1. What is Fintech?
Fintech is the subsector of the financial services industry that employs new technologies not only to more efficiently deliver products and services but also to provide access to these services to underserved populations. Fintech does so by collaborating with traditional financial services, yet it also acts as a positive disrupting force by creating new competition and expanding ways to serve customers in the financial arena.
Fintech is not a new phenomenon. Advancement in financial services has been driven by new technology since its earliest days—from the advent of banknotes in England, to credit and debit cards in the mid-20th century, to loan syndication and credit default swaps in the late 20th century. The ongoing technology developments over the past few decades have fueled opportunities for fintech to continually revolutionize the financial sector. For instance, Blockchain, a financial technology that uses a decentralized ledger system instead of the current centralized, single clearing house system, could completely change the way in which transactions are received, processed, and delivered, much as credit cards disrupted the financial system in the 20th century. Through the growth of Bitcoin and other technologies, Blockchain offers the possibility of virtually eliminating transaction costs and execution time.