11 Fintech Themes by CB Insights You Need To Know 9

To state the obvious, Fintech is the hot ticket right now. Almost on a daily basis we hear news of huge investment within the fintech sector, the emergence of yet another fintech hub or a bank investing in technology start ups that will transform the way we do things. All of these individual stories highlight a general theme that disruptive innovation is clearly happening in the financial services sector and things ARE changing. Anand Sanwal, from CB Insights, brings all of these moving parts together in An Overview of The FinTech Landscape: Disruption in Financial Services. Anybody interested in technology and disruption in the financial services needs to read the transcript of the webinar.

I found it to be a fascinating and insightful read, and in this post I will share 11 key themes that I learnt from the post. The Fintech Overview highlights all kinds of key trends, statistics and noteworthy details – I don’t intend to get into the specific just to share 11 trends.

1. Price is what you pay. Value is what you get – Warren Buffet

The big fish are investing in Fintech start ups, to the tune of almost $3 billion in Q1 2015

2. Quality sells itself. No hype needed – Brandi L. Bates

The number of investors in Fintech start ups is increasing, from 223 investors in 2010 to 894

3. If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple of payments – Steven Wright

By analysing the smart investors CB Insights highlights where they are putting their money…. and lo’ behold, its Payments! Which is why I was particularly interested in the analysis

4. No one is so brave that he is not disturbed by something unexpected – Julius Caesar

Fintech investments aren’t just happening by the “usual suspects”, i.e. venture capitalists – “unusual suspects” such as technology firms and corporates are also getting in on the action

5. Follow the trend lines, not the headlines – Bill Clinton

Check out CB Insights Periodic Table of Fin Tech – highlighting the movers and shakers in the Fin Tech space

6. It always seems impossible until it’s done – Nelson Mandela

Fin Tech companies in the Payments space topped other sectors in the CB Insights based on their three M analysis – comprising Momentum, Market and Money Score

7. What you do has far greater impact than what you say – Stephen Covey

This next theme is real quality. Anand states “The best way to understand a competitor’s strategy is not to listen to what they say, but what they do”. Then provides some pretty cool insights by looking at what JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs, Amex, MasterCard and Visa are investing in and very cleverly what they are NOT investing in. Some pretty interesting trends and priorities emerge, well worth a look!

8. Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore – Andre Gide

The power of disruptive innovation cannot be ignored – this is something I have blogged about quite a bit – check out the following:

9. Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress, and working together is success – Henry Ford

Incumbents are eyeing up fintech start ups as a way understanding and fostering innovation and guiding their own strategy

10. You don’t learn to walk by following rules. You learn by doing and falling over – Richard Branson

Be afraid, be very afraid – “Silicon Valley is coming” – Jamie Dimon, CEO JP Morgan

11. There’s nothing wrong with staying small. You can do big things with a small team – Jason Fried

Its not the big fish you need to worry about, its the minnows…. Anand provides some insightful analysis around how big players in the financial services sector have many products and services. Each of these products and services are targets and/or potential targets for Fintech start ups – a concept Anand refers to as “death by 1,000 cuts”.

FinTech Themes – So What?

After publishing this post I surprisingly received 2 messages telling me that while the above is interesting, it wasn’t relevant to SEPA or corporates right now. Rather than responding separately to those emails, it got me thinking if two people are pondering over this then I’m guessing other readers must be wondering the same too. So, here is my response and why I think this is REALLY relevant for SEPA and corporates:

  • As participants in the payments space, YOU need to know what is happening today and what the upcoming trends and technologies are
  • Not only that, the investors in some start ups are in many cases YOUR transaction banks and maybe even your company or a competitor!
  • If your transaction banks are working with new and innovative start ups, there is a good chance that new products or services maybe heading your way soon
  • Now consider all of the pain points your company has encountered during the SEPA project, and more generally within the payments / finance department and related projects.
    • Each of these pain points are opportunities for start up companies and innovators to offer better services and products for YOU
  • I am pretty sure that the pain points you’re thinking about are not one-offs, but are recurring not only in your country or region but globally. To take this further, I am pretty sure if it is a problem at your organisation, then other companies will be having the same painful experiences too

Do you still think Fintech is irrelevant for SEPA and corporates ? I would love to hear your thoughts below…

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For further details please check out the CB Insights Fintech Overview….