Financial technology (fintech) are new technologies leveraging the strength of artificial intelligence (AI), particularly machine learning, supervised learning and deep learning, as well as blockchain technology to disrupt traditional banking and financial sectors, while promising better value and convenience to consumers. Rapid advancement in computing power has directly led to innovations in fintech. Fintech aims to compete with traditional financial methods in the delivery of financial services. In particular blockchain databases have the potential to reduce the cost of transacting in a financial system. Financial technology companies consist of both startups and established financial and technology companies trying to replace or enhance the usage of financial services of incumbent companies.
Fields deeply tied to fintech include cryptocurrency, mobile payment and peer-to-peer lending. A cryptocurrency is a digital asset designed to work as a medium of exchange using cryptography to secure the transactions and to control the creation of additional units of the currency. Cryptocurrencies are classified as a subset of digital currencies and are also classified as a subset of alternative currencies and virtual currencies. Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Dash, DigitalNote, Dogecoin and Litecoin are currently the major players in the cryptocurrency market. Their prices are soaring as consumers and governments gradually realize the inevitable global paradigm shift to embrace cryptocurrencies which are more secure thanks to blockchain technology.
Mobile payment is another territory in which many tech companies are fighting fiercely. Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, Google Wallet are leading the charge whereas WeChat and Alipay are strong in China and Southeast Asia.
Peer-to-peer lending is a new method of debt financing that allows people to borrow and lend money without a financial institution. Harnessing technology and big data, P2P platforms connect borrowers to investors faster and cheaper than any bank. Market leaders include Lending Club, Prosper, Upstart and Funding Circle.