Oct 27, 2023

Key takeaways from Boston Fintech Week 2023


Another Boston Fintech Week is in the books.

Thank you to all who joined us last week, from October 10 -13, for the 6th edition! This year, we had more than 900 registrants from 17 countries and 28 U.S. states. There were 14 conference sessions, 34 community and sponsor events, and 100+ speakers. Attendees used our networking app to arrange more than 170 1:1 meetings in addition to the organic networking that occurred throughout the week.

Here are a few takeaways from our stage:

We’re all AI companies now (or will be shortly).


There were nine sessions this year with “AI” in the title, and the topic came up in many more. It’s going to have broad impact on fintech, financial services, and society.

There are important issues for the industry to work on, including hallucinations, biases in training data, and the need for our companies to organize for effectiveness and to upskill our teams. 

Clearly, organizations that haven’t begun experimenting, testing, or implementing are behind. Luckily, there’s still time. While the hype cycle seems to be accelerating, we may still be a very long time from seeing generative AI fundamentally change the tech stack. As one long-tenured panel moderator observed, “GenAI in 2023 is what LotusNotes was in 1983.”

The end of the beginning for the downturn in fintech funding?


We all know that funding is down for fintech startups and more firms are going belly up than we have seen in recent years. But it’s not as bad as it feels. There’s still capital available for companies with strong metrics and investors are competing for those rounds.

Still, the market has clearly changed. Even fast-growing companies aren’t growing as fast as they were two-to-three years ago, because they’ve reined in their spending and — at least of the B2B side — clients have cut back.

The changing landscape affects venture funds, too. Firms that raised funds in 2021 may still have plenty of dry powder. But those that invested the bulk of their funds at peak valuations will have trouble convincing LPs to back them again. This may be particularly tough (as things often are) for emerging managers.

Reducing friction remains a raison d’être for fintech entrepreneurs.


We heard it’s true of regulators, too. It’s one of the keys to creating a fair and inclusive world economy. Using technology to increase financial inclusion saves time, increases efficiency, and improves lives. 

Payments is a vertical that continues to attract attention. It’s no secret that the world’s largest economy is a laggard when it comes to instant payments. But that is beginning to change. The launch of FedNow gives a big push to RTP and the future state of payments in the U.S. We expect payment innovation to continue apace.

Biometrics move beyond Minority Report


Digital identities are a key to the fast and fair provision of financial services, and indeed, the key to much of what we do on- and off-line. How verifiable credentials get captured, shared, and stored is rapidly evolving. Digital identity will play a critical role in KYC, AML, payments, cybersecurity, and in ensuring data privacy.

From facial recognition software to pay-by-palm, biometric solutions are moving to the forefront. But big questions remain regarding regulation, governance, and what we’re willing to tolerate as businesses — and as societies — in terms of both false negatives and false positives. Where you stand can depend on who you are and what you look like.

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