Content Manager
October 1, 2019

Fintech for beginners

Everything you ever needed to know (but were afraid to ask) about fintech, by Chip’s blogger in residence Sheridan.

We’re all friends here, so let’s get real for a moment.  

How often have you found yourself betwixt a conversation you know absolutely nothing about, paralyzed and too embarrassed to ask for clarification? We’re going to assume there are a lot of virtually raised hands and silent confessions.  

The situation is generally followed by an attempt to conceal any expression that may indicate you have no idea what your interlocutor is talking about, nodding in agreement at timed intervals before faking a bathroom emergency, using this time to desperately ask Siri to debrief you.  

For many, [Brexit] fintech may well be the buzzword that sends you into this downward spiral of confusion, but rest assured, we have your back.  

Let’s talk definitions

We’ll start by clarifying fintech, to my disappointment, is in no way related to shark fin technology.

Put simply, fintech is a portmanteau of the words finance and technology; an industry alliance that can only be described as an iconic power couple.  

‘Yeah, yeah, yeah, but what does fintech mean?’,  we hear you say.

Let’s dust off the old Merriam-Webster dictionary (correction, Google), shall we?

Computer programs and other technology used to support or enable banking and financial services.

Examples of fintech-oriented companies include a few small businesses, you may have heard of them: Paypal, WorldPay, TransferWise, Monzo. Sound familiar?  

The industry hybrid encompasses both business-to-business (like blockchain), peer-to-peer (companies like Splitwise), start-ups (like Chip!) and established tech and finance companies integrating the other into their business, like banking apps.  

In 2019, fintech is ubiquitous. Mobile payment, mobile transfer, crowdfunding and heated arguments about bitcoin have infiltrated our daily routine and we’re not turning back.

As we continue to innovate and develop new technology to satisfy the burning consumer desire for immediacy and convenience, the fintech industry is, in so many words, so hot right now.


Once upon a time, books were cutting edge tech too…

60 second history lesson  

Retrospectively, the finance and technology industry gave birth to fintech 1.0 in the 1800s. Motivated by financial globalisation, this era encapsulated the first transatlantic cable, all the way through to the introduction of the credit card in the 1950s.  

Fintech 1.0 then rolled over to 2.0 in 1967 with the shift from analog to digital. Fintech 2.0 saw the introduction of the handheld calculator, the first digital stock exchange, first ATM and subsequently the conception of online banking and digitisation of finances with the arrival of the Internet.  

The fintech we know and love today came after the Global Financial Crisis in 2008, characterised by the likes of Apple Pay, Artificial Intelligence, Bitcoin, Cryptocurrency and Augmented Reality.

Smartphones have revolutionised the way we interacted with our money, allowing us to send and receive funds instantaneously and seamlessly, making way for hundreds of new applications and business ideas.

As one of the biggest disruptors in modern times, the fintech sector in the UK alone generate revenue of £6.6bn per year, home to more billion-dollar startups than anywhere else in Europe.

The Future

*Cue the laser beams and robots*

Fintech is rewriting the finance ecosystem at lighting speed.  

With technology at the forefront of modern economy, fintech is transforming the traditionally grey stereotype attached to finances into one of colour, and empowering consumers through democratic innovation.  

With no sign of slowing, the number of UK fintech firms are expected to more than double from 1600 by 20303.

82% of incumbents are predicted to increase fintech partnerships in the next few years, making fintech startups a hot commodity to investors.  

Fintech and Chip: A Love Story

A bit of a polygamous love story at that. Our savvy little app utilises multiple byproducts of fintech such as automation, AI and Open Banking to help us create an easy way to put money aside without lifting a finger.

Open Banking, as explained by Martin Lewis, means all UK-regulated banks have to let you share your financial data such as your spending habits, regular payments and companies you use with authorised providers - like us. By accessing your transaction history, we harness AI technology to calculate exactly how much you can afford to save every four days and process it automatically.

As technology continues to evolve at an unprecedented rate, Chip and the fintech industry are constantly challenging the conventional and redefining the traditional bilateral relationship between finance and technology.5  

To be the first to hear of the latest developments in the Chip app and fintech technology, be sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.  

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