Soner Canko is a leading advisor to a number of companies in the Fintech sector. Soner was previously the CEO of BKM – the “backbone” processor of card payments in the country – and founder of Turkey’s very own national payment scheme called TROY.
What is the role of Fintech in banking & payments?
Soner Canko: In a nutshell, financial technology or Fintech makes financial services more user-friendly, enabling consumers to access them in an innovative fashion.
FinTech brings together finance and technology to provide better, faster and easier financial services. The rapid increase in Internet usage and the use of mobile applications are the main drivers behind the growth of Fintech. In Turkey, a vast majority of Fintechs are in the payments sector, which is the lifeblood of digital commerce, followed by blockchain and crypto start-ups.
You played a leading role in the development of banking and payments infrastructure and the rapid emergence of Fintech in Turkey. What is the state of Fintech in the country?
S.C: The Fintech market in Turkey is growing rapidly, and investments in this area are expected to increase. The overall size of the FinTech market in Turkey, with more than 500 companies, is currently estimated to be worth $15 billion and is growing steadily. Despite the rapid growth and development, Turkey’s relatively new field of financial technologies has not yet reached its optimum size. This points to the high potential of Fintech in Turkey.
As mentioned, the Fintech sector will continue to grow due to the geopolitical advantage of Turkey bring at the crossroads of Europe and Asia -especially the Middle East which is helping Turkey turn into a regional Fintech hub.
What are your hobbies? How do you spend your spare time?
S.C: I have been trying to learn and play the drum for 20 years. It is a challenging instrument as you need to synchronise your hand and foot. But I do have a goal to learn more and get better and play to my family at least. Music is important to me, and I listen to my list of favourite tracks whenever I get the chance. Here’s one of my playlists on Spotify. Hope you enjoy it!
What are you reading at the moment?
S.C: The book in my hands nowadays The Papalagi – by Erich Scheurmann. It was published in Germany in 1920, and it contains descriptions of European life, seen through the eyes of a Samoan chief named Tuiavii. It is highly recommended!
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