Traditional financial institutions are increasingly seeking partnerships with financial technology firms as a means to achieve goals faster and at a lower cost, according to a survey by ACI Worldwide.

The ACI 2017 Fintech Disruptors Report, which surveyed financial institutions, fintech start-ups and ecosystem participants across Europe, Africa and the Middle East, revealed that 78% of traditional financial providers are open to collaboration with fintechs.

According to 56% of the respondents, payments is the biggest area of investment for next year. Respondents cited ecommerce , consumer banking and security and fraud management as other top areas of fintech investment for 2017.  

Developing APIs, mobile applications and data analytics were cited as the biggest opportunities for collaboration with fintechs.

Seventy nine percent of respondents held the view that North America will remain the global centre of fintech innovation over the next five years. More than two-third (67%) of the respondents said that it would be the UK, 43% said that it would be Europe, while another 43% said China would remain the global centre.  

Respondents also believed Africa, the continent with a large unbanked population, will be the region with the greatest potential for fintech applications.

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Also, over 50% of respondents believed that Britain’s vote to quit the European Union will have little or no impact on European fintech development and financing.

ACI SVP for global business development Paul Thomalla said: “Our research shows that the transition from an analogue to a digital banking model and from complete to shared ownership is well underway. Traditional players and fintechs have realised that neither can win in isolation and that collaboration is the way forward for those that want to succeed.

“Businesses on both sides of the bridge that are ready to adapt to the new terms of the alliance will share the rich rewards to be won from combining institutional scale with entrepreneurial agility.”