What is a fintech company? Your ultimate guide to all things fintech

  1. What is fintech?
  2. What does a fintech company do?
  3. What is considered a fintech company?
  4. What are some fintech applications?
  5. What are some types of fintech companies?
  6. How do fintech companies rate vs. traditional finance companies?
  7. What are some benefits of fintech companies?
  8. What are some challenges and trends faced by fintech companies?
  9. What are some top fintech companies?

In today’s era of fast-paced evolving digital platforms, the finance industry found its way to emerge with technology and create a revolutionary force that is molding the way we interact and manage our finances. 

This innovation process is called financial technology or fintech. Many startup companies often go into this industry. But the real question is, what is a fintech company? 

The answers you are looking for are in this article. Find out what a fintech company is and how it is impacting the banking industry.

What is fintech?

Financial technology or fintech is a type of technological innovation that aims to automate financial transactions. The enhancement on financial transactions includes mobile banking applications, online payment platforms, blockchain-based solutions, and robo-advisors. 

What does a fintech company do?

The concept behind financial technology is to revolutionize the traditional financial and banking system by providing more accessible, faster, and even cost-effective alternatives.

Fintech companies were successful in this venture not just because their solutions made financial transactions convenient, but also because they connected businesses and individuals.

What is considered a fintech company?

For a company to be considered a fintech company, it should be able to:

  • streamline processes
  • create new solutions
  • improve on the traditional financial system
  • increase access for users

These can be done through software, automation, data analytics, and other similar tools.  

This results in a digitally-driven banking system that’s user-centric, efficient, and convenient for both the financial institution and its client.

Some fintech companies focus on cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology that give solutions for transparent and highly secured transactions.

Other financial technology companies produce tools and applications that could help individuals manage their finances better. These tools can gather the financial data of different accounts and then provide insights into the spending pattern, budgeting, and investment opportunities suitable to its user.

The evolution of fintech

Financial technology is not new in our market. It first emerged with the introduction of credit cards in the 1950s. However, it was not that widely used and accessible to every user until the late 20th century when rapid technological advancements were introduced.

The real game-changer was the use of smartphones and the internet. It made the financial system available at our fingertips.

Key areas of fintech

Here are the key areas where fintech showed it dominance:

Payment Solutions

Fintech has improved the way we process payments. Instead of cash, now we have the option to transact through mobile wallets like Apple Pay or more peer-to-peer payment applications like Venmo.

These applications give the users the freedom and seamless way to pay bills, send and receive money and even make purchases with a few taps on the cellular devices. 

Lending platforms

Did you know that fintech also gave a democratic system to lending processes by establishing online lending platforms, also called peer-to-peer lending?

These sites and platforms connect the borrower with an individual investor which lessens the need for traditional banking and financial services. By having this kind of solution, it results in quicker loan approvals and competitive interest rates.

Digital banking

Through the concept of fintech, many digital banks or neo banks have popped out in the financial institution to choose from. These kinds of banks do not have physical locations. They have a purely online presence while offering the products and services that a brick-and-mortar bank provides.

The products and services that digital banks offer are checking and saving bank accounts with lower fees – and even higher interest rates – compared to traditional banks. In addition, these types of banks have user-friendly interfaces and innovative features that attract every customer and client.

What are some fintech applications?

It is true that fintechs are applicable to many kinds of financial key areas. The presence of fintech brought efficiency, convenience, and accessibility in the monetary system. But it did not stop there; here are other points that dictate how fintechs are impacting the banking industry:


Robo-advisors are automated platforms that help in portfolio management and provide investment advice based on data analysis and algorithms. Most of the time, these platforms offer personalized investment strategies that are suitable to the goal and risk tolerance of the investor. 

Robo-advisors have minimized human intervention, reducing costs and providing easier, quicker access to investment opportunities for a broader range of people.

Blockchain technology

If you’ve heard of bitcoin, then you must have heard about blockchain. It’s the technology behind bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

Blockchain technology offers secure, transparent transactions like remittances, cross-border payments, even trade settlement.

Blockchain technology allows the system to integrate data and cut costs due to reduced intermediaries.

Read this opinion piece to find out more on how blockchain works.

Cryptocurrencies and digital assets

Speaking of bitcoin and other digital assets like Ethereum, the fintech industry introduced new forms of value exchange. The concept of digital assets, including tokenized artwork and real estate, has revolutionized investment and property ownership.

Digital identity and KYC solutions

Digital identity verification, also known as Know Your Customer (KYC), is a product of the fintech industry. These solutions are now widely used across industries. Customer onboarding is made seamless by biometric authentication and data analytics. Artificial intelligence is also used to verify identities.

What are some types of fintech companies?

Here are several types of companies that have made fintech available:

Mobile banking and Neobanks

Neobanks and mobile banks are digital banking services that can be accessed through online platforms or mobile apps. Clients can manage their finances without having to visit a physical branch.  

Cryptocurrency fintech

This type of fintech company focuses on providing services related to blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies. Some services offered: decentralized finance (DeFi), digital wallets, and cryptocurrency exchange.

Fintech investment and savings

There are also fintech companies that enable their users to invest in different financial assets and platforms like bonds, stocks, mutual funds, and ETF (exchange traded funds).

Payment processing and POS solutions

Fintech companies under this specialization often work with businesses to offer digital payment solutions. This is done by enabling the company to accept payments in several ways like online platforms, mobile apps, and point-of-sale (POS) systems.

Wealth management and robo-advisors

Fintech companies take investment to another level by offering automated wealth management services. They combine technology and algorithms to portfolio management with investment advice, resulting in solutions tailored to the client’s needs, risk tolerance and goals.

Crowdfunding platforms

There are fintech companies involved in crowdfunding – they facilitate raising funds from individuals and use them to finance startups and projects. This type of fintech may include equity crowdfunding, rewards-based crowdfunding, and peer-to-peer lending.

Digital remittances

Fintech companies enable sending money across borders with lower fees and faster processing times compared to the long and hassle traditional remittance methods.

How do fintech companies rate vs. traditional finance companies?

Financial institutions have experienced a great transformation in the banking system due to the rise of fintech companies. Due to this shift, many have been comparing fintech and traditional banks. Here are some ways that fintechs impact the banking industry:

Technological infrastructure

Traditional banks have infrastructures that are rigid, complex, and sometimes outdated. The fintech industry embraces innovative technologies to create efficient, streamlined, and scalable solutions that adapt to changing market dynamics.

Accessibility and inclusivity

Traditional financial institutions are required to have physical location and presence. Accessing their services involves extensive paperwork and strict eligibility criteria. On the other hand, fintech companies have digital platforms and mobile apps – banking services are easily within reach.

Cost efficiency

Since fintech uses technology in their operations, they can automate the process and eliminate intermediaries. This is a constraint on traditional banks due to their brick-and-mortar branches and manual workflows.

Innovation in payments

Traditional banks are now introducing online and mobile banking into their system but fintech’s nature has paved the revolution in payment methods and options.

Data security and privacy

Fintech companies prioritize cybersecurity measures where they protect sensitive financial data.  Traditional finance, meanwhile, experienced data breaches and security concerns due to legacy systems.

Global reach and cross-border transactions

Although traditional banking institutions are equipped with cross-border transactions, they are still facing challenges in providing efficient global services. Fintech seamlessly does this and can even be completed in a short period of time.

What are some benefits of fintech companies?

It may sound like fintech companies are leaving traditional banking behind. As in all things, fintech has its benefits and challenges. Let’s start with the benefits: 

Convenience and accessibility

Fintech companies pursue digital platforms, making the service very accessible at any time of the day and wherever you go. By having this convenience, it allows users to manage their finances without the need to visit the physical branches.


Fintech companies made their mark in the monetary system because of their capability to adapt innovative approaches in solving financial challenges.


When you get into the fintech industry, you may experience a more personal approach in financial solutions. Fintech provides recommendations based on your preferences and monetary behaviors.

Financial inclusion

The fintech industry does not place a limit on location or access. Everyone can be part of the formal financial system.


Most of the fintech solutions come with transparent and easy to understand terms, which helps the consumers make informed financial decisions.

Regulatory hurdles

Due to the sensitive nature of financial services, fintech companies must operate in a heavily regulated environment. This can be a big problem for navigating complex, evolving regulations, especially for startups.

Cybersecurity concerns

Since fintech companies operate fully through the internet, there is a higher risk of cyberattacks and data breaches. Also, maintaining tons of sensitive financial information is a challenging task. A breach can damage their reputation.

Customer trust and data privacy

To provide services, fintech companies require access to their clients’ personal data. Ensuring data privacy is a constant challenge, especially in an era where misuse of data is growing. 

Fintech companies continue to reinvent convenience and efficiency in the modern banking system. Here are some trends in fintech:

Artificial intelligence and machine learning

Artificial intelligence and machine learning are now being integrated into fintech applications having the goal of detecting fraud and giving personalized financial advice.

Open banking and APIs

Application Programming Interfaces or API enables secure data-sharing that allows the creation of innovative financial products and services which promote open banking programs where traditional financial institutions and fintech companies cooperate.

What are some top fintech companies?

There are many fintech companies rising in the market right now. All of them are providing their consumers with innovative solutions, but a few stood out among the competition:


Stripe has a user-friendly interface made with a developer friendly API that has been a go-to choice of many e-commerce businesses. This enables seamless online transactions.


Robinhood has an application accessible to the masses which, in their words, democratizes finance and trading. This platform attracts many young investors because of its fractional shares features and use of a friendly interface.


Buying, selling, and storing digital assets are made easier for beginners with Coinbase. The company made its mark as the leading crypto currency exchange and bringing the life of crypto to the market.


Jack Dorsey, former CEO of Twitter, decided to build Square to easily send money and invest in stocks. The company also offers other financial tools like cash apps and point of sale systems.

Now that we are living in an era where financial transactions are done digitally, fintech companies are taking the lead in transforming the financial industry. The solutions they provide not just reshape how financial services are accessed, but also empower individuals to make concrete financial decisions. 

Since they are continuously making the monetary system accessible and convenient, what could possibly happen when they have fully integrated online banking, API, AI (Artificial Intelligence) and machine learning in their system? For sure that would give more exciting possibilities.  

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