Susanne Chishti: The State of FinTech

Scouting For Growth

Jun 1 2022 • 36 mins

On this episode, Sabine VdL interviews Susanne Chisthi, one of the leading names in the industry. Susanne started her career in finance before becoming an influential FinTech voice. Susanne is also renowned for her work with investors and FinTech startups through the FINTECH Circle which is a place where startups can seek education and angel investment. Susanne is also renowned for the wonderful books that she has written in collaboration with other co-authors and co-editors to educate the FinTech sector.


  • The unique thing about our books is that we crowdsourced the best knowledge, worldwide, because we believe in the power of the community. One person alone could never write such a comprehensive book on FinTech, RegTech, or InsurTech, for example. It would be impossible. But accessing knowledge from 70 authors globally, representing corporations, Tech startups, Tech scaleups, and thought leaders, all coming together and contributing their own expertise to the projects, makes these books extraordinary.
  • Talking about the lessons we learned from lack of travel – when you buy products abroad you can claim the VAT back, sometimes large amounts. I never actually claim my VAT, because I never wanted to queue up at the airport to claim my VAT receipts. So I never claimed these back in my whole life. One of the FinTech companies I’m working with at present is putting this all online. Imagine the future of VAT claims. This is an example of FinTech hitting a pain point in B2C that millions of customers face worldwide and we can see already a huge impact when travel is back to normal.
  • Diversity is a key thing for anybody in a large financial institution. The team should be diverse. When we think about the testing and development of AI, business leaders need to be accountable for it too. Particularly how fair AI-led decision-making is? Who gets accepted or rejected by an AI algorithm for a loan? Remember that those things can be very discriminatory if they’re coded wrongly. It is important for businesses to access a diverse workforce, to be able to develop AI-led technologies, and think about the use cases, how they can go wrong, and how to protect every individual through ethical AI. An ethical AI board is an important mechanism to ensure businesses are doing the right thing long-term and are avoiding renowned stereotypes. We have a responsibility as citizens to make things simpler and more transparent.
  • We’ve seen lots of movement in the FinTech sector in terms of investment behavior, but the good news is that in the long term the FinTech sector will continue to boom and investors will want to stay in the sector. Investors will return and invest in ventures and deploy capital from the earlier stages to the later stages.


‘Our goal is to make FinTech a mainstream sector and, at some stage, to replace finance overall – there will be no finance without FinTech.’

‘Lots of banks are trying to figure out the best way to engage with the FinTech sector. It’s certainly easier said than done. The devil is often in the detail. If you acquire a FinTech company the key thing is to make sure you integrate the company into your organization well so that it still works after the acquisition without destroying its spirit so both the startup and the corporation can benefit.’

‘Technology is everybody’s responsibility, it’s mandatory for leaders to understand how technology can shape, empower and enable what they do from a strategic point of view.’

‘2020 was a year that shocked us all. I was in China in January of 2020 actually promoting a book. The effect of the current change will be profound. And nobody knows yet what the future will look like. So planning long term will remain challenging.’


Susanne Chishti is the CEO of FINTECH Circle, Europe’s 1st Angel Network focused on fintech opportunities. Susanne is also the founder of the FINTECH Circle Institute, the leading fintech learning platform offering innovation workshops to C-level executives and online courses.

She is also the Co-Editor of the bestselling The FINTECH Book, which has been translated into 10 languages and is sold across 107 countries, as well as The WEALTHTECH Book, The INSURTECH Book, The PAYTECH Book, The AI Book, and The LEGALTECH Book (all published by WILEY).

She has also been a FinTech TV Commentator on CNBC.

After completing her MBA, Susanne started her career working for a FinTech company (before the term “FinTech” was invented in the Silicon Valley 20 years ago.) She then worked for more than 15 years’ across a number of financial institutions including Deutsche Bank, Lloyds Banking Group, Morgan Stanley and Accenture in London and Hong Kong.



Sabine is a corporate strategist turned entrepreneur. She is the CEO and Managing Partner of Alchemy Crew, a venture lab that accelerates the curation, validation, and commercialization of new tech business models. Sabine is renowned within the insurance sector for building some of the most renowned tech startup accelerators around the world working with over 30 corporate insurers and accelerating over 100 startup ventures. Sabine is the co-editor of the bestseller The INSURTECH Book, a top 50 Women in Tech, a FinTech and InsurTech Influencer, an investor & multi-award winner.

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