Forecasting FinTech in 2021: A Movement Matures
A lot has changed in the world lately, and a lot is changing in the world of FinTech as well.
Airfox, along with a growing force of like-minded innovators, endeavors to pioneer the future of financial services and facilitate greater financial inclusion. We are the embodiment of FinTech. We act on our mission by leveraging technology to break down traditional barriers with modern solutions:
- Where traditional branch banking is increasingly expensive and inconvenient to low-income and rural neighborhoods, we supply branchless banking and make money accessible through an easy-to-use mobile app and convenient physical retail locations.
- Where traditional credit scores exclude people who don’t have complete financial histories and deny worthy applicants as too risky and expensive for lending, we plan to employ machine learning and data science to generate more equitable and inclusive creditworthiness calculations.
- Where people are left out, we find a way to let them in.
There’s tremendous business opportunity in serving overlooked and under-appreciated consumer populations, and tremendous business opportunity in using new technology to reinvent antiquated practices.
And at the dawn of 2021, it’s looking like a lot of other people agree with us. Even beyond Airfox’s own incredible pace of progress, the FinTech movement is maturing before our eyes — and the evidence is everywhere.
Research points to potential
Intergovernmental organizations (IGOs) such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have begun publicly acknowledging the transformation underway. In fact, the IMF recently published research on modern financial intermediation and technology, highlighting “two areas of financial innovation. One is information: new tools to collect and analyze data on customers, for example for determining creditworthiness. Another is communication: new approaches to customer relationships and the distribution of financial products.”
The researchers also stated that “FinTech’s potential to reach out to over a billion unbanked people around the world, and the changes in the financial system structure that this can induce, can be revolutionary.”
Fintech is worth the investment
This new understanding isn’t confined to the realms of academic theory and policy analysis. International governments and traditional banks are embracing FinTech. And on the startup investment front in the US, according to TechCrunch, “FinTech undergirded the unicorn boom that closed out 2020. This isn’t to say that FinTech was responsible for all the new unicorns we saw; it wasn’t. But the startup category’s 2020 data provides a delightful window into how we are managing to generate so much late-stage startup value. Per PitchBook’s Q4 dive, U.S. FinTech startups managed to raise $20.5 billion in 2020, a record.”
Old giants embrace new approach
Even the old-guard of industry is jumping on the FinTech bandwagon. Retail giant Walmart, the world’s largest company by revenue, recently announced a partnership with Silicon Valley’s Ribbit Capital to launch a new FinTech startup that will “bring together Walmart’s retail knowledge and scale with Ribbit’s fintech expertise to deliver tech-driven financial experiences.”
While no further details have yet been made publicly available, we can’t help but notice some similarity with the story of Brazilian retail giant Via Varejo and a scrappy FinTech startup…called Airfox.
Let’s see what more 2021 will have in store for the future of FinTech and along with that, the Airfox team!