Behind the Fintech Hype
Financial technology is changing how we spend, save and invest, but can it really change the banking industry for good?

Fintech has been with us for years, starting with ATMs and then through online banking. But today’s fintech startups are doing more than ever before to reshape the financial services industry — changing the way consumers spend, save and invest through mobile and online applications.

To prevent becoming mere intermediaries in the financial services business, banks and other financial institutions are being forced to change how they interact with consumers, employees and their competition, to remain relevant in the modern day movement of money.

“We believe we are in the early innings of what will be a meaningful transformation across several elements of the financial services sector,” says Will Hutchins, director of Toronto-based capital funding solution company Espresso Capital. “We are seeing new companies emerge across Canada developing innovative solutions aimed at disrupting traditional business models and creating new ones.”

Yes, we’ve heard this before: That technology and startups will change our world. But how far with the fintech revolution take us?  To explore this, we’re delving into some common perceptions about the fintech industry — and the truths behind them.

YESIs fintech changing the way banks do business?

Banks have enormous resources, power, and customer data, but are only now marshalling their forces by creating spaces for technology to develop. We look at what how the power dynamic works.

ANSWER: YES

Fintech story gauge MAYBE compressedWill blockchain revolutionize finance and contracts?

Blockchain is a secure distributed ledger that could change the way that valuable items are transferred. While the hype might be justified, it is not yet adopted and has, ironically, suffered recent hacking issues.

ANSWER: MAYBE

Fintech story gauge NO compressedWill fintech overturn financial institutions and regulations?

Even startups that have found a successful niche, or have scaled well, have to work within the regulatory environment and with existing players.

ANSWER: NO

Investors still see big returns in fintech. Global investment in fintech ventures rose 75 per cent to $22.3 billion in 2015, and was up 67 per cent in the first quarter, reaching $5.3 billion.

With the right product, the right access to customers, and the right relationships with existing players, fintech has the potential to truly revolutionize the financial services sector.

 

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