What is FinTech? The Definitive Guide to Financial Technology

The term FinTech is being used more and more, so in this blog we set out to help define what FinTech is and what most frequently characterizes FinTech organizations.

FinTech is a shortening of the term Financial Technology, and is a segment of the technology community that is focused on leveraging software to either supplant traditional banking and financial services organizations (disruptors), or help them achieve a digital transformation (enablers). Another way to look at these companies is that disruptors are consumer-facing, while enablers are institutional-facing.

Types of FinTech Companies

There are a wide variety of FinTech companies, and even FinTech-type entities that exist within traditional banking institutions (these are often call FinTech innovation hubs). Below is an outline of the top categories, as well as some of the most influential companies within each Fintech category:



Budgeting Tools



Peer-to-Peer (P2P) Payments




Account Aggregation


Customer Onboarding

History of FinTech

While cloud computing has transformed the FinTech industry in the past 10 years, the roots of FinTech can be traced back to the 1950s with the advent of credit cards (reducing the need for cash). In the 1960s, the first ATMs were introduced, which helped lower the amount of bank branches and tellers needed to service customers. In the next decade, electronic trading began on the stock market. In the 1990s, the internet started the largest transformation in Fintech as completely new business models were introduced.

Despite all of these advancements, the number of bank branches in the U.S. increased from 18,000 to 82,000 from 1950 to 2014. This is a great example of the dichotomy that Fintech represents to traditional banking entities—on one hand, FinTechs have the ability to completely replace these organizations. But, if banks can invest and evolve fast enough, these FinTechs will serve more as change agents, driving better services for all consumers.

FinTech Conferences/Events

There are a number of high quality FinTech events throughout the year where you can get demonstrations of market-leading technology and hear from industry experts.


  • FinDEVr
  • FinovateFall
  • FinvoateSpring
  • BAI Beacon


  • Ignition U.K.
  • FinovateEurope
  • Fintech Evolution
Don Bergal
Don Bergal

Don is CMO, building and leading worldwide marketing at Avoka. He has a successful 25 year record of growing technology businesses in marketing, operations, and sales management, particularly with early stage and high growth companies.

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