What is fintech?

Definition of fintech

Fintech - or financial technology - is a term that describes products and companies that use new digital/online technology in the banking and financial services industries.

Although regularly used to describe startups and SMEs that provide disruptive financial-focused products or services to customers, “fintech” can also refer to a wider variety of business types including:

  • large technology companies that are active - but not necessarily exclusively so - in the financial sector
  • incumbent financial giants (such as major high street banks) that offer specific technology-driven solutions to customers
  • companies that provide the infrastructure to facilitate financial services transactions (such as Mastercard or NASDAQ)

The world’s fintech sector has grown dramatically over the past decade and now includes a wide variety of technological interventions into personal and commercial finance.

Some prominent examples of fintech companies include challenger banks (e.g. Starling and Monzo), cryptocurrencies such as BitCoin, online payment services (e.g. PayPal, Stripe) and, of course, cloud accounting software such as FreeAgent.

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