A Brief History of Innovation in Fintech

3D render of a Bitcoin coin amongst a group of purple coins against a red background.

Financial technology, or fintech, has been transforming the financial services industry in recent years. From peer-to-peer lending to mobile payments, fintech innovations have been changing the way that customers save, invest, and manage their money. Let’s explore some of the ways fintech has brought change to one of the world’s oldest institutions.

Peer-to-Peer Lending

Peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platforms, an alternative to traditional bank loans which connect borrowers with investors, have enjoyed rapid growth in recent years, with the global P2P lending market worth over $147.9 billion in 2022.  

The growth is being driven by factors such as increasing demand for credit, favourable regulatory frameworks, and the opportunity for investors to earn higher returns on their investments compared to traditional savings accounts. The development of new technologies also makes it easier and more efficient to match borrowers with lenders.

Mobile Payments

Allowing customers to make payments via their mobiles, as opposed to cards, has been a hugely popular trend in the fintech market. The popularity follows the increase in smartphone use in recent years for everyday activities such as shopping, banking, and communication.  

According to a report by UK Finance, nearly a third of all UK adults registered for at least one mobile payment in 2021, and the numbers are continuing to grow.


Digital Currencies

Digital currencies, such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, are continuing to make waves as more people explore the potential of blockchain technology. By enabling users to make transactions without the need for intermediaries such as banks, blockchain offers superior levels of privacy and security that traditional payment systems struggle to match.

However, a number of high-profile scandals have significantly impacted the market. According to the UK government website, as of June 2022, the various cryptocurrencies on offer (numbering over 20,000) were estimated to be worth a combined value of $929.51 billion. This si down significantly from its November 2021 peak of $3 trillion.  


Robo-advisory platforms are online investment platforms that use algorithms and artificial intelligence to manage investors’ portfolios. Robo-advisors offer lower fees compared to traditional investment advisors and are often more accessible to younger investors who may not have the minimum assets required to work with a traditional advisor.

According to a report by Statista, assets under management in the Robo-Advisors segment are projected to reach US$2.76tn in 2023, while the average assets under management per user in the Robo-Advisors segment is expected to amount to US$8.05k in 2023.

The growth is being driven by factors such as increasing demand for low-cost investment solutions, the development of new technologies that make it easier to personalise investment portfolios, and the growing popularity of passive investing strategies.

Fintech innovations such as P2P lending, mobile payments, and robo-advisory platforms are changing the financial services industry in profound ways. These innovations offer consumers new ways to save, invest, and manage their money, while also challenging traditional financial institutions to adapt to new technologies and changing customer expectations. As fintech continues to evolve, we can expect to see even more exciting innovations that will transform the industry and create new opportunities for consumers and businesses alike.

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