The arrival of the age of fintech is about to shake up the financial services world as we know it.
Traditional powerhouses are already trying to figure out ways to co-exist with startups that are disrupting aging models. Look no further than the rise of mobile and digital banking and the declining relevance of brick-and-mortar banks, particularly among millennials, for evidence of that fact.
But it’s not just banks that are trying to conquer the fintech space.
Amazon is about to try its hand in this market, as the e-commerce giant’s head of payments, Patrick Gauthier, recently announced that the company is considering making some fintech acquisitions as valuations in the space start to decline and fintech becomes a more affordable investment.
This would be a logical progression for Amazon, which already has a significant and active user base. Amazon has been experiencing increased growth tied to payments, as its payments unit has 23 million active users and has recorded 200% year-over-year growth in merchants adding the “Pay with Amazon” buy button to their online stores.
There is also precedent for Amazon to make such a move. Chinese e-commerce giant Alipay has more than 450 million monthly active users and has more than 50% of the online payments market in China. So Amazon could be on the path to building up a similar type of momentum with its own customers.
Fintech acquisitions would also make Amazon more competitive with other checkout services such as Apple Pay and Visa Checkout. This could be crucial in the next few years, as BI Intelligence, Business Insider’s premium research service, forecasts that mobile commerce will make up 45% of all U.S. e-commerce retail sales by 2020.
As we watch Amazon’s plan unfold, it’s clear that no firm will be immune from the coming disruption and every company must have a strategy to harness the powerful advantages of the new fintech revolution.
The battle already underway will create surprising winners and stunned losers among some of the most powerful names in the financial world: The most contentious conflicts (and partnerships) will be between startups that are completely reengineering decades-old practices, traditional power players who are furiously trying to adapt with their own innovations, and total disruption of established technology & processes:
Traditional Retail Banks vs. Online-Only Banks: Traditional retail banks provide a valuable service, but online-only banks can offer many of the same services with higher rates and lower fees
Traditional Lenders vs. Peer-to-Peer Marketplaces: P2P lending marketplaces are growing much faster than traditional lenders—only time will tell if the banks strategy of creating their own small loan networks will be successful
Traditional Asset Managers vs. Robo-Advisors: Robo-advisors like Betterment offer lower fees, lower minimums and solid returns to investors, but the much larger traditional asset managers are creating their own robo-products while providing the kind of handholding that high net worth clients are willing to pay handsomely for.
As you can see, this very fluid environment is creating winners and losers before your eyes…and it’s also creating the potential for new cost savings or growth opportunities for both you and your company.
After months of researching and reporting this important trend, Evan Bakker, research analyst for BI Intelligence has put together an essential report on the fintech ecosystem that explains the new landscape, identifies the ripest areas for disruption, and highlights the some of the most exciting new companies. These new players have the potential to become the next Visa, Paypal or Charles Schwab because they have the potential to transform important areas of the financial services industry like:
Lending and Financing
Payments and Transfers
Wealth and Asset Management
Markets and Exchanges
If you work in any of these sectors, it’s important for you to understand how the fintech revolution will change your business and possibly even your career. And if you’re employed in any part of the digital economy, you’ll want to know how you can exploit these new technologies to make your employer more efficient, flexible and profitable.