Fintech is in the Eye of the Beholder
Finance professionals have very different perspectives
The development of new technology in the financial sector is happening at a breakneck speed.
Between the emergence of the blockchain, AI, robo-advisors, regtech, payment and loan services, and many other examples of technological progress, there are many ideas to keep track of at once.
It would appear that these changes are happening so fast, in fact, that people don’t even have a uniform idea of what fintech really is.
According to the results of LinkedIn’s survey of financial services professionals, how fintech is perceived greatly depends on a person’s role within the financial industry.
Wealth managers, for example, are very much aware of the robo-advisor arms race happening now, and how it may impact their future business especially with millennials. As a result, it’s likely no surprise that 68% of wealth managers rank robo-advisors as an important development within the fintech sector. Meanwhile, other developments like the blockchain (21%), regtech (24%) and digital lending (16%) are perceived as less important by this group.
For investment bankers and fintech professionals, the tables are turned.
Interestingly, these two groups seem to see more eye-to-eye regarding the technologies at play in the finance sector. Both fintech professionals (63%) and investment bankers (55%) saw AI-based investing as an important development, and both saw the blockchain (44% and 35%) as a key development as well.
Retail bankers had a very different perspective on the blockchain. They ranked both insurtech and chatbots (which we didn’t even show in our chart) as more important than the new distributed ledger technology, putting it in last place out of the options given.
This could be an oversight, considering that cryptocurrencies alone are already worth more than $80 billion, and that doesn’t even include the many other potential applications of the blockchain.
Retail bankers had other contrarian opinions as well – they were the only subgroup where the majority chose digital lending (54%) as the most important development in the industry as a whole.
Living in Alternate Realities?
While the jury is still out on what aspect of fintech will have the biggest impact on financial services overall, there is an even deeper question at hand: will fintech make a real impact on traditional financial services at all?
It’s a question that’s very divisive, with very different answers depending on your side of the spectrum:
- 42% of fintech professionals see fintech as being a direct threat to traditional finance
- 13% of traditional finance professionals see fintech as being a direct threat to traditional finance