Exploring the future of Finance: Highlights from FinTech and Economic Modelling session at RSS International Conference 2023.

by Gabriela Filipkowska, Beining Han and Fan Wu – PhD students in Financial Mathematics at Cardiff University, Dr Ning Wang Mathematical Institute University of Oxford and, Dr Jia Shao an Assistant Professor at the School of Mathematics of the University of Birmingham.

On September 5th, 2023, our team, visited Harrogate for the Royal Statistical Society (‘RSS’) conference. Prof. Maggie Chen ran a session focused on FinTech and Economic Modelling, sponsored by Cardiff University Digital Transformation Innovation Institute (DTII). The session convened academic and industry experts for a comprehensive discussion on FinTech covering the most prominent challenges in the field including both socio-economic and technological issues.

The session commenced with a presentation by Julian Wells of Whitecap Consulting, providing valuable insights into the current state and trajectory of FinTech ecosystems across various regions of the UK. His overview shed light on the remarkable growth of the FinTech industry in the UK and future expansion plans.

Dr Ning Wang, from Oxford University, followed, addressing one of the current issues in the FinTech industry related to privacy protection. He presented a framework for decentralised technologies that utilizes the concept of zero-knowledge proofs that could help prevent leaking data users’ private and potentially sensitive information, hence compromising their privacy and security.

Finally, Professor Karen Elliott discussed the topic of balancing innovation and regulation for financial inclusion. She also introduced the EPSRC funded UKFin+ network that aims to tackle “wicked problems” between academia and industry that often are socio-technically complex. The smart Fintech solutions that are co-created by stakeholders of a healthy Fintech ecosystem will be urgently needed to address issues such as “Trust” highlighted in the Consumer Duty (2022) by FCA.

Our team and authors of this article found the experience marvellous. Fan Wu, a Financial Mathematics PhD student, recalled the event as inspiring and providing an opportunity to make connections and meet with academics and industry experts. For Beining Han, who is also a Financial Mathematics PhD student at Cardiff University, the experience was eye-opening and influenced by the acquired understanding of FinTech and the outstanding presentations that he witnessed. Not only that, the conference organisers employed a caricaturist for the event, so our team ended up with some not very alike but very much fun portraits of themselves! Fan, Beining and Gabriela Filipkowska, also a Financial Mathematics PhD student at Cardiff University, agreed that the experience was both valuable and fun.

Overall, this session provided a rich perspective on the recent developments and concerns within the FinTech industry. It not only served as a knowledge-sharing platform but also as a bridge between professionals and academics, fostering invaluable connections for the future. We look forward to more such valuable sessions and events.