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Financial technology first made its appearance in the 1950s through the introduction of credit cards, which eliminated the need for individuals to carry cash. Ten years later, ATMs disrupted the traditional model of withdrawing cash through bank tellers. Fast-forward into the 21st century and you’ll find mobile wallets, digital payment platforms, wealth-management and retirement-planning apps that dominate the modern financial world.
According to Citigroup, approximately $19 billion was investment into the fintech sector over the last year, compared to a bare investment of $1.8 billion in 2011. There is no doubt that the fintech sector is on a tremendous high, not just in the U.S., but globally. A recent study by KPMG and CB Insights showed that fintech is gaining traction across the world, with focal points in Asia, Europe, Australia and North America.
Fintech continually alters areas of the financial sector, such as payments, wealth management, lending, insurance and currency. Popular fintech startups that have made it big include Venmo, Apple Pay, and PayPal in digital payments. Lending Club, an online marketplace that connects borrowers and investors, makes credit more affordable and investing more rewarding. Betterment, an automated investing service, provides optimized investment returns for retirement planning. Wealthfront, an automated investing service builds and manages individual global investment portfolios for wealth management.
With all those companies finding success in the sector, you may think that disruption is done. Well think again. Here are four fintech startups continuing to innovate and alter the world of finance as we know it:
This emerging fintech startup rose $9 million in Series A funding. Even aids hourly workers by managing their paychecks. With $12 million in funding to date, the Oakland-based company gives hourly workers an alternative to payday loan operations without the outrageous interest rates and fees offered.
FinanceSwipe, also known as “Tinder for stocks,” allows users to find discover investment ideas. After the user selects a specific stock or trading instrument, FinanceSwipe compiles a list regarding the prospects for the security. Users are then presented with a stream of investment ideas, in which each must be dealt with – either by swiping left to discard it or swiping right to add it to a watch list – before the next idea is displayed.
A fintech company focused on serving the private wealth industry through two solutions: Canopy and MSPL. Canopy is an account aggregation and reporting platform for high net worth individuals and wealth managers, allowing users to visualize their wealth and make sense of their financial holdings. MSPL is an agency-only execution provider specializing in both global equity and fixed income markets. MSPL is regulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore.
This fintech startup in India is striving to create a technology platform to solve the financial, healthcare and educational problems of daily wage earners in the country. InMotion works by attempting to convince wage earners to save small amounts every day in their bank accounts, and offers fair market loans as well as insurance, pension plans and other financial products at a much lower cost than market.
Considering the constant innovation and evolution of the financial technology sector, it is safe to say that fintech startups may someday even threaten the existence of banks. It is unclear how the future will look, but one thing is for sure: the continuous advancements in the fintech sector are making it easier for individuals and corporations to efficiently manage their money without the direct assistance of a bank.
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