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Technology penetrates every aspect of traditional financial services, be it payments, mortgages, or insurance.

Whether we access a bank account online, choose PayPass over cash payment, or use a peer-to-peer lending platform ー fintech is everywhere these days. Let’s have a look at the 2019’s trends in the fintech world to understand what is working now and what to expect in the future.

Fintech world

1. Even more VC-backed mega deals

Venture Scanner reports that total VC funding of the industry equals $149.7B with 2,703 fintechs involved. In Q1 2019,445 fintech deals raised $9.15B in investments, reaching 5.78% YoY growth compared to Q1 2018 [3]. Americas and Europe lead the race with $5.06B and $2.4B respectively.

As the number of fintech companies is growing, the demand for development services is rising too. Many financial services institutions choose to outsource fintech development, focusing on their core business needs instead.

2. Fintech unicorns emerging everywhere

The term ‘unicorn’ refers to a privately held financial technology company or a start-up with a total worth of 1 billion USD or more. The first three months of 2019 saw the birth of three unicorn companies, and the next quarter brought additional three companies to their $1B mark, and 2 more are rumored to get there.

Source: Global Fintech Report Q1 2019

Some experts say that we can expect 10 to 15 more companies by the end of the year. These fintech services startups represent various financial subdomains, including personal finances, digital banking, lending, and others.

3. Lending revolution

Peer-to-peer lending platforms are becoming a new trend. Platforms like RateSetter, Lending Club, and Prosper allow their users to borrow from other users of the platforms at their own rates. This segment of the fintech world finished the Q1 funding race with $1.27B. Some of the total 70 deals received heavy funding, like DMI Finance (raised $230 million) and Uplift (raised 123 million).

Moreover, such services will continue to pop up, disrupting traditional loans and challenging the way we understand lending.

4. Regulation Technology is back (again)

Regtech is the industry that helps establish the proper cooperation between technology, law, and financial services. It also helps any business entities to manage their risks effectively. In 2018, investments in regtech reached $3.7B with 104 deals, and they are expected to grow by 500% by the end of 2020.

With the introduction of the European GDPR policies and increased regulatory scrutiny, fintech companies in the US, Europe, and Asia will drive the expansion of this sector even more.

5. Acceleration of Insurtech

Despite the decrease in overall funding in 2018, the world is still looking for alternative insurance offerings. In the first quarter of 2019, the number of deals reached 68, with overall funding of $1.98B, which accounts for 21.64% of global fintech funding [3]. Some of the largest deals include Clover Health, with half a billion in funding, and States Title, with nearly a quarter of a billion. However, more than 60% of the funding was raised by insurtech startups, which proves that the fintech world is highly interested in the alternative insurance.

6. Digital banking is here to stay

Digital transformation is inevitable for the traditional banking system. The high speed of transactions and customer support, along with the convenience of use via a browser or a phone application make these banks more and more popular by the day.

We can witness an introduction of detached financial institutions that do not rely on their existing legacy systems. Digital banks (also known as neobanks), received $1.216B in funding from 20 deals in Q1 2019.

7. In blockchain we trust

Blockchain technology changes the way we understand the security of data storage. It can be used for global payments, digital identity management, or even regulation of capital raising. Between 2013 and 2018, the global private investment in blockchain and cryptocurrency multiplied by 22.5 times, with 715% growth in the number of deals.

fintech world

As for 2019, there are more than 1,130 blockchain-based companies across 74 countries. The total amount of funding in blockchain reached $16.9B, across 12 subcategories [4]. 

Gartner predicts that by 2025, blockchain-based fintech deals will reach $176B, and by 2030 it can score $3.1T mark, expanding overall fintech services market [5]. Read more about how do Blockchain and fintech blend.

What to expect?

The fintech world is thriving, as the interest of traditional financial institutions and markets grows with every quarter. Moreover, there are some trends that are said to change this industry even more.

Global expansion and rise of Asia. The Asian fintech market witnessed the biggest YoY, reaching a record level of $22.65B raised across 516 deals [2]. Political and trade war complications may have caused some of the pullbacks in 2018, but by the end of 2019 Asia can compete with the US in the number and quality of deals.

Internet of Things (IoT) will penetrate the industry. As the number of devices and wearables is multiplying every year, IoT development will contribute to the overall digitalization. PwC claims the IoT revenue will exceed $3 trillion in 2020, as the number of devices could reach 50B.

Massive consolidation. Apart from the birth of new startups, we will see the consolidation of companies from different subdomains in order to deliver an omnichannel experience to customers within a single application or service [1].

Automation of the processes. In the attempt to minimize the risks of human error, Robotic Process Automation (PRA) will be able to help companies set up automated processes without heavy involvement of development teams and IT departments.

Voice technology introduction. While hardly anyone hasn’t heard about Siri or Alexa, in 2019 AI-based voice assistance will be introduced to financial call centers. Moreover, some companies are rumored to be testing voice recognition as an alternative authentication method.

The clock is ticking for Payment Services Directive 2.0. September 14, 2019, is the ultimate deadline for all EU companies to adopt a Regulatory Technical Standard (RTS) upon the directive (EU) 2015/2366 (PSD2).

References

  1. Fintech Trends to Watch in 2019 CBInsights.com
  2. Fintech Predictions 2019 by KPMG
  3. Q1 2019 Global FinTech Funding Roundup by Gomedici.com
  4. Startup Market Reports and Data by VentureScanner.com
  5. Gartner Predicts 90% of Current Enterprise Blockchain Platform Implementations Will Require Replacement by 2021. Press release by Gartner