Fintech makes Investopedia top 10 new financial terms list

Fintech makes Investopedia top 10 new financial terms list

After another high-profile year for financial technology, the term 'fintech' has finally made its way onto investing education site Investopedia.

Despite a long history and a Wikipedia page, the portmanteau fintech is only now getting a dedicated Investopedia entry as one of 10 top new financial terms added to the site this year that "reflect investor interest and the key trends and news events over the last 12 months".

As the entry notes, the term fintech has seen its meaning change over the last few years from a narrow definition of bank backend technology to any tech innovation in financial services - from mobile payments to P2P lending to robo advisors to cryptocurrencies.

Global investment in financial technology tripled last year to hit $12.2 billion, according to a report from Accenture and the Partnership Fund for New York City. The sector has become so fashionable that cities around the world, such as London and New York, fighting to become global hubs.

Fintech startups such as Lending Club, Stripe and Square have entered the public consciousness as high-profile 'unicorns' - another word to make the Investopedia cut this year - worth billions of dollars. Technology giants such as Apple, Facebook and Google are exploring the fintech sphere, mainly through payments.

Meanwhile, established banks are straining to navigate the new digital era, which brings opportunities to make savings and profits but also a host of potential rivals. Many firms have set up innovation labs and incubators, while some, such as Santander, now have funds to invest in fintech startups.

Investopedia says that there are four broad categories of fintech users: B2B for banks; B2B for bank clients; business to client for small businesses; and business to client for consumers.

"Trends toward mobile banking, increased information, data and more accurate analytics and decentralization of access will create opportunities for all four groups to interact in heretofore unprecedented ways," says the entry.

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