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The financial industry has long been dominated by decades-old institutions. But the rise of fintech may mark the start of the greatest threat to the status quo and may even exceed the 2008 financial crisis in its repercussions. Fintech, short for financial technology, refers to the explosion of technological innovations in personal and commercial finance. Startups in this industry are now making it incredibly easy for people to borrow money, exchange currency, trade stocks, and make all sorts of e-payments on their mobile devices without the need to ever visit a bank or financial advisor. Today, the number of fintech startups is in the thousands and they have cumulatively raised over $105 billion in funding and are worth nearly $870 billion.

Such a disruptive phenomenon is certain to have profound ramifications on a global finance industry that overseas a stunning $156 trillion in assets. As such, we examine 4 major ways that fintech is changing the finance industry.

The Dominance of Traditional Banks Is Declining1. The Dominance of Traditional Banks Is Declining

Predictably, the biggest and most direct institutions that are effected by the fintech revolution are the big banks. Over the years, these behemoths have consolidated themselves into providers of nearly every financial transaction imaginable across personal, commercial, and investment transactions and have until now been largely unchallenged.

But the fintech revolution has turned the financial services industry on its head. Recent years have seen apps like Mint and CreditKarma help users track their spending and manage their debt without the assistance of a personal financial advisor. B2B and B2C lending innovators like Lending Club and Zopa have enabled people to bypass traditional lending institutions with hefty interest rates through a peer-to-peer lending platform. Companies like Wealthfront and Future Advisor have emerged as leaders of the so-called ‘robo-advisor’ movement, allowing users to facilitate investments, financial planning, and portfolio management without resorting to traditional wealth managers. Fintech companies servicing all aspects of financial activity have begun hitting banks where it hurts by offering customers accessibility and lower cost, so much so that a Goldman Sachs report warned that fintech providers have the potential to grab $4.7 trillion in revenue and $470 billion in profits from traditional Wall Street firms.

Payment is Increasingly Contactless2. Payment is Increasingly Contactless

In 2015, the American financial industry created a deadline that mandated that all newly issued credit cards swap out the old-fashioned magnetic strip credit cards for ones equipped with an EMV security chip. The chip-enabled cards, which industry analysts say make credit card transactions more secure than the swipe-and-sign system, was the first widely implemented innovation to electronic payments in decades. Now, technology companies have stepped up to drastically implement the next industry innovation without the decades-long wait: the contactless payment.

The first incarnations of the contactless payment allowed customers to simply tap their card on a payment reader, without having to enter their PIN number. But it was largely limited to small amounts for security reasons. Today, the concept has evolved into what is known as digital wallets, in which customers pay by scanning their smartphones or smartwatches on a payment reader. The most widely adopted versions, Apple Pay and Samsung Pay, have been major hits, with Samsung Pay recording $1 billion in transactions just nine months after release. And with a total estimated global value of $321 billion at the end of 2016, leading card companies such as Visa have implemented plans to ensure that all payment terminals will be contactless-ready by 2020, solidifying contactless as the payment portal of the future.

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Fintech is Causing a “Brain Drain” on Wall Street3. Fintech is Causing a “Brain Drain” on Wall Street

Earlier this year, Bridgewater Associates, otherwise known as the world’s biggest hedge fund, announced that it had hired a new co-chief executive officer. Industry watchers were stunned to learn that instead of hiring an insider, the $157 billion asset management firm hired Jon Rubinstein, a former senior Apple executive who helped oversee the development of Apple’s iMac and iPod.

The move was unusual not only in that such a high-profile finance giant would turn to a tech executive to oversee its operations, but in that it was a rare example of a tech executive who was hired by Wall Street, instead of the other way around. In fact, the past several years have seen Wall Street executives hailing from every major bank go on to work for some of Silicon Valley’s most high profile companies. But this war for talent has been in Silicon Valley’s favor among new graduates as well. Scores of industry reports have documented the preference that elite-educated millennial have for tech, citing Silicon Valley’s innovative work culture and Wall Street’s hand in creating the 2008 financial crisis as reasons why they prefer working for technology firms.

“Banks are not getting top-level talent out of universities anymore,” complained a Wall Street executive to Reuters “I get people saying, ‘I’m bored and I need to do something about it – this isn’t a challenge anymore.'”

Fintech is Reinventing the Finance Industry for the Better4. Fintech is Reinventing the Finance Industry for the Better

With a PwC report claiming that 83% of financial services companies believe specific aspects of their businesses are at risk from fintech startups and the number of worried management-level professionals reaching 95% in the banking sector, the prevailing knowledge is that the rise of fintech is most directly a threat to the traditional finance sector. However, according to the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), the ones that are at greatest risk from fintech startups are not financial giants, but rather established tech companies such as IBM.

The reason? Contrary to common belief, the banking industry has been for decades a technological industry. With the digitization of banking services across the spectrum including mobile banking, investment trading, and so on, banks have relied on major tech firms for developing and deploying the necessary technology to keep its operations running. However, fintech companies have actually given banks a roadmap for reinventing their system architecture in favor of an agile, customer-oriented experience. After all, fintech startups as a whole have not actually created new financial products, but rather changed the distribution methods and customer’s experience. As a result, more than 6 in 10 banks surveyed by the IDC Financial Publishing are reportedly open to collaborating with fintech firms, signaling the beginning of an era in which traditional finance institutions work in sync with rising fintech players to map out mutually beneficial partnerships.