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FinTech Story: Hits and Misses From 2013 to 2016 and the Way Forward

We have watched 35+ FinTech segments through the ups and downs every single day in the last 3.5 years at LTP. We developed a lot of listening tools and an army of analysts to catch everything in FinTech like a radar. Somebody told us that we have one of the biggest team of FinTech market analysts and that could very well be true. In 2016, we developed MEDICI from the data that we collect, and that contains 6000+ FinTech startup profiles and research across segments. It’s my pleasure to share what we learned about FinTech shift by analyzing some of the data and also talking to hundreds of entrepreneurs and FIs in-person in the last couple of years.

Topics in this post – Mobile Payments, India & China - Asia’s FinTech Story, Bitcoin, Cyber Security, Voice Commerce, AI & RPA, RegTech, Open APIs, Talent and others

In the year 2013, in the post "Biggest Mobile Payments Success story, and It Was Not Written in the US," we talked about Nordic countries as a great example of payments innovation – especially proximity payments (wallets) – that were still in its infancy in most parts of the world from a consumer adoption perspective. The article said, In 1999, visionary technologist Mikael Signarsson came up with the idea of letting people perform top-ups from wherever they are – internet or otherwise. With a team of five developers, an intense product development process began. In November that year, the first transaction in Sweden was performed for Brightpoint. And in 2001, the company Seamless was formed. In 2011, Seamless announced that its transaction switch does over 2.4 billion transactions per year at over 525,000 points of sales worldwide.

It was the time when FinTech was not a buzzword and industry was mainly talking about payments innovation with regard to solving problems. Today, be it payments, lending or FinTech as a whole, various regions and countries are emerging on the scene – be it China, Singapore or India. Of course, Japan, Australia and Nordic countries continue to be ahead but less talked about. I guess FinTech innovation in emerging countries is such a transformative change and a problem solver at a scale that those stories just look much brighter. Then there are areas where China (mobile payments, lending, wealth, InsurTech) and India (biometric auth and payments innovation) are going way past everyone else.

Today, Asia is the new playground for FinTech and China is the playbook. While I will briefly discuss China, I want to say that it's not just about China. FinTech Innovation in Southeast Asia is on the rise as seen below:

Let’s discuss China briefly (a lot has been already said about it on LTP). A few points to see the size of the dent that FinTech has put in the FS market bus:

  • Alipay, China’s top mobile wallet app, hit record highs in 2016 for the amount its 450M users spent online or in stores. The ...
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