Banks and FinTechs should "put down their swords," as Mary Wisniewski put it in a widely shared American Banker opinion piece, "There are no heroes or villains in the data-access debate."
Many banks and FinTechs are doing just that. Yet culture stands in the way as much as anything else—on both sides, as this week's links show.
FinTech is not just FinTech anymore
The article that most caught my attention this week came from Ron Shevlin, director of research at bank advisory Cornerstone Advisors. "FinTech—as a set of startups or a class of technology—is hardly failing," the bank snarketer (look it up) writes in debunking a startup founder's reasons that FinTech is failing.
It's a bit of a cheap headline, I'll admit, but I've been reading about the so-called populism that the current U.S. president has tapped into and wondered what it has to do with financial technology. FinTech has been styled as a way to empower people, and that's basically where populism started.
"Populism" in the most generic sense refers to a concern for the common people. It also carries the charge of dissing establishment types, whether they are politicians, intellectuals, media types—maybe even banks.
Thought leaders continue to point to trends that banks and FinTech insiders need to pay attention to, ranging from the use of big data to FinTech firms like Stash and Betterment, which are reshaping wealth management. Faster payments, mobile payments, and blockchain systems will accelerate their development this year.
Fed issues report on faster payments initiative