Fintech, fintech, fintech, everywhere I look fintech. As a millennial, I am probably the last age group that will remember the way Canadians used to bank, buy clothes, or invest. Newer generations are walking into a digital age where the only interaction between you and your bank is what you see on your phone. For people who have seen both sides of the coin, it is very clear how beneficial fintech and financial innovation are to customer experience and financial happiness.

Mediaplanet: What is fintech and why is it so popular?

Aaron Rosin: Fintech is any technology that can improve financial function. Fintech has become popular due to the vast problems being solved through financial innovation. The easiest example is tap payments. Do you even carry a wallet anymore?

MP: Why is fintech and financial innovation such a hot topic?

AR: There is a very real benefit to financial innovation. Innovation in the financial sector has created a standard that strives to always improve customer experience. Access to your finances on-the-go and being able to handle everything via mobile devices was just the tip of the iceberg. I can now ask my phone to send a friend money with just a fingerprint for verification. Very different from putting a cheque in the mail.

MP: How has your life been affected by fintech?

AR: A better question is, how has it not been affected? For starters, I rarely carry a wallet anymore. Cash is pretty much non-existent in my life with the emergence of free e-transfers and Starbucks’ mobile pay app. I never receive Visa statements or bank bills in the mail, as everything can be viewed on a phone. I haven’t deposited a cheque at an ATM since 2016. And that’s just on a Monday.

MP: Why the future of finance?

AR: Fintech is an amazing topic, and something that is truly ground-breaking for the industry. But technology is only one aspect of the ever-changing financial sector in Canada. There are many other aspects that influence change, specifically the people who try to change the norm. Financial innovation doesn’t start with technology, it starts with the talent and the idea that progress comes from challenging the status quo. The brave few who were willing to “test the waters” are paving the way for the future of finance in Canada.

MP: What interests you most about the financial sector?

AR: I love that startups and smaller companies have been able to get a foot in the door. There are so many clusters, accelerators, and incubators present to help these companies get to market and bring their idea to life. Also, financial inclusion with large financial institutions will help a large portion of Canadians have access to these amazing new offerings. We would not be having this conversation 10 years ago.