Monday 13 May 2019 7:45 am

DEBATE: Is the term ‘fintech’ becoming redundant?

Is the term ‘fintech’ becoming redundant?

Rhys Powell, UK managing director at EBO.ai, says YES.

It’s true that the fintech revolution has brought about positive business change, but to stay relevant in today’s modern business world, all financial organisations have had to harness the power of technology.

As such, it’s now almost impossible to define where general technology ends and fintech begins.


This isn’t the first time that we have seen this line blur, of course. Digital marketing was previously viewed as a separate entity to the wider marketing function. But now, the entire marketing function is digital, which means that this distinction has disappeared.

All businesses stand to benefit from artificial intelligence and advanced technology, regardless of their size or sector, so by continually marking out “fintech” as a separate entity, we are actually creating a barrier to its adoption. To stay on top, businesses need to embrace technology in all its forms, into every business process, and leave the term fintech behind for good.

Read more: Women-led fintechs outperform rival startups

Arun Srivastava, partner at international law firm Paul Hastings, says NO.

While in most cases financial technology has become mainstream, with all financial institutions building technology into their business processes, it’s important that we draw a distinction between incumbent institutions and fintechs.

Since their inception, fintechs have been shaking up the industry status quo. By ingraining technology in their operations from day one, fintechs have set themselves apart from the traditional market players – offering customers a better, more innovative, user-friendly service. In doing so, they have captured the imagination of customers, changing perceptions of what the world of finance could be.

As a result, there is now a healthy level of competition in what was a traditionally slow market. Larger institutions are no longer able to rest on their laurels. They need to reimagine how they can match the services and processes of fintechs. Advances in technology and legal changes are encouraging new businesses offering more innovative products. It would be a disservice to fintechs to put them in the same category as financial institutions.

City A.M.'s opinion pages are a place for thought-provoking views and debate. These views are not necessarily shared by City A.M.

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