A mere five years ago, FinTech was little more than an awkward abbreviation of financial technology. But today it is the most happening space in financial services that’s making incumbents sit up and take notice. With investments in FinTech startups quadrupling between 2013 and 2014, a new breed of competition is using technology as the lever to disrupt the traditional financial services marketplace. As of now, most of the activity is still on the edges of the financial ecosystem. But considering the pace and sophistication of innovation, it is not hard to gauge where this movement is headed over the long term.
These challengers are bringing a fresh new perspective on how banking products and services should be designed and delivered to a digital audience with markedly different expectations of their service providers. And hence the BAI – Infosys Finacle Global Banking Innovation Awards decided to recognize them with a newly instituted prize, given to the Most Innovative Non-Bank Financial Services Organization.
True enough, the first-ever set of finalists in this award category does not fail to impress.
First off is billion dollar startup and peer-to-peer credit marketplace Lending Club that set out to make credit more affordable and investing more rewarding. The company has since built itself into a position of leadership by efficiently connecting borrowers and investors. For those who have thus far missed the ability to initiate payments from within their emails, there is a new digital bill payment solution called AcceptEmail. Then there is PayItSimple a cloud-based patent protected technology that enables consumers to make purchases through interest-free installment payments on their existing credit cards. For consumers this eliminates the need for lengthy credit application processes or even credit line qualifications while acquirers benefit from higher revenue. High-schoolers are apparently calling it “The Instagram of Money” but MoneythinkMobile is a social application designed to promote healthy financial behavior among teenagers and young adults. The app leverages peer relationships, and the functionality to share photos, emojis, hashtags, likes and comments, to help users manage their spending habits and financial goals. Another app for modifying financial behavior and fostering financial wellness comes from mobile banking service, Moven. The app uses a number of tools like Spending Meter, Instant Receipt and Money Path to help users anticipate expenses and plan finances more efficiently. And finally there is Taxidia from Travelex Currency Services, a platform that allows travel money providers to quickly, securely and accurately fulfill the cash demands of their growing customer base.
The FinTech segment is clearly out to disrupt all conventional rules of banking and in the process raise the innovation threshold for the entire financial services industry. These firms will play a critical role in defining the future of the business. Let’s celebrate that by honoring them at this year’s BAI – Infosys Finacle Awards. See you there.
Winners and finalists will be recognized by Infosys Finacle and BAI during an awards ceremony at the BAI Retail Delivery Conference & Expo, on Oct. 13th at 3 PM, in Las Vegas, NV, USA.