As long as there have been financial products, there have been tools, procedures and services needed to create, manage, and deliver those products. Whether it is a telegraph machine, spitting out a ticker tape on Wall Street in the 1930s or a Python developer creating simple and complex, but not complicated, code to build a blockchain – financial technology has often been the enabler of financial services.
FinTech, our 21st Century understanding of using tech to evolve and innovate financial services, is in a constant state of flux and expansion. In this strange and unusual year, it is worth sticking our fingers in the air to test our community collective wisdom.
This was the question we asked our community last week – As we come to the end of 2020 – What is FinTech?
This week – we have our answers.
It is not surprising that the industry was split between those who define FinTech as any project, initiative or company that is solving a problem and those who focus on a group of new technology entrants to the industry. Almost half the industry has a very clear idea of what they mean when they talk of ‘FinTechs’ while others recognise the need to identify the rich pageant of FinTech companies and FinTech projects.
Almost half recognized that the best FinTech customer was one that met product market fit – highlighting the prevalence of FinTech companies to focus on specific business cases and applications within financial services, rather than trying to be all things to all customer groups.
Our community was split on the next big trend in FinTech. However, non-financial services entrants entering this space gathered a large chunk of the vote. Surviving COVID received zero votes – which points towards hope and optimism in the market.
As for regional rivalries in FinTech – the UK and North America battled it out for ‘Most sustainable FinTech region’. FinTech rich Eastern Europe and case study heavy Africa, in additional to other global regions, gathered either none or very few votes. However, this probably reflects the demographics of our community responders than a global mindset.
Define FinTech (pick only one 😉 )
42% – Any project, initiative or company that is solving a personal or business problem in financial services using progressive business models and innovative technology.
42% – A group of new technology entrants, aimed at the financial services industry, that does not include innovative offerings from incumbent banks or larger the firms.
16% – All efforts, from any company, that aims to make banking (financial services) better.
Who is the perfect FinTech customer?
23% – Those between the ages of 16 – 25
23% – Those between the ages of 25 – 40
8% – Those with a healthy bank balance
46% – Those who belong to a market that fits with our product
What is the next big trend in FinTech?
31% – Alternative lending for SMEs
23% – Embedded finance
38% – Non-financial services organisations offering financial products
0% – Surviving COVID-19
8% – DeFi
Which region do you see the most sustainable FinTech innovation?
53% – UK
8% – Nordics
0% – Eastern Europe
23% – North America
8% – Asia (not including China)
8% – China
0% – South America