I recently established that banks are losing out big time when it comes to investing in Fintech. But the burgeoning industry presents an opportunity to everyone, and it’s not just the financial industry that suffers by failing to invest in one of the most successful and useful advances of the decade.
Money in Your Pillowcase
Whether you handle your finances at the local branch of your banking company, use its mobile app, or rely solely on finance apps like Venmo to exchange funds, not investing in Fintech is going to affect you — and soon.
In March, a Goldman Sachs equity research report estimated that $4.7 trillion in revenue that’s traditionally collected by banks is at risk of being handled by newer technology, the emerging digital tools for funding, wealth management, and payment, as Business Insider reports.
First generation online financial services companies…traditional banks, asset managers, and payments companies are all working to adapt to these behavioral, demographic, and technological realities,” the report said. “We expect partnerships, acquisitions, and competition will be key to the way the vertical develops.”
Acquisitions? Competition ranks lower on this list than you’d expect, considering that banking is supposed to be one of the most stable industries in the world. Would your money be better off stashed in your pillow?
I’d argue that it would be better off invested in exactly the thing that has the banks running: Fintech.
Share the Wealth
Wall Street is already pouring money into Fintech, since they’ve seen the agility with which small Fintech startups can avoid new market obstacles and stay up-to-date. The fact that it’s even competing shows that Fintech has already smashed the pre-existing barriers to market entry.
The up-and-coming, digitally savvy generation has investors and brokers seeing serious potential in software that can store and transfer billions of dollars at any given time.
In the fourth quarter of 2014, $3.1 billion was invested in the financial tech sector across 214 deals, according to Silicon Valley Bank. In the U.K., Fintech is worth £20 billion and counting, and overall, the average Fintech investment totals $17 million.
Whether you’re investing in the seed round or buying shares when the company goes public, the statistics and the experts are both strongly indicating that these new finance startups aren’t just a flashy trend, but represent the future of banking.
Fintech has become so prominent that innovation labs and think tanks are being created in the entrepreneurship hubs of America to stress the importance of the industry’s future.
The New York Fintech Innovation Lab, jointly created by the Partnership Fund for New York and Accenture, unites promising technology providers and leading banks, getting them to work collaboratively for 12 weeks in search of the next big advancement in the way we handle money, according to Forbes.
The goal is to “increase the, number of financial technology companies operating in New York and expand the resources available to banks.” Accenture has launched a similar program in London.
President and CEO of the Partnership Fund for New York City Maria Gotsch stated, “By growing the Fintech industry in New York City, we will further cement New York’s reputation as the leader of innovation in the financial services sector, as well as reinforce our newfound reputation as a hub of technology development and talent.”
Seedcamp in London also focused on bringing Fintech to the forefront of developer consciousness. Their “Academy” educates participants on best startup practices throughout the year, and when one of its entrepreneurs gets a promising idea, they can pitch it to get seed money and instruction.
If the idea is successful, the team that worked on it is brought to Silicon Valley to network.
With all of the time and expertise being invested in expanding Fintech’s capabilities, it won’t be long before promising investment opportunities begin opening up everywhere, as developers continue to find diverse solutions to common problems. If the recent trends can be believed, these will be investments well worth making.