It may be possible to find an opportunity within a market by studying the history of that market. FinTech is currently experiencing a financial boom and many entrepreneurs may want to be a part of that boom, but they may not know where to look to find an entry point. Brandon Frere, CEO of Frere Enterprises and other ventures, would like to share some FinTech insight in order to help entrepreneurs potentially notice an opportunity to thrive.
“FinTech is transforming America by taking the best parts of the financial institution and automating them,” said Frere. “And then FinTech went further and put the power of a bank into an individual’s hands, so complicated financial matters could be done from home.”
FinTech has a long history, but it may have benefited only one group of people – pre-established banks – until recently. Because of this, FinTech may be able to be divided into two distinct movements. The first FinTech movement improved the existing bank institutions, while the second is spreading those innovations to a greater variety of markets.
The first FinTech movement can be roughly tracked from the following innovations:
- In the 1950s, the first credit cards were used.
- In the 1960s, the first ATMs were developed.
- In the 1970s, NASDAQ became the first electronic stock-trading platform.
- In the 1980s, the first online banks, first online shoppers and first online brokers appeared.
- In the 1990s, the online platform was normalized and everything from money transfer to online shopping saw a huge boom in popularity.
- The 2000s saw the development of cryptocurrency and online banking, and online money transfer became a habit for much of the world.
Each one of these innovations created a substantial benefit to the banking institutions that already existed. This changed in 2008 when the stock market crashed, which created the opportunities for the new FinTech market. The conditions that allowed this market to appear include:
- Regulations enforced after the 2008 financial crisis limited banks, but didn’t necessarily limit new financial businesses.
- The reduction of barriers to entry. An entrepreneur with coding expertise, financial expertise and a vision could create a FinTech enterprise.
- Customers started wanting a simpler, specialized experience, which conflicted with the multiple features of the traditional banking institutions.
- Consumers wanted the ability to access their finances at home at any time.
- A desire for many businesses to save money that would be spent on paper for documentation, statements and labor by switching to a digital space.
- A desire to automate financial processes within a business to speed up overall workflow.
- Digital natives growing up who are familiar with the digital world and ignorant of finances, but know it’s something they’re supposed to do.
All of these factors gave an opportunity for business creation for those who saw a way to use the opportunity. Many FinTech businesses specialize in a single feature of traditional banking to simplify the user experience. Many modern FinTech organizations also benefited from a younger digital audience that was just beginning to show interest in finances.
The future of FinTech may end up looking much different than the FinTech of today. Perhaps the future will show some promise in neglected areas, like currency conversion, analyzing financial history and making recommendations, or an expansion to international markets. Perhaps it will become a collection of banks using specialized FinTech services as apps that are a part of their service. Whatever the future holds, changes in FinTech will be a part of it.
“The history of modern FinTech is surprisingly new, but it is already providing value to anyone who wants to control their finances,” said Frere. “The FinTech market moment is here and we will have to decide if we are going to be part of it.”