The thing with FinTech is that – number one - it is an ecosystem,
so you have to have a lot of specific things in place.
You have to have enough people who know how to do computer science and data science:
the technical skills to be able to do FinTech.
And there’s a fair amount of that in Canada.
The biggest question, though, is how government thinks about regulation.
In particular, can you design a regulatory system that allows FinTechs to get into the marketplace
and start to explore and experiment – what some countries are calling “regulatory sandboxes”.
You still protect the consumer but you’re able to have more flexibility.
Then using those regulatory flexibilities – the sandboxes, if you will –
to identify the areas of Canadian regulation that are really an impediment to this new model.
And then go and systemically fix those problems.
Because I guarantee that there are regulatory problems in the Canadian system
with regard to FinTech, just as there are in every other country in the world.
Figuring that out more quickly and more decisively
I think will help Canada develop this industry more quickly.
I think there’s a real opportunity for Canada to be part of an integrated North American marketplace.
So I hope when Canada thinks about this they don’t think about it just as:
“how do we develop our companies in Canada for the Canadian marketplace?”
That’s really too small.
It worked in banking - Canada’s got five or six big banks – it worked well there.
It doesn’t really work as well in FinTech because you have what’s called high fixed costs,
low marginal costs: it costs a lot of money to develop a system,
but you could then scale it for relatively almost no cost, around the world.
So I think Canada should look to a North American market play, as a way to thrive.