The Second Wave vs The First Wave of Fintech

Panaesha Capital Pte Ltd.

Fintech as a term described in Wikipedia is as follows, “FinTech is the new applications, processes, products, or business models in the financial services industry, composed of one or more complementary financial services and provided as an end-to-end process via the Internet.”

Financial technology is an industry in itself, offering disruptive alternatives for the delivery of financial services. Over the past years, fintech has been a magnet for investment, and it has changed the way that people and institutions transact and interact with each other. It has provided people with a valid and reliable exchange platform.

The first wave focused on fintech startups, providing new ways of doing existing things more efficiently that aimed to supplement large financial institutions. Initially, the first wave focused on Business-to-Consumer (B2C) interactions in the banking sector, in the areas of payments, banking, lending, and securities. Fintech is aimed to reshape the banking industry. Disruptive entrepreneurs use software to create radical new services so as to lure customers away from the traditional banks. The goal was to reinvent finance.

Whereas the next wave of fintech is going to bring greater collaboration and partnership between technological and institutional companies. It is going to extend its impact into other areas of the fintech industry, such as alternative investments, that did not receive much attention in the first wave.

Why do fintech companies want to collaborate with the companies that they were supposed to destroy? There are various reasons for why collaborating is a huge trend in the fintech industry. Firstly, the partnership model gives fintech companies instant access to customers and secondly, it provides them with the capital and expertise of banks.

Fidor Bank is one such bank, involved in the partnership movement. It was launched in 2009 as an online-only retail bank, offering radical options such as bitcoin banking, whereas today Fidor has almost 30 partnerships with fintech companies.

“The reason we are in the second wave is that people realized that you are not going to own the whole value chain”

– Jennifer Hansen, Saxo Bank

Small Businesses are the Next Focus of Fintech Wave

The war for fintech dominance in the consumer market is still going on, but a new battle line is emerging as they set their sights on small businesses. As of now, the fintech startups are focusing more on the consumer market, changing the way people bank, borrow, invest and pay for purchases, but they are also eyeing the small business markets.

The next wave is focused on helping small businesses manage their cash flow. It is a huge opportunity for the fintech, since many big banks are reticent to lend money to these small and risky enterprises. That presents fintech as an opportunity to fill an unmet list of needs and do it at a lower cost of customer acquisition.

In comparison to the first wave of fintech, the next wave promises to be more cooperative and collaborative, rather than disruptive of traditional ways, and more broad-reaching. As a result, it will be even more impactful and transformative than the first, and use of innovation and technology are already beginning to bear fruit.

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