Fintech covers a variety of new financial technologies which utilise software and other information communication technologies. An example of such is crypto currencies. FinTech companies are often start-ups that intend to disrupt current financial services through introducing streamlined and efficient services through using technology.
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While FinTech covers online trading algorithms, online banking and lending, blockchain and bitcoin, there are a few aspects of the FinTech revolution that attract more regulatory and legislative attention than others. Importantly, FinTech comprises the following areas:
- Payment processors – This includes contactless, mobile payments and eWallets.
- Insurtech – Developments in other areas of technology are assisting in risk identification and mitigation.
- Investment management – Machine learning and artificial intelligence, building on past developments in algorithms and Big Data have assisted the boom in investment management.
- Crowdfunding and fundraising, and platform-based technologies.
- Blockchain and regtech – These are examples of technology that act to make processes efficient. Regtech, for instance, automates processes to ensure regulatory compliance.
- Peer-to-peer (P2P) lending.
FinTech regulatory landscape
- According to PwC, global funding of FinTech businesses more than doubled from $5.6bn in 2014 to $12.2bn in 2015, and it is estimated that global funding for FinTech businesses will reach $46bn by 2020. When there is an explosive rise in a sector of the economy, regulation can be slow to catch up. However, in the UK, the FCA has taken quick steps to ensure there is no regulatory friction slowing the advance of FinTech development. For instance, in relation to P2P lending, the FCA moved swiftly in 2014 to regulate the industry, which provided much needed clarity for business. The FCA’s quick-thinking regulation in the area has allowed the UK P2P lending market to become the biggest in Europe.
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