What is fintech and does the answer really matter?
There's no simple answer
At FinTech Scotland we meet lots of fintech companies, fintech professionals and fintech enthusiasts. What's startling however is that none of them can agree on a definition of what fintech is.
It's hard to define as fintech is an umbrella term that sits on top of many things. It is however interesting to understand what people refer to when speaking about it.
David Goodbrand from law firm Burness Paull explains: "Whilst innovative technology in the financial services industry is nothing new, the phrase Fintech is increasingly being used to describe the innovative technologies and businesses that are transforming or disrupting the way in which financial services are delivered."
Depending on the context, Fintech can be used to describe the:
Technology – the wide range of technological innovation in the financial services market including apps, blockchain, platforms, open banking and robo advice.
Businesses – the businesses (start-ups and more established players) who are developing the innovative digital technologies, platforms and propositions.
Sector – the banks, technology businesses and other stakeholders who are developing, implementing and using digital technology and propositions.
What's a fintech company?
So let's focus on the business side of things. Ray Bugg from Digit differentiates 2 types of fintech companies:
These are organisations offering a financial service utilising technology. They embrace tech as part of their product offering.
These are the organisations providing technology solutions to the FS sector.
And so what?
Defining fintech is only interesting if it helps include and not exclude. This is why at FinTech Scotland we speak about the fintech eco-system. Universities, established FS brands, new start-ups, technology and service providers are all part of this community, helping innovation and disruption in financial services.
It doesn't really matter to us whether your company or organisation qualifies as fintech, we're interested in bringing together all those who want to form part of the fintech revolution.