A flurry of large M&A deals and the popularity of contactless payments have helped to create a record volume of fintech deals, according to a recent report, but also raised fears that the market may be overcrowded and reaching peak status.
The report, publshed by Dealogic, shows that the value of fintech deals has increased four-fold in comparison to 2018 although the number of transactions has remained largely the same.
So far this year there have been 87 deals worth $116.6 billion, compared to 89 deals worth $31.8 billion at the same point in 2018.
A key contributor has been three large acquisitions of fintechs in the US made this year - Fidelity's $43.3 billion purchase of Worldpay in March, Fiserv's takeover of First Data in January $39.4 billion and Global Payment's $26.2 billion acquisition of Total System Services in May.
Dealogic associate Chisa Tanaka also credited the growth in consumer demand for new payment services as a driver of fintech transactions. “Clearly, technological innovation is causing intensifying consolidation in the electronic payment services market, while the acquisition of data on customer’s purchasing and behavior trends further drives fintech acquisitions,” she wrote.
The US led the way in terms of the msot valuable deals, followed by France and the UK, and Tanaka anticipates a similar volume of transactions in the latter half of the year.
“The second half of 2019 will likely bring further market consolidation to boost costumer data retention and provide clarity on the financial ability of the different players,” she wrote.
However, as encouraging as the findings may be for the fintech market, there is a concern in some quarters that the fintech market is approaching peak status.
In an interview with news website Quartz, the founder of payments startup Curve, Shachar Bialick said that the market is close to its peak with over 10,000 fintechs globally. "I don’t know over 90% of them. And when we present the unbundled market of fintech to shareholders and our team, we just pick the leading ones. They likely will continue, and the rest will either die—and we are seeing some going out of business—or they will be bought," he said.