Finance and Technology used to be two different worlds. But since the computer and internet revolution, they have merged into one whole some refer to as FinTech. For some of us, it’s difficult to imagine the world in any other way. But the banks, brokers, insurers, and other financial firms were actually technology laggards. Now, competition is so fierce one can go to sites like greedyrates.ca and compare rates for credit cards. You can go to DiscountCurrencyTransfers.com and get the best possible FX rates when sending or receiving foreign currency. Money Lion literally pays you $10 to try out their services.
Literally, finance IS technology. And there’s no turning back. Companies are investing in research and development heavily. JP Morgan (JPM) spent $11 Billion on technology last year. $11 Billion with a B. They are even investing in Blockchain:
For several years blockchain has been at the forefront of technologists’ minds. But could it also change the way we interact beyond payments?
"We're actively exploring applications of blockchain technology across all of our lines of business," says Feinsmith. "We believe blockchain technology can be a game changer in terms of process optimization, improved client experience, and the creation of new revenue streams."
Another trend that’s changing finance is mobile banking. It’s possible to open up your phone and open an account without the need of nearly anything else. Deposit checks with your phone’s camera. Scan utility bills with your phone’s camera. Take selfies holding your ID to prove it’s you. All of this with a mobile phone that you can also use for making phone calls, social media, or bubble level for construction (and thousands of other things). Phones have become the all in one devices. Some say that’s a bad thing, and they cause cancer. Maybe, but the trend is growing stronger by the day. Who is leading the pack in this sector? According to one source, it’s being led by Money Lion and Chime banks:
Mobile banking platform MoneyLion has raised a $100 million Series C funding round. The amount is more than double the $42 million raised in a Series B just 18 months ago. MoneyLion would not go on the record about its valuation, but sources claim it’s “near unicorn status.” MoneyLion has now raised a total of $227.5 million since its inception in 2013. Investors in the latest round included a combination of strategic investors—Capital One and MetaBank —and existing financial investors Edison Partners, Greenspring Associates, and FinTech Collective. But MoneyLion is only one alternative, there is also ChimeBank, which isn't publicly traded yet, but according to Pitchbook.com the valuation is $1.5 Billion making it a Unicorn, which soon will be popular on Pre IPO Markets. Here's a little more about Chime bank: Chime is one of several fintech banks that are rapidly disrupting the industry and challenging the long-standing domination of traditional banks. As regulators become increasingly comfortable with applications from financial technology startups offering consumers overdraft protection, direct deposit services and savings accounts, we are beginning to see their corresponding growth – and domination – in the banking sector. In 2017, Chime in fact lead the U.S. Challenger Banking Category, reaching 750,000 bank accounts and helping members save $72 million accumulatively.
Crediblock is actively watching FinTech unfold, as well we are developing our own niche markets and disrupting traditional ones.
What is for sure is that the world is changing faster every day, and it’s exciting to watch the evolution of money and markets.