The Fintech Revolution

THE ECONOMIST: Fintech has made inroads, but the incumbents still dominate day-to-day banking. For how long? THE VIEW FROM the 39th floor of One Canada Square, the pyramid-capped central tower of London’s Canary Wharf financial centre, is one most bankers would envy. There’s perhaps no bank more controversial than the investment firm Goldman Sachs, for its role in the financial crisis of 2008. So there’s probably some small irony in Goldman’s latest area of focus: financial startups. Over the past few years, Goldman has invested hundreds of millions of dollars in far-flung assortment of payments and alternative finance companies including Square, Bluefin Payments, Bill Trust, Revolution Money, as well as newly public OnDeckCapital, an Inc. 5000 company. It’s also ventured into digital money.

THE ECONOMIST: The fintech revolution: a wave of startups is changing finance—for the better. The magical combination of geeks in T-shirts and venture capital that has disrupted other industries has put financial services in its sights. From payments to wealth management, from peer-to-peer lending to crowdfunding, a new generation of startups is taking aim at the heart of the industry—and a pot of revenues that Goldman Sachs estimates is worth $4.7 trillion. Like other disrupters from Silicon Valley, “fintech” firms are growing fast.

Read also: Fintech Unicorn List: 36 Companies + 34 More Closing In