financials and the banking system. For example, apps can use the data to compare banking services and assess which plan would best suit an individual customer’s needs.

Next came an interview of Adi Soffer Teeni, Facebook Israel GM, who shared her experiences and tips on balancing being a mother and a successful business woman in the Fintech industry. She also discussed the new Facebook cryptocurrency, Libra, and the current hot product in the technological market –Virtual Reality, through which experiences such as art, music, or sports are made available, irrespective of a person’s physical location.  

Ms Teeni’s interview was followed by a guest presentation by Sivan Preiskel, senior product manager (billing and payments) at Wix.

The event closed with a panel discussion with Tali Av-Zuk, Liri Halperin, Keren Zukerman, and Keren Aviasaf, each a Co-Founder and CEO of up and coming Fintech companies. 

Asserson, as a UK firm operating in Israel is uniquely positioned to work with FinTech companies seeking corporate or litigious legal advice in respect of English law. Our lawyers have worked with a number of Israeli and English FinTech companies of all sizes.

Stay tuned as we continue to explore key legal, regulatory and policy issues associated with FinTech, and of course, future Fintech Ladies IL events!

Written by: Merav Magen, Deborah Tastiel and Chavah Apfelbaum

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