An important disclaimer, the information in this article is based on online research and should not be considered investment advice. Always ...
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Fintech news, trends, and updates

Subscribe to's fintech newsletter. The latest news about developments in technology as well as business. Catch up with the latest fintech trends.

According to a report by Research and Markets, the global fintech industry was valued at USD 5504.13 billion dollars. The sector is expected to grow by a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 23%[1]. CTO of Ant Group Xingjun Ni believes that because of the pandemic fintech solutions that would have taken time for mass adoption have become the norm. In an article for Fortune, he writes that the use of blockchain to build privacy-preserving fintech solutions and higher inclusion of digital finance will be the primary fintech trends in 2021[2].

Key sectors of fintech

Technology that is developed with the aim to improve, automate or digitize financial services is referred to as fintech. The term is used for solutions that are used by financial institutions in their back-end operations as well as for consumer-facing solutions. Below we explore 3 key sectors within fintech:

1. Digital payments

Transactions that are carried out online or via other digital channels are referred to as digital payments. There is no physical exchange of money in such transactions. A common misconception is that all digital payments take place online. However, these types of transactions can also take place at physical premises. For example, the use of a debit card at a store. Digital payments are expected to grow to USD 6.6 trillion in 2021, this is a 40% growth over a period of two years[3].

2. Digital Lending

Similar to payments when lending is processed via digital channels it is referred to as digital lending. Consumers apply for such loans via digital mediums. Lenders may also use fintech solutions to evaluate applications and make use of digital data while making decisions about the loan. Increasing use of smartphones and tablets has led to more people applying for loans either partially or fully online. The Asia-pacific region is expected to see the highest growth in the digital lending sector over the coming five years.

3. Digital Wealth Management

2020 saw one a major disruption to the US stock market by retail investors who made use of apps like Robinhood to drive up the price of GameStop. Though the situation was unique and has sparked much debate about how the stock market functions, it did highlight the growing number of users that are making use of digital platforms to engage with the investment market. Fintech solutions for digital wealth management are also being used by traditional financial advisors and institutions. AI is being used to make predictions on where to invest and machine learning helps advisors better understand historical data.

See also: Stonks! The full story of GameStop, Reddit, Wall Street & Robinhood 

Fintech trends & technologies for 2021

Below are three technologies that are expected to have a significant impact on the financial sector in the coming year.

Artificial intelligence in fintech

When you think of finance you think of numbers. Data and numbers are crucial to the financial sector. Artificial intelligence can be used by financial services firms to crunch data more effectively and at a lower cost. This allows them to make data-driven decisions. Many insurance providers and financial advisors have embraced the use of AI for better decision-making. AI can also play a role in customer support as well the detection of fraud through changes in consumer behavior.

Blockchain and the future of fintech

Most people associate blockchain with cryptocurrencies. This is a gross underestimation of the capability of the technology. At its core, blockchain is a decentralized and distributed ledger. The financial sector has recognized the potential for blockchain technology to be used for creating privacy-preserving, reliable financial solutions. The technology can be used to create digital contracts, process payments as well as secure digital identities. Blockchain may also be used to drastically change how we buy and sell stocks and shares online.

Biometrics for increased fintech security

Biometric authentication can be used to secure consumer data and finances. Most people have become used to biometric authentication for their smart devices. Most phones today have fingerprint scanners or can be unlocked via voice or facial recognition. This technology is increasingly being embraced by fintech platforms in order to authenticate individuals trying to use fintech solutions. A common example is the use of fingerprints to authenticate online payments.
Finance plays such an important role in our way of life. It is an exciting time for the fintech sector with increased adoption of solutions and new technologies being developed at a fast pace. Subscribe to our fintech newsletter to keep up with this rapidly evolving industry.

1. Dec 2020, Global Fintech Market, Research and Markets [available online] available from: [accessed Mar 2020]

2. Ni X. Mar 21, 'What to expect from the fintech industry in 2021', Fortune [available online] available from: [accessed Mar 2021]

3. Feb 21, 'Digital Payments to Hit $6.6 Trillion in 2021, a 40% Jump in Two Years' CPA Practice Advisor [available online] available from: [accessed Mar 21]