In my last two blog entries, I discussed how fintech is disrupting both payments and lending. Those are obvious targets because it is where the money is. Per click charges on payments and you know all about lending. It is what runs your bank.
But fintech isn’t just about disrupting those two components of your business. There are developments occurring in nearly every segment of personal and commercial finance. Some of it seems “pie in the sky” while other applications are intriguing and certainly interesting to explore. Of course, none of these applications will be available to your customers unless these services can connect to your core system. I am going to discuss that more in-depth in a future blog. For now, let’s look at some of the more interesting developments that are occurring.
Recently, Uber (the poster child for disruption) announced that it is partnering with Betterment to provide retirement accounts to Uber drivers. Betterment is a virtual wealth management company (very fintech) that provides services strictly online. There are no Betterment advisors to work through. Uber is offering its drivers the opportunity to sign up for Betterment through an app. The management of the account would be free for the first year, then .25% on the balance each year after. (See article below.)
Lyft, an Uber competitor, also offers retirement accounts in a similar fashion through Honest Dollar (acquired by Goldman Sachs earlier this year). Honest Dollar claims that an employer can sign up in as little as 90 seconds and the employees are directed to one of six portfolios using Vanguard exchange-traded funds for $8.00 per month. All of these services are offered digitally and are faceless, contactless, and seemingly effortless.
Peter Thiel, co-founder of PayPal and one of the first outside investors in Facebook, recently invested $1.1 million in Deposit Solutions, a German startup. Deposit Solutions is developing a platform that will allow account holders to access higher rates across several banks without actually opening accounts in each bank. Deutsche Bank has signed on for this service. Deposit Solutions has targeted the UK for expansion in 2017.
Thiel is no stranger to fintech. His Valvar Ventures has invested heavily in Germany’s Number26, a fully online, app-only digital bank. Number26 recently raised $40 million to fund development of its technological infrastructure. $40 million! (More on Number26 and other fully digital banks in a coming blog.)
These examples provide just a glimpse of what is occurring in fintech. These products may not be related to payments and lending, but the delivery of these and similar systems will definitely impact community banks.
I have included several online articles below that provide additional examples of fintech development. There is tremendous investment in fintech, and this investment is reshaping the financial world. I encourage you to learn more about it by viewing the links below.