In our payments education workshops, we make the point that today’s fintechs rarely do something entirely new. At the macro level, our activities and the transactions they produce haven’t changed. We buy food and clothing. We pay rent.
But where and how we do these things has been transformed by technology.
A Great Time to Be a Fintech
Fintechs are the newer, nimbler businesses that are most often changing how we do things. We buy tickets online, get takeout using our mobile phones, and file insurance claims via an app.
Fintech entrepreneurs are busting old processes with much improved user experiences and “value for money” propositions.
It’s a great time to be a fintech.
The building blocks are in place. Powerful cloud-based capabilities are common. APIs connect these tools. Rich data and machine learning generate specific, actionable insights. iOS and Android give smartphones super powers. Business models like payment facilitation help some fintechs. You can even become a bank.
Multiplayer Fintech Builds a Winning Service
Individual fintechs are partnering with others to develop and deliver compelling new services. This is multiplayer fintech. Think of it as the fintech supply chain. The direct provider of services to the customer uses the specific payments capabilities of other fintechs to expand and strengthen what it delivers to its customers.
This approach lets the provider get to market faster with better capabilities than its competitors. That builds a competitive moat for a period of time. And expands the company’s revenues through a broader range of services.
Not Always Easy in B2B
The ability of these fintechs to displace incumbent vendors and processes (“How we’ve always done it”) can be hindered by the target company’s size and reliance on legacy systems. Their complexity presents a barrier. Dismantling it can take a lot of time and change management process support.
For mid-sized firms, however, the choice to shift to cloud-based service delivery is fast becoming a no-brainer. The work from home imperative has only accelerated the decision.
Prospering Despite COVID
We all know that the Travel and Hospitality industries have taken a COVID-inflicted beating. But not every company serving those needs has suffered.
TripActions, focused on corporate travel, just raised $155M at a $5B valuation to help enterprises analyze travel and expense data.
TripActions has employed those building blocks and partnerships with firms like Visa, Stripe, and Modern Treasury. Using the multiplayer fintech approach, TripActions now has a service that has rewritten how an enterprise manages its travel and expense management processes. For the employee, the hated expense report submission process can be virtually eliminated.
TripActions’ services could not have been built even five years ago. Without today’s technical building blocks and those partner-provide capabilities, TripActions could not have built its services and hit the market as it has.
It’s a good time to be a fintech.
Here’s Robin talking about multiplayer fintech: