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Fintech meetup at Hilton Colombo where forming of the Fintech Association of Sri Lanka was initiated[1][2]

Fintech, a clipped compound of "financial technology", refers to firms using new technology to compete with traditional financial methods in the delivery of financial services.[3][4][5] The use of smartphones for mobile banking, investing, borrowing services,[6] and cryptocurrency are examples of technologies designed to make financial services more accessible to the general public. Fintech companies consist of both startups and established financial institutions and technology companies trying to replace or enhance the usage of financial services provided by existing financial companies.

Key areas[edit]


Financial technology has been used to automate investments, insurance, trading, banking services and risk management.[7]

Robo-advisers are a class of automated financial adviser that provide financial advice or investment management online with moderate to very little human intervention.[8] They provide digital financial advice based on mathematical rules or algorithms and can even create and manage automated investment portfolios. This can provide a lower-cost alternative to a human adviser and also has the ability to avoid human error and bias.[9]

Global investment in financial technology increased more than 12,000% from $930 million in 2008 to $121.6 billion in 2020.[10] 2019 saw a record high with the total global investment in financial technology being $215.3 billion, of which Q3 alone accounted for $144.7 billion in investment.[11]

In H1 2021, fintech deal volume hit 2,456 deals accounting for $98 billion in investment. Global VC investment was higher than $52 billion in H1’21, close to the annual record of $54 billion seen in 2018.[11]

H1’21 saw $21 billion in corporate-affiliated VC investment. CVC deal volume reached a high of 284 in Q1’21, and then grew further to 312 in Q2’21.[12]

The Americas saw about $51.4 billion of fintech investment in H1’21, with the US alone accounting for $42.1 billion. In the EMEA region, investment in fintech was very robust at $39.1 billion. In Asia-Pacific, fintech investment grew between H2’20 and H1’21—rising from $4.5 billion to $7.5 billion, although it was subdued in comparison with previous record highs.[13]

The nascent financial technology industry in London has seen rapid growth over the last few years, according to the office of the Mayor of London. Forty percent of the City of London's workforce is employed in financial and technology services.[14] As of April 2019, about 76,500 people form the UK-wide FinTech workforce, and this number is projected to rise to 105,500 by 2030. Of the current fintech workforce in the UK, 42% of workers are from overseas.[15]

In Europe, $1.5 billion was invested in financial technology companies in 2014, with London-based companies receiving $539 million, Amsterdam-based companies $306 million, and Stockholm-based companies receiving $266 million in investment. After London, Stockholm is the second highest funded city in Europe in the past 10 years. Europe's fintech deals reached a five-quarter high, rising from 37 in Q4 2015 to 47 in Q1 2016.[16][17] Lithuania is starting to become a northern European hub for financial technology companies since the news in 2016 about the exit of Britain from the European Union. Lithuania has issued 51 fintech licenses since 2016, 32 of those in 2017.[18]

Fintech companies in the United States raised $12.4 billion in 2018, a 43% increase over 2017 figures.[19]

Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, addressing at the 2018 Singapore FinTech Festival, the largest fintech festival in the world

In the Asia Pacific region, the growth will see a new financial technology hub to be opened in Sydney, in April 2015.[20] According to KPMG, Sydney's financial services sector in 2017 creates 9 per cent of national GDP and is bigger than the financial services sector in either Hong Kong or Singapore.[21] A financial technology innovation lab was launched in Hong Kong in 2015.[22] In 2015, the Monetary Authority of Singapore launched an initiative named Fintech and Information Group to draw in start-ups from around the world. It pledged to spend $225 million in the fintech sector over the next five years.[23]

While Singapore has been one of the central fintech hubs in Asia, start ups in the sector from Vietnam and Indonesia have been attracting more venture capital investments in recent years. Since 2014, Southeast Asian fintech companies have increased VC funding from $35 million to $679 million in 2018 and $1.14 billion in 2019.[7]

Africa's overall fintech sector has expanded quickly. There were more than 1000 active businesses as of April 2022, up from 450 in 2020.[24] The venture capital sector, which saw deal value rise from $485 million in 2020 to $3.23 billion in 2021, was mostly responsible for the increase in investment in Africa. About half of this investment was made in fintech with Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa remaining key markets in the West, East, and South respectively. [25][26][27]

Awards and recognition[edit]

Financial magazine Forbes created a list of the leading disruptors in financial technology for its Forbes 2021 Global Fintech 50.[28]

A report published in February 2016 by EY commissioned by the UK Treasury compared seven leading fintech hubs: the United Kingdom, California, New York City, Singapore, Germany, Australia and Hong Kong. It ranked California first for 'talent' and 'capital', the United Kingdom first for 'government policy', and New York City first for 'demand'.[29]


Finance is seen as one of the industries most vulnerable to disruption by software because financial services, much like publishing, are made of information rather than concrete goods. In particular blockchains have the potential to reduce the cost of transacting in a financial system.[30] However, aggressive enforcement of the Bank Secrecy Act and money transmission regulations represents an ongoing threat to fintech companies.[31] In response, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank jointly presented Bali Fintech Agenda on October 11, 2018[32] which consists of 12 policy elements acting as a guidelines for various governments and central banking institutions to adopt and deploy "rapid advances in financial technology".[33]

The New York Venture Capital Association (NYVCA) hosts annual summits to educate those interested in learning more about fintech.[34] In 2018 alone, fintech was responsible for over 1,700 deals worth over 40 billion dollars.[35] In 2021, one in every five dollars invested by venture capital has gone into fintech.[36]

Challenges and solutions[edit]

In addition to established competitors, fintech companies often face doubts from financial regulators like issuing banks and national governments.[37][38] In July 2018, the Trump Administration in the United States issued a policy statement that allowed fintech companies to apply for special purpose national bank charters from the federal Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.[39] Federal preemption applies to state law regarding federally chartered banks.[40]

Data security is another issue regulators are concerned about because of the threat of hacking as well as the need to protect sensitive consumer and corporate financial data.[41][42] Leading global fintech companies are proactively turning to cloud technology to meet increasingly stringent compliance regulations.[43]

The Federal Trade Commission provides free resources for corporations of all sizes to meet their legal obligations of protecting sensitive data.[44] Several private initiatives suggest that multiple layers of defense can help isolate and secure financial data.[45]

In the European Union, fintech companies must adhere to data protection laws, such as GDPR. Companies need to proactively protect users and companies data or face fines of 20 million euros, or in the case of an undertaking, up to 4% of their total global turnover.[46] In addition to GDPR, European financial institutions including fintech firms have to update their regulatory affairs departments with the Payment Services Directive (PSD2), meaning they must organise their revenue structure around a central goal of privacy.[47]

The online financial sector is also an increasing target of distributed denial of service extortion attacks.[48][49] This security challenge is also faced by historical bank companies since they do offer Internet-connected customer services.[50]

European regulation on fintechs[edit]

European Regulation on Fintechs refers to the body of laws, directives, and guidelines that govern the operation, development, and innovation of financial technology (fintech) companies in the European Union (EU). As the fintech sector has rapidly evolved in recent years, the European Commission and European Parliament have introduced various regulatory frameworks to maintain financial stability, promote innovation, and protect consumer interests. These frameworks aim to create a single market for fintech services, while also addressing the emerging risks and challenges associated with new financial technology.[51][52]

See also[edit]

References and notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Fintech Meetup of Asia-Pacific Executives Forum held at Hilton Colombo". Daily FT. August 10, 2018. Retrieved February 24, 2023.
  2. ^ "Fintech Meetup of the Asia-Pacific Executives Forum held". Daily News (Sri Lanka). July 31, 2018. Retrieved February 24, 2023.
  3. ^ Infinite Financial Intermediation Archived February 14, 2020, at the Wayback Machine, 50 Wake Forest Law Review 643 (2015)
  4. ^ Van Loo, Rory (February 1, 2018). "Making Innovation More Competitive: The Case of Fintech". UCLA Law Review. 65 (1): 232. ISSN 0041-5650. SSRN 2966890.
  5. ^ Chen, Chiu-Chin; Liao, Chia-Chun (September 15, 2021). "Research on the development of Fintech combined with AIoT". 2021 IEEE International Conference on Consumer Electronics-Taiwan (ICCE-TW). IEEE. pp. 1–2. doi:10.1109/icce-tw52618.2021.9602952. ISBN 978-1-6654-3328-0. ISSN 2575-8276. Fintech is an industry that uses a seres of technological innovations such as cloud computing and big data to allow technology to serve finance and greatly improve financial efficiency.
  6. ^ Sanicola, Lenny (February 13, 2017). "What is FinTech?". Huffington Post. Retrieved August 20, 2017.
  7. ^ a b "Vietnam closes in on Singapore as fintech funding booms". Nikkei Asian Review. Retrieved December 4, 2019.
  8. ^ Lieber, Ron (April 11, 2014). "Financial Advice for People Who Aren't Rich". The New York Times.(subscription required)
  9. ^ "Robots are now managing investment portfolios. Here's how it works". Fortune Recommends. Retrieved November 22, 2023.
  10. ^ "KPMG Pulse of FinTech H1 2021 Global". KPMG. 2021. Retrieved December 28, 2021.
  11. ^ a b "KPMG Pulse of Fintech H1 2021 - Global". KPMG. 2021. Retrieved December 28, 2021.
  12. ^ Ruddenklau, Anton; Pollari, Ian (August 9, 2021). "Pulse of Fintech H1 2021 – Global - KPMG Global". KPMG. Retrieved January 3, 2022.
  13. ^ "KPMG Pulse of Fintech H1 2021 - Global". KPMG. Retrieved December 28, 2021.
  14. ^ "What is FinTech and why does it matter to all entrepreneurs?". Hot Topics. July 2014. Archived from the original on December 26, 2014. Retrieved December 9, 2014.
  15. ^ "UK FinTech- State of the Nation" (PDF). Department for International Trade ( April 2019. Retrieved December 28, 2021.
  16. ^ "Stockholm FinTech: An overview of the FinTech sector in the greater Stockholm Region". Stockholm Business Region. June 2015. Retrieved July 12, 2015.
  17. ^ "Fintech Investments Skyrocket in 2016– Report". May 25, 2016. Retrieved July 12, 2016.
  18. ^ "Brexit a boon for Lithuania's 'fintech' drive". The Business Times. Retrieved March 3, 2018.
  19. ^ Kauflin, Jeff. "The 11 Biggest Fintech Companies In America 2019". Forbes. Retrieved February 15, 2019.
  20. ^ "Sydney FinTech hub based on London's Level39 coming next April". BRW. November 2014. Archived from the original on March 20, 2016. Retrieved November 26, 2014.
  21. ^ "Subscribe | theaustralian". Archived from the original on July 1, 2019. Retrieved September 29, 2017.
  22. ^ "FinTech Innovation Lab in Hong Kong Launches With Eight Firms". Forbes. February 2015. Retrieved February 9, 2015.
  23. ^ "Fintech – the next frontier for Hong Kong's battle with Singapore?". September 19, 2016. Retrieved September 26, 2016.
  24. ^ Bank, European Investment (October 19, 2022). Finance in Africa - Navigating the financial landscape in turbulent times. European Investment Bank. ISBN 978-92-861-5382-2.
  25. ^ "African fintechs enjoy record funding, but market volatility could stop the party". Private Banker International. June 8, 2022. Retrieved October 31, 2022.
  26. ^ "New report: Here's why African fintech is fast-expanding". Ventureburn. August 23, 2022. Retrieved October 31, 2022.
  27. ^ Caplain, Anton Ruddenklau,Judd (February 7, 2022). "Fintech investment pours into Africa - KPMG Global". KPMG. Retrieved November 22, 2023.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  28. ^ "The Most Innovative Fintech Companies In 2021". Forbes. June 8, 2021. Retrieved July 5, 2021.
  29. ^ "An evaluation of the international FinTech sector" (PDF). EY. February 24, 2016. Retrieved February 25, 2016.
  30. ^ Tasca, Paolo; Tomaso Aste; Loriana Pelizzon; Nicolas Perony (2016). Banking Beyond Banks and Money: A Guide to Banking Services in the Twenty-First Century. Springer. p. 215. ISBN 9783319424484. Retrieved November 16, 2016.
  31. ^ "Criminalizing Free Enterprise: The Bank Secrecy Act and the Cryptocurrency Revolution". Westlaw's Computer & Internet Journal. July 2, 2015.
  32. ^ "The Bali Fintech Agenda". IMF. Retrieved November 15, 2018.
  33. ^ Global, IndraStra. "Decoding the Bali Fintech Agenda". IndraStra. ISSN 2381-3652.
  34. ^ "NYVCA". The New York Venture Capital Association. Archived from the original on May 1, 2019. Retrieved December 16, 2019.
  35. ^ Davis, Lindsay. "2019 Fintech Trends To Watch". CBInsights.
  36. ^ "Investment in fintech booms as upstarts go mainstream". Econimist. July 15, 2021. Retrieved July 30, 2021.
  37. ^ "Old Laws, New Models". Taylor Wessing. October 2014. Archived from the original on September 10, 2019. Retrieved August 4, 2015.
  38. ^ "Groundbreaking FinTech Innovations: Threat for banks, or opportunity of a lifetime?". Business Insider. January 3, 2018.
  39. ^ "OCC Begins Accepting National Bank Charter Applications From Financial Technology Companies". No. 2018–74. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. July 31, 2018. Retrieved March 6, 2020.
  40. ^ Note, Recent Policy Statement: OCC Allows Fintech Companies to Apply for National Bank Charters, 132 Harv. L. Rev. 1361 (2019).
  41. ^ "Ensuring Cybersecurity In Fintech: Key Trends And Solutions". Forbes (magazine). March 2015.
  42. ^ "Protect Your Assets: Cybersecurity + FinTech". Wharton Fintech. March 2015. Archived from the original on January 10, 2016. Retrieved August 4, 2015.
  43. ^ "How FinTech Leaders Are Using The Cloud To Meet Compliance". Archived from the original on December 30, 2017. Retrieved February 9, 2017.
  44. ^ "Data Security". Federal Trade Commission. June 16, 2023.
  45. ^ "Top 10 ways to secure your stored data". Computerworld. August 3, 2006.
  46. ^ "Rules for business and organisations". European Commission - European Commission. Retrieved November 1, 2019.
  47. ^ "Payment services (PSD 2) - Directive (EU) 2015/2366". European Commission - European Commission. Retrieved November 1, 2019.
  48. ^ "Banks Lose Up to $100K/Hour to Shorter, More Intense DDoS Attacks". American Banker. April 23, 2015.
  49. ^ "How Hackers Make Money from DDoS Attacks". Fortune. April 23, 2016.
  50. ^ "Who lies behind the latest cyber attacks on JPMorgan Chase?". The Economist. August 28, 2014.
  51. ^ "Financial Innovation and FinTech". European Banking Authority. April 1, 2019. Retrieved May 4, 2023.

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External links[edit]