The financial services sector has a history of early adoption when it comes to new technologies – from the telegram, to high frequency trading. It is easy to forget that services which now form part of the banking fabric – such as ATMs and credit cards – once represented radical innovations. Until now, technological adoption and innovation within financial services has, for the most part, been sector-led: implemented by banks or insurance companies to update and enhance existing functions and services, without challenging underlying business models. One might reasonably describe these iterations over time as an evolution.
FinTech’s impact is already reverberating across all sectors that comprise the financial services market, from wealth management to microfinance. The impact is also being felt by consumers, as FinTech starts to transform their experience of and engagement with financial services.
This paper seeks to explore how and why FinTech is transforming financial services markets for consumers, and to understand what the implications – both positive and negative – are, as FinTech services and products start to become widely used. It also offers some thoughts on how those working in the consumer interest might address some of the emerging consumer protection issues.