If you live in the world, you’ve read the term fintech about a hundred times this week. By now everyone’s figured it out – FINancial TECHnology. It’s Venmo, Bitcoin and that handy feature on your banking app that lets you pay your ConEd bill from your phone.
There’s a good chance you already know a lot about how technology is shaking up the financial services industry, too. What you might not realize, however, is that financial technology isn’t new. Sure, we only just started paying our friends back on Venmo and considering the endless uses of blockchain, but financial technology has been around for at least a few decades – or if you really want to stretch it, since the invention of the pantelegraph in 1865.
But forget the 19th century – let’s go back just 30 years. Maybe you’ve heard of the Bloomberg Terminal? Bloomberg was founded in 1982, followed closely by Murex in 1986. PayPal has allowed us to transfer money since 1998, and Backstop’s SaaS solutions have enabled managers to store investment data in the cloud since 2003.
So if we’ve had it all this time, why are we suddenly talking so much about fintech?