Reviewed by Feb 19, 2021| Updated on
Financial technology (fintech) describes new technology that works towards enhancing and automating the delivery and use of financial services. At its core, fintech is utilized to help companies, business owners, and consumers manage their financial operations, processes, and lives better by utilizing specialized software and algorithms that are used on computers and, increasingly, smartphones. The term fintech is a combination of "financial technology".
When fintech emerged in the 21st Century, the term was initially applied to the technology employed at the back-end systems of established financial institutions. Since then, there has been a shift to more consumer-oriented services, leading to a more consumer-oriented definition. Now, fintech covers different sectors such as education, retail banking, fundraising and non-profit, and investment management.
Fintech also attributes for the development and use of cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin. Though there are a number of news flowing on cryptocurrencies, the traditional banking industry holds the major share.
The concept applies to how people transact business, ranging from the invention of digital money up to double-entry bookkeeping. It includes activities such as money transfers, check deposit with smartphones, online loan application, raising funds for a startup, investment management, and more.
A common characteristic all fintech startups share is that they are designed to be a threat to, challenge, and eventually take over traditional financial services providers by being more active, serving an underserved segment or providing faster and/or better service.
Until now, financial services institutions offered a variety of services under a single umbrella. The scope of these services encompassed a broad range from traditional banking activities to mortgage and trading services. Basically, fintech offers these services into individual offerings. The combination of streamlined offerings with technology enables fintech companies to be more efficient and cut down on costs associated with each transaction. Disruption is the word that describes how fintech innovations have affected traditional banking, trading, financial advice, and products.