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73. Are we still not ready to go digital? with Zennon Kapron

73. Are we still not ready to go digital? with Zennon Kapron

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Key takeaways

1) Digital banks will have a harder time establishing themselves in developed markets as most traditional banks control between 80% to 90% of retail deposits in that market. They will also have to account for how competitive traditional banks could be, especially as they move into a higher interest rate environment.

2) When it comes to Cryptocurrencies, governments seem to find it challenging to regulate, especially since it is considered a new business model in the industry. If it doesn’t affect the masses (especially in a crisis), they may not move as quickly as they should to ensure there are proper regulations put in place.

This time, on WealthTech Unwrapped, Ned speaks with Zennon Kapron, Founder and Director of Kapronasia. They discuss upcoming trends in Fintech such as Digital Banks and Cryptocurrencies and their footing in the banking and finance industry.

Zennon accentuates that digital banks generally have a harder time establishing themselves in developed markets. This is due to challenges around differentiating themselves and a lack of branch infrastructure, unlike established players. On the contrary, underdeveloped markets and underserved segments in traditional markets pose an interesting opening for digital banks as there is hardly any competition from big players.

While on the topic of Cryptocurrencies, Zennon suggests a potential use case. He highlights that it could change the nature of cash transfers for non-governmental organizations and humanitarian aid and that countries like Ukraine are already receiving funds that are digital and wired online. Though this could secure a positive outcome, he cautions that there are still a lot of unclear narratives around Cryptocurrencies. Its large financial backing blinds the reality of its overall business model for what it is, and this poses a challenge for governments, especially when it comes to regulations.

Meet Our Guest Speaker

Zennon Kapron


Zennon Kapron is the Director of Kapronasia, one of Asia's leading financial technology research and consulting firms. Before Kapronasia, Zennon was the Asia Pacific Financial Industry Manager and Global Banking Industry Manager for Intel. At Intel, he helped position and sell Intel-based architecture to financial services firms globally. Before Intel, Zennon worked at Citi in several different technology management roles culminating in his role as CIO for Citigroup Portugal. Zennon is a recognized thought leader on Fintech in Asia and a regular speaker at financial conferences globally including Money 20/20, TradeTech, Sibos, SIFMA, Innovate Finance, Future of Fintech in Asia, APFIC, and many others. He has testified in front of the U.S. Congress on matters of China Fintech and is regularly quoted in the press and television appearances including CNBC, Bloomberg, The Economist, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and Financial Times to name a few. Zennon is the author of 'Chomping at the Bitcoin: The Past, Present, and Future of Bitcoin in China' published by Penguin as well as countless reports and commentaries on the state of financial technology in Asia. Zennon holds a Bachelor's in Computer Science from Syracuse University and an MBA from INSEAD. Zennon also mentors several fintech startups and is an angel investor.

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