The Latest Content
Here is a list of 11 women who have broken the bias surrounding females and risen to top positions in the industry. The list is in no way exhaustive because female leaders are pouring in from all over the world, making the fintech fraternity more credible and innovative with their brilliant contributions.
Starling is a digital-only bank based in the United Kingdom, founded by Anne Boden, a Welsh tech entrepreneur with a stellar history of leading financial giants like RBS and Allied Irish Bank. Starling Bank has become one of the best banks in the UK, with a customer base of more than 275,000 people. Anne Boden has been pivotal in raising over $70 million for the bank, which has resulted in massive success. She is an integral part of the fintech leader fraternity and has enormously contributed to shaping the future of fintech.
Nubank is one of the most renowned digital banks in the world. Cristine Junqueira is one of the founders of this revolutionary Brazilian bank. Cristina Junqueira is Brazil’s second self-made woman billionaire who has been instrumental in building Brazil’s presence on the fintech world map, for which she is also called the “Wonder Woman of F”.
Like all other countries, Brazil’s fintech landscape was male-dominated, making it impossible for women leaders to take the helm. However, Cristina Junqueira’s brilliant efforts have brought her much-deserved recognition for her contribution to the global fintech space.
Kathryn Petralia is one of the leading women in the tech space. Forbes list of “Most Powerful Women”, saw Kathryn Petralia’s name in 98th place. She is one of the founders of Kabbage Inc., a digital platform providing automated loans to small businesses and consumers. Kabbage has provided more than $5 billion worth of loans to SMEs. The company was taken over by the fintech giant American Express in 2020.
Lily Liu is one of the most renowned fintech leaders, who is currently the CEO of Piñata, the first and only company that has brought a gamified platform for rent-payers and landlords. Piñata rewards rent-payers for timely rent payments and offers customizable rent plans for landlords to streamline their rent channels. Being a tech entrepreneur, Lily Liu has a booming history of founding fintech startups.
The founder of Airwallex, Lucy Yueting Liu has been pivotal in the company’s expansion in China. Headquartered in Melbourne, Australia, Airwallex is a software-as-a-service provider providing foreign exchange rate insights to small and medium businesses and digital payment services. Lucy Yueting Liu’s stellar history in financial services has brought her much recognition.
FlexM’s Global Head of Compliance and Operations, Mehek Weldon, has been at the forefront of the company since 2020, taking the helm to navigate it to its success. She has recently been awarded the “Innovator of the Year” award by the International Compliance Association (ICA) held at the Oval, London, for her innovative brilliance in the compliance field of fintech. Mehek has been pivotal in maneuvering FlexM to reach greater heights and rapid expansion.
Headquartered in the USA, Affirm is one of the leading Buy Now, Pay Later organizations. Silvija Martincevic is the Chief Commercial Officer of this fintech giant. She has been instrumental in propelling the company’s success by managing the commercial, partnership, and marketing strategy side of the business. Silvija Martincevic has had a long and rich career in high-ranking positions in the financial services sector.
Fintech Circle is the first networking platform for fintech investors focused on angel investors that offers funding opportunities, advisory services, education, and a lot more. Susanne Chishti is the CEO of Fintech Circle, who has won several awards for best influencers, crypto experts, inspirational women, etc. She has co-edited “The FINTECH Book” a fintech bestseller, adding many similar feathers to her cap with her incredible contribution to the fintech industry.
Listed among the 30 under 30 of Forbes Asia, Val Yap is the founder of PolicyPal, a fintech based in Singapore offering insurance-related services. Founded in 2016, PolicyPal has earned massive seed money from angel investors. PolicyPal has also been a part of Singapore’s Monetary Authority’s sandbox, which allows companies to test their functionalities, services, KPIs, etc., in controlled but live environments. Val Yap is one of the most successful fintech entrepreneurs in recent years.
FlexM’s Vice-President of South East Asia based in Singapore, Valerie Pho, has been central to the growth of FlexM in the South East Asian market. Valerie holds immense expertise in several fields of fintech, like neo banks, digital wallets, e-payments, cross-border remittances, etc., for which she has been honored and recognized by international platforms. She has already won the ASEAN Fintech Women Leader award and recently received a nomination for the finalist for the “Director of the Year” category at the Asia Fintech Awards.
The power of women in fintech has taken full swing as startups founded and led by women have grown in number and achieved higher positions. Many obstacles hinder the growth of women-led startups even in a futuristic industry like fintech, however, as we inch towards a more competitive landscape, it opens doors for more collaborations and participation, open spaces for innovation, and diverse ideas.
The fintech industry has proven to set a spectacular example of industrial revolution and advancements. The industry is relatively new in the global economy, implying that it is still in its infancy and has a vast potential for progress. Other than the key developments that have taken place in the last few years, various insights have surfaced vis-à-vis gender disparity in the fintech fraternity.
Gender gaps have been a cause of concern in many areas of life. Fintech seems to be following the global trend of gender disparity which is prevalent in many other industries. Male domination in the fintech industry is because of reasons that have prevailed for many years. However, because fintech is in its developmental stage, there is immense scope for nipping the problem in the bud and bridging the opportunity gap between different genders.
Females in Fintech
Female associations and participation in the fintech industry have seen remarkable growth in recent years. In 2010, for every 96 men in the founding teams of fintech, there were only 4 women. In 2020, the percentage increased to almost 30%. However, the number of female founders and leaders remains low even today. The percentage of women leaders in the fintech industry is around 10%, of which 6% are CEOs, and the rest include founders, CIOs, CTOs, etc.
Apart from leadership, the female percentage at the employee and workforce level in the fintech industry is only 30%, implying that other than representation, the mass is also prevalently male-dominated.
The fintech user fraternity tells a similar story. Because of various reasons behind the gender pay gap that is globally prevalent, women have a lower possibility of getting loans and credit. Within the unbanked and underbanked sector, the female gender holds the majority of being cut off and dissatisfied with financial services.
The female leadership progression is gradually surfacing alongside fintech’s growth. A study by IMF has revealed that big fintech firms, with a large workforce, have more women representation at a higher level than smaller companies. The same study also states that women-founded firms receive lower funding than male-founded companies. Countries in the West, Europe, and Asia report a higher percentage of female fintech leaders than African countries and the Middle-east.
Barriers for Women in Fintech
There is a wide gap between female and male dominance and participation in the fintech industry. Although the gap is gradually lessening with time, however, it is essential to analyze the reasons that bar women from reaching the top in futuristic industries like fintech. Some of the barriers are:
Low Digital Literacy
The female population has lower digital literacy than its counterparts because of reasons such as lower level and quality of education and unemployment.
Women-founded companies receive less funding compared to firms founded by men. The stigma involving women’s leadership plays a substantial role in influencing this subconscious bias in investors.
The percentage of female leaders in the industry is remarkably low, suggesting a lesser representation at the top levels contributing to lower support and aid for females who would otherwise be leading and founding fintech firms.
Social Responsibilities and Biases
An unnecessary bias overpowers decisions associated with women wrecking the support needed for growth. Apart from the bias women have been deemed prime caregivers by societal obligations, which hinders their potential growth and success.
Reasons for Promoting Female Leadership
Diversity has proven beneficial for making informed and better decisions. Gender diversity helps in promoting better decision-making, problem-solving, and enhanced performance, and it also opens doors for innovation and idea generation. Women have been the underserved and under supported section of society, which gives them the leverage to understand the unmet needs and the underserved segment. Women leaders with years of experience bring expertise and knowledge and prompt idea generation. Female leaders who are new to the industry bring fresh perspectives to old problems, making them an integral part of the industry.
The factors adding to the gender gap in leadership and participation in the fintech industry are constantly hindering the growth of women. People from all walks of life can take steps to bridge the gender gap and make the fintech industry more inclusive and powerful. The leadership in fintech companies can play a pivotal role in promoting women and an inclusive environment. Investors can choose to promote women founders by offering more opportunities and funding to female entrepreneurs.
One of the most essential steps in the progression of female leadership is networking and creating women-centric platforms and communities that help females collaborate and network. Women leaders, too, can help pave the way for new female leaders by offering mentorship. Hiring more women in the workforce would create a balanced environment that leaves no space for biases and allows peaceful coexistence of work and personal life. Ending the gender disparity would tremendously help in making the fintech industry more holistic, powerful, and inclusive.
Financial technology is spreading its roots across the globe in different economic segments. Fintech has picked up a tremendous pace and is now snowballing with rapid intensity. The traditional financial industry comprises many subdivisions, like banking, payments, remittances, crowdfunding, investments, and many more. Its digitalized counterpart is rapidly catching up with all its augmentations.
One of the most promising segments of fintech is wealth management. Digital solutions for traditional and digital wealth management have picked up steam, in recent years. One of the wealth management services provided by companies nowadays is Robo advisory. Robo advisors are a fancy accession to traditional financial advisory services.
What are Robo Advisors?
Robo advisors are digital agents and platforms providing financial advisory services for investments. The advisory services are automated and based on algorithms that process information in real-time, to provide financial planning and asset management advisory services to users.
The Robo advisory industry started almost a decade back with basic automation that helped people with financial asset management. Today, the industry has grown immensely and has already helped manage funds worth more than a trillion dollars.
How does Robo Advisory Work?
The automated advisory services are algorithm-based processes, feeding on information provided by the user and its resources. For availing of Robo advisory services, users first need to register and sign up on a platform that offers such services. For signing up, the user must feed in information about their investment portfolio, short and long-term goals, etc.
Once the user has signed up, the Robo Advisor starts processing information provided by the user to organize it into different categories. The platforms offering Robo Advisory services have several resources feeding them information about current trends, the news, and other factors influencing wealth management decisions.
Robo advisors earn through the fees paid by users. Apart from the fee, the advisory functions also earn through marketing, the interest earned on investments, etc. Such earning streams make them lucrative service offerings for companies.
Benefits of Robo Advisors
Robo advisory services have helped transform the wealth management industry. Investors have found an efficient way to attain knowledge and information about investments which has helped them understand financial markets and management at a deeper level. Some of the advantages of Robo advisors are:
Robo advisors cost lesser than traditional advisors. Human advisory services have been a part of the system for many years, which has given them critical leverage in helping investors. Robo advisors have proven to be a cheaper alternative to traditional advisory because of the differences in investment.
Robo advisors have also proven more effective and efficient than traditional advisors because of their upfront services, non-influence of external factors, etc.
Robo advisory services have no biases because they automatically process information by algorithms and the information fed to them. No human bias influences the decision-making process from the Robo advisor’s side.
Unlike human advisors, Robo advisors are based on the internet, making them easily accessible. Such accessibility allows longer windows and more convenience for users to avail of their services.
Robo advisory services provide immense customization and scalability to users. Such attributes render it more user-friendly.
Constraints in Robo Advisory
Although Robo advisory services are a futuristic concept that is revolutionizing the wealth management industry however, it has some limitations because it is still lingering in its developmental phase.
Robo advisory is not standardized across all platforms, countries, and companies. Such technological limitations make it difficult for users to make choices, leading to mistrust in the industry.
Unlike human interactions, Robo advisors follow a step-by-step system, which makes it difficult for users with large investment portfolios to explore them.
Robo advisory started more than a decade back, and the services have finally become quite popular in recent years because of the financial knowledge, wealth management tips, and advice they offer. With the growth of fintech, several accessions within fintech have stumbled upon a new mountain of opportunities. People are now getting accustomed to technological advancements, empowering more trust in technology.
Employing a robo advisor is an important decision for an investor. Even though there have been many developments, people are still not comfortable with entrusting their personal and financial information with technology, like Robo advisors. An investor should spend time exploring the benefits, risks, motivations, etc., before making an affirmative decision.
Wealth management is one of the most important streams in the financial sector. Leveraging technological capabilities to systematize the decision-making process is proving beneficial. The road for Robo advisors remains an ongoing learning process that promises the best use of technology.
Financial technology has become the cornerstone of global development, steadily supplementing technological advances in several fields and industries. The automobile industry has been in a long queue awaiting its merger with the fintech industry. Auto fintech is still a novel augmentation that is steadily getting conceptualized to become a futuristic technology. Some remarkable advances in auto fintech are gradually modernizing simple activities in the automobile industry, like payments or insurance.
The amalgamation of the automobile industry with fintech is the accession of several key developments that have taken place in both industries; the key one being the Internet of Things (IoT). The introduction of IoT platforms has facilitated free-flowing communication between smart devices connected to the internet. The IoT sector individually penetrated the fintech and automobile industries, where it made its niche market.
IoT in fintech enabled people to make payments and conduct other financial activities using devices such as smartwatches. And IoT in the automotive industry facilitated navigation, monitoring traffic, etc. The auto fintech industry comprises the best of both worlds.
The global automotive industry is valued at more than 2.8 trillion dollars, making it one of the most lucrative industries. The fintech industry is estimated to cross $700 billion by 2030. The figures suggest that both these industries are powerful and lucrative.
Factors Influencing the Growth of Auto Fintech
The growth of auto fintech is almost customary owing to the importance both these industries hold in the world economy. Auto fintech bridges gaps between the mundane processes involved in the automobile industry to bring efficiency and convenience. Several factors have contributed to the growth of the auto fintech industry, such as:
Increasing Production of Vehicles
The manufacturing and distribution of automobiles have been on the rise in recent years. With the growing population, it is almost inevitable that the automobile industry should gain traction. Because of the increasing production globally, the gradual and strategic percolation of fintech has caused revolutionary advancements. Several steps in automobile manufacturing and distribution are now facilitated with technology.
The Online Shopping Trend
The internet has become one of the most necessary media for data transfer, communication, etc. Several companies nowadays only have a digital presence, reaffirming the importance of the internet. The mass majority well-acquainted with the internet is steadily becoming more inclined to conduct their business, shopping, etc., online. Shopping for cars, motorbikes, cycles, electronic vehicles, etc., is rapidly gaining popularity. Such inclination and changes in the habits of consumers have compelled the intermingling of fintech with the automobile industry.
With most industries trying to enhance their digital presence, there is an evident change in the expectations of consumers, their habits, and their behaviors. Consumer experience is pivotal in shaping the future of companies and industries. Auto fintech provides an improved consumer experience. The increased focus on customer satisfaction is one of the prime factors promoting auto fintech.
Electric vehicles are gaining popularity because of numerous reasons, like climate change. The advent of fintech in the automobile industry has caused a shift in consumers’ perceptions. Electric vehicles that provide no added features or technological advancements are receiving criticism.
The technological developments occurring globally across the globe have found an unstoppable rhythm. Advanced technology facilitates convenience, comfort, and added benefits, like fraud prevention. Online payments, GPS tracking, etc., also make room for fraud prevention, thus, increasing the demand for auto fintech.
Auto Fintech Trends
The auto fintech industry is still in its infancy. Several companies are conducting research and trials to identify areas that have the potential to become the next big thing. Some of the trends that have already picked pace are:
Online payments form the core of fintech. Online payment portals have been employed heavily across all the steps involved in the automobile industry, like production, procurement of material, distribution by OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers), insurance purchases, etc.
Rental and Sharing
Car rentals and sharing are gaining traction because of the prevailing inflation. Auto fintech is gaining popularity in the rental and sharing business as most of these rental services are offered through online applications.
Parking, Tolls, and Gas
Many car manufacturers have included automated payments in the car systems that allow consumers to pay for gas, parking, tolls, etc., automatically when prompted.
Blockchain technology has already become one of the most popular fintech technologies used by big companies, like Toyota, BMW, Porsche, etc.
The Bottom Line
Auto fintech is an exciting industry that is becoming popular among businesses and consumers. Apart from convenience, auto fintech facilitates the steps involved in the automobile industry, like purchases, insurance, distribution, etc. The auto fintech industry is still in its initial development phase, implying a bright future for futuristic car technologies.
Lending is one of the oldest and most important financial and trade services provided by banks and financial institutions, playing a crucial role in the economy. Keeping a balance between lending and a well-sustained, smooth-running economy is critical to the functioning of the economy. The financial crisis of 2008 got severely aggravated by the disbalance between home loans and cash withdrawals. Therefore lending, more importantly, balanced lending, plays a critical role in the economy.
What is P2P?
Peer-to-peer lending, also known as social lending or crowdlending, is the practice of borrowing and lending money between individuals without the involvement of banks or financial institutions. P2P platforms involve three parties, the borrowers, the lenders, and the intermediaries that provide the services. The intermediaries involved in P2P channels are not formal financial institutions but businesses that create a platform to keep money flowing between potential borrowers and lenders.
The P2P market share has grown exponentially in recent years. The P2P market is expected to grow at a CAGR of almost 30% by 2027 and is expected to exceed $700 billion by 2030.
The increased adoption of fintech globally is responsible for the astronomical increase in P2P lending.
How P2P Works
In P2P, all three parties need not interact simultaneously. The platform provided by the intermediary allows both borrowers and lenders to register by providing their personal information. Then the personal information provided by both parties is verified against their official documents by the service provider. Once the personal details are verified, the platform automatically connects lenders and borrowers according to its preset algorithms.
Before proceeding with the transaction, the lender and borrower individually are required to accept the interest rates and fees involved in the process. The lender and borrower are required to pay a certain percentage of the loan amount to the service provider as fees, and the borrower is additionally required to accept the interest rate pre-fixed for the loan amount.
The transaction is finally complete after the borrower has repaid the loan, along with the fixed interest rate, and both the borrower and lender have paid their fees to the service provider. In P2P, because there is no involvement of official parties like banks and financial institutions, the interest rates and fees are considerably lower than otherwise. The low fees and interest rates incentivize borrowers and lenders to participate in P2P lending.
Benefits of P2P Lending
There are several benefits associated with P2P lending, because of which its popularity has increased so enormously. All three parties benefit from the platform. The service provider earns through the fees paid by the borrowers and lenders, and the remaining two parties individually benefit from the simple services.
- In P2P lending, borrowers get the opportunity to get lower interest rates on their loan amount, which can help them save and repay much faster.
- P2P loans are alternative options for borrowers, where they can get easier access and more flexible options, compared to traditional loans.
- P2P loans offer better flexibility concerning interest rates, moratorium periods, unsecured loans, etc.
- Unlike traditional loans, borrowers are less bothered about their credit scores in P2P platforms because of their non-involvement with formal channels like banks and financial institutions.
- The process involved in P2P loans is much simpler and quicker compared to traditional channels.
- Investors lending through P2P platforms can get higher returns on the loan amount compared to other investment options.
- The platforms are easy to navigate through and register. They also provide opportunities for lenders to choose if they want to proceed with the transaction based on the borrower’s profile.
- P2P lending also allows lenders to diversify their risk potential across different loans, as the capital amount of the lender can be divided into separate loans availed by more than one borrower.
Drawbacks of P2P Platforms
Although P2P services have gained immense popularity, a few risks and disadvantages are involved in this type of lending.
- P2P lending platforms require mandatory credit checks on borrowers and lenders to make the platform more secure. Credit checks can filter out people with low credit scores and poor credit history.
- To avail of P2P services, both lenders and borrowers must pay fees to the service provider.
- P2P platforms are a very recent novelty in the lending industry. Their applicability depends on the availability of these services and the legislation surrounding them in different countries.
- P2P lending does not guarantee returns, which implies higher credit risk for potential lenders, as the people availing alternative lending channels are likely to have low credit scores.
What Does the Future Hold for P2P?
P2P lending is a disruptive augmentation of the fintech world, gradually overtaking a considerable share of the traditional lending channels. The technological developments emerging in the fintech world, are rapidly changing how financial services are provided and availed. Alternative lending options, such as P2P and BNPL (Buy Now, Pay Later), are aggressively advancing toward mainstream lending channels. The P2P lending market is steadily gaining more credibility with established and popular companies joining the battalion. P2P lending is only a scratch on the surface, implying an enormous potential for disruption and growth.
The fintech industry started as a single-product sector with the advent of ATMs (Automated Teller Machines). It then grew to include more products and services like credit cards from Visa and MasterCard. The industry’s development has been dramatic over the last few years, especially post Covid-19.
Fintech’s growth curve has always witnessed an upward trend. Before the pandemic, online payment, e-wallets, data storage, and many such platforms had already surfaced and caught the attention of a large audience. However, the pace of development before the pandemic felt average, like any other industry.
The growth of fintech post-pandemic has seen many radical advancements, most of which have occurred in the shortest time. According to one report, the five-year development of the fintech industry in the USA occurred in about eight weeks, suggesting that the propulsion of fintech’s success has been immense.
The Pandemic Effect
Covid-19 brought the entire world to a standstill. The uncertainties born out of the pandemic were unimaginable, with several countries responding with nationwide lockdowns. With slumped economies, the rate of unemployment grew exponentially. Mandatory social distancing combined with lockdowns wrecked the consolidated economies even further.
Covid-19 drove the usage and reliance on the internet. Most industries strategize to augment products, services, and platforms to benefit from the reach of the internet. Online education, doctor consultations, contact-free home deliveries, and even online banking became our saving graces. Companies embraced remote working setups and augmentations that could help them sustain the pressure. Travel restrictions also caused colossal damage to the economies and businesses directly and indirectly linked with them.
The fintech industry faced unforeseen impacts with restricted investments, slower growth prospects, and cut-off beyond national borders. However, because of its connectivity, many doors of opportunity opened for the fintech industry to support and drive the global economy.
The Opportunities in Innovation
The thwarted pace of the economies resulted in many dynamic changes that cropped up very suddenly, like remote working setups. The fintech industry was soon set on the path to recovery, which made way for innovations and newer products that would cater to the post-pandemic world.
E-Payments and E-Wallets
The fintech industry’s major segments e-payments and e-wallets have been rendered the most rewarding segments for both the companies and their customers. Social distancing and lockdowns incapacitated businesses and consumers from purchasing and delivering products and services. Online payments became the sole survivor during the pandemic by allowing consumers to make payments without being present in person. The benefits of digital transfers and payments grew manifold because of the restrictions. As digital payment services gained traction, they opened the doors for several other augmentations like e-wallets and virtual cards. People grew into the habit of going cashless with online payments, supplemented by QR Codes, payment links, UPIs (Universal Payment Interfaces), etc. After cashless, the next in line for growing popularity came cardless transactions. Virtual card providers grew in numbers and value, which prompted the use of e-wallets even further.
The pandemic brought fintech’s special attention to the unbanked and underbanked section. The opportunities for innovation to bring financial inclusion to the masses that remain unbanked and underbanked for various reasons, increased.
The gig economy never came under the limelight because of mainstream jobs and professions. During the pandemic, the focus on gig workers increased, especially, due to the introduction of mandatory remote working. The fintech opportunities in the gig economy started taking shape with fintechs stepping in to solve issues such as secure payment channels, online banking, etc.
The Internet of Things became one of the most demanded augmentations of fintech, where people used smart devices such as smartwatches to transact and bank. Fintech’s adaptability has enabled it to find a very diverse spectrum of ideas and innovations, like IoT.
One of the most rewarding fintech sectors was the lending sector. With most businesses coming to a standstill and people getting laid off from employment, Covid-19 brought a downwards spiral compelling people to borrow money to sustain themselves and their families. The lending business became the hottest sector within fintech, introducing instant and easy loans without the complications of traditional loans and even credit cards. Services like BNPL (Buy Now, Pay Later) took center stage, enabling people to make purchases instantly and make payments at a later date. Peer-to-peer (P2P) lending also became an instant hit among the masses, benefitting both borrowers and lenders.
With the economy slumped, digital investments took a turn upwards. Several platforms that provided digital investment options, education, and advice, emerged to support the slackened economy and provide people with the opportunity to make gains.
Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies
Novel technologies like blockchain and cryptocurrencies have gone through several rounds of debates to ascertain if they hold long-term potential or if they can be called a fad. Blockchains provide secure gateways and transparent, decentralized ledgers that allow quick cryptocurrency transfers, across the globe. Bitcoin gained immense popularity in 2020, with countless individuals trying to find a place on its raft.
The impact of the pandemic has found dominating footing in many businesses, economies, and households. Fintech is one of the few industries that have found rewarding opportunities during the glum. Its success has seen marvelous upturns since the pandemic’s onset, and today, it has become one of the most promising industries in the digital age. The scope for innovation and eventual disruptions in fintech is vast, and it’s only a matter of time before it becomes an essential part of our lives.