How Tech Companies Built a Bridge Into Finance

Today, there is more of Tech in FinTech than there is of Fin. The journey to a borderless tech industry – encompassing every aspect of innovation in the financial world and beyond – started years ago when the term FinTech wasn’t even coined. FinTech then served as a transitional stage in the mindsets of innovators in the financial services industry, and now, technology is a dominating transformational force across niches, with the ‘finance’ part fading into the background.

Just about a decade ago, we would have a precise classification in mind for which industries Apple, Amazon, Walmart, and Morgan Stanley represent. Today, these corporations and a broad range of rapidly emerged cross-industry behemoths are all technology-first companies with a diversified business model. And that became possible because of technology and data.

E-commerce and lending is the hottest tie-up there is right now. Online purchasing and even browsing behavior became the key for e-commerce giants like Amazon in the Western world, and Alibaba in Asia, to accumulate enough knowledge and data to build the best match for online shopping (whether from a business perspective or consumer) – an online loan. Today, lending services of Amazon and Alibaba, while vastly on different levels, are massive, billion-dollar businesses.

In 2011, Ant Financial spun out of Alibaba as its financial arm, and t ...

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