This article is written by Nardine B. M’barek, a Contributor Author at Startup Turkey.
Kivanç Onan is the General Manager of PayPal in Turkey and the MENA region. He started his career at UBS AG in Switzerland, followed by AT Kearney in New York City, and continued as a director in the strategy section at American Express. In 2008, Onan returned to Turkey as a senior manager in strategy consulting in the finance, telecom, and consumer business sectors at the Istanbul office of DeloitteStart.
Mr. Kivanç Onan is responsible for the spread of PayPal in the Middle East & North Africa region, as well as in Turkey. He joined us during Startup Turkey 2016 and participated in a panel alongside Mr. Ozan Sönmez.
Mr. Onan was asked about what sides would he change in the FinTech industry if he had the power to do so, and according to him, which sides are worth fixing. For Mr. Onan, the insurance piece and the credit piece are the two most interesting sides in the industry and the ones that are worth changing the most.
However, knowing that 85% of the world’s economy is done in cash, it is not only about FinTech and who competes with who in the world of FinTech or financial services today; technically speaking all of us are competing with cash, that is why Mr. Kivanç Onan thinks that
The main differences between the developed ecosystems and those who are not yet so developed, according to Mr. Onan, are in terms of adoption of technology certainly, in certain segments of the industry. Money is always a very sensitive topic everywhere, but the comfort to deal with that money starts to become very much different from one region to another due to the evolution of the process, in terms of how payments or financial services evolve.
Secondly, it has to do with the risk of dealing with money. Some people are very comfortable in doing so in some regions such as the United States or Germany, even if there are so many differences in terms of money movements for example between Germany and the UK, those differences already exist within the region itself, as well as from one region to another.
The challenges, however, are not always about finding a solution that would fit every region accordingly, it is rather about how we adapt to each and every different market. It is also about how to give the people the comfort needed concerning how they want to manage and move their money. It is a learning curve as well as an aspect.
If you compare the United Kingdom for instance to other countries and regions such as Germany or Saudi Arabia, you will find that in the UK, people are more comfortable with managing and moving their money just like in the United States. On the other side, if you look at Germany, the market is rather dominated by bank transfers and bank fundings, Turkey could also be considered as a credit-dominated country. That is why today, it is not about finding a universal solution that would solve everything everywhere, but rather about taking into consideration all the cultural needs and preferences of those people around the regions where they live.
According to Mr. Onan, there is much more interest across the regions in startups during the last two years, societies are also starting to adopt more properly to technology when it comes to the FinTech industry.