Big Media Covers FinTech


FinTech made an appearance in big business and technology media over the past week. Over the past year, the curiosity of bitcoin and reports on investment amounts and IPOs have given way to regular coverage by major business media in the U.S. and U.K. A sampling of major media links follows.

Are FinTechs helping banks evolve – or planning a revolution?

The European Union regulations that protected financial institutions prevented a takeover of the financial sector are not being changed to bring customers closer to FinTech firms, according to The Guardian. The Payment Services Directive II will allow banks to open their APIs to trusted third parties, a move that would create a new wave of financial products that were previously out of reach.

The New York Times’ DealBook: FinTech’s power grab

DealBook focused a special section last week on FinTech, including the obligatory story on whether FinTech firms can beat the big banks. Mobile payments (Starbucks and Apple Pay) got a nod, as did the growing number of acquisitions within the sector. We featured DealBook’s evolution of financial technology timeline last week.

Start ups aim at overlooked demographic: the unbanked

The best New York Times article made FinTech personal for consumers. More than nine million or so American households do not have a bank account, yet they still have to find ways to conduct financial transactions. Startups like Propel, a company developing an app for the federal food stamp program, are going after the overlooked, less wealthy customers.

The delayed revolution in digital financial services

In a post for TechCruch, Paul M. Schwartz, professor of law at U.C. Berkeley, makes his case for why FinTech innovation is highly necessary and proper safeguards need to be implemented in order to protect consumer data. The first move, he says, should be to seek a broad industry agreement on best practices.

FinTech is hot, but the demise of traditional banking has been greatly exaggerated

Yes, the post-recession sentiment toward banks continues to be negative, and innovators are making banks feel more vulnerable. But let’s not be so quick to declare the demise of banking institutions, argues Chris Myers for Forbes. After all, he writes, it’s highly unlikely that a startup will pose an actual threat to the likes of Bank of America or Chase anytime soon.

The financial industry is having its Napster moment

Or is the current threat greater than anyone wants to believe? “When the dust settles in this sea change, the financial industry may be half of what it once was, simply because it’s revenues will be half of what they once were,” writes Eric Balchunas in a post for Bloomberg Markets. Likening the finance industry’s upheaval to the digital revolution in music, Balchunas outlines how such technological change can upset revenue and trading behavior for asset managers.

Digital disruption: how FinTech is forcing banking to a tipping point

Or perhaps it’s just at the brink. In a substantial compilation of FinTech articles, Citi’s “Digital Disruption: How FinTech is Forcing Banking to a Tipping Point” chronicals the global growth of FinTech investment. China is past the tipping point, the U.S. and U.K. are close, and India is next, according to Citi’s research. If you like lots of cool charts and graphs, this report is for you.

FinTech lenders dial back marketing in response to softer investor demand

And consumer reality has a tendency rule. For the past few years, the biggest obstacle for online alternative lending firms was finding enough borrowers to match the increase in demand from investor, but the times have changed, according to The Wall Street Journal. Now companies like Avant, Prosper Marketplace and Loan Depot are slowing down their loan volume, which serves as a reality check for those who jumped into the risky market.