Since every past economic slowdown in this century has led to accelerated innovation and growth for FinTech firms, 2023 should be no different. We expect financial technology players to answer investors’ demands for increased profitability by tweaking business models and product innovation. To learn what FinTech trends will dominate in the coming year, read on.
FinTech firms have a history of responding to tough economic times by adapting and coming up with new business approaches. Looking back at the downturn in 2008, new FinTech trends emerged, including personal finance management (PFM), insurance aggregators and marketplace, robo-advisors, crowdfunding, challenger/neo/digital-only banks, and cryptocurrencies. Following the same pattern for innovation, the pandemic-led slowdown has resulted in buy now pay later (BNPL), metaverse payments, decentralized finance (DeFi), and Web 3.0.
Let’s explore the following FinTech trends on the horizon for 2023:
Investors will push for profitability
Rising interest rates and slow economic growth have pushed FinTech investors to demand profitability improvements. As a result, FinTech firms that were built to drive growth at the expense of profitability to scale and acquire customers are now forced to adapt their business models and investments. We expect FinTechs to find alternative monetization models. One such alternative that FinTechs are exploring is selling/licensing their technology, such as core systems and machine learning models (that they built and trained), to other financial services firms. Accessing already built and trained machine learning models will enable financial services to adopt AI at speed and scale without additional time and expense.
FinTechs will target eliminating operational inefficiencies and data silos in core processes
The last decade has seen FinTechs eat into the front-office surplus of incumbent financial services firms. Now, they are increasingly moving into mid-and-back-office processes to streamline these processes and data systems. We see FinTechs targeting the hard problems that incumbent financial services firms are slow to resolve because of legacy systems, data, and established processes. For example, eight of the top 10 retirement plan providers in the US are struggling with legacy mainframe-based technology and processes. Newer firms such as Retirable, Penelope, Smart, and Silvur have entered the market to provide better retirement experiences. Firms like Alto are bringing innovation from the Web 3.0 space to the retirement market by offering Individual Retirement Account (IRA) platforms. These IRA platforms simplify investing in alternative assets, such as start-ups and cryptocurrencies, by using tax-advantaged retirement funds. Beyond the retirement and pension segment, we see similar activity in the treasury, investment banking, group benefits, and specialty insurance markets
FinTechs will move away from bundling/aggregation to financial ecosystem orchestration
Wallets and super apps are becoming the foundational blocks for enabling ambient banking, which is focused on meeting the business and/or customer at the moment of their need, crossing other industries. Firms like Roostify and Ribbon want to orchestrate the end-to-end home-buying experience. Players such as Nomi Health and PayGround seek to simplify the end-to-end healthcare payments experience. We expect to see more vertically integrated FinTech firms at the intersection of financial services and industry experiences (e.g., car buying, small business invoicing and billing, supply chain, loyalty, and travel). Cloud and APIs are two technology components enabling the technical architecture necessary for embedded banking.
FinTechs will tap into the sustainability opportunity
Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) is a major demand theme that represents a relatively untapped market by FinTechs. We expect areas such as carbon credit marketplaces, ESG data and analytics solutions, and ESG customer transparency solutions to dominate most FinTech activity in 2023. FinTechs that can offer support for ESG reporting and compliance for small- and mid-size financial services firms is a white space that should see significant growth in 2023.
Payments, wealth management, treasury, Web 3.0, and risk and compliance (RegTech) will be the fastest-growing FinTech segments in 2023
We expect a slowdown in lending and BNPL and challenger banking because of profitability challenges, whereas segments such as cryptocurrency will see some slowdown due to the tightening of regulatory controls and the FTX collapse, which led to a crash in prices. Markets such as supply chain finance, crowdfunding, PFM, and robo-advisory are becoming saturated and remain highly competitive for new FinTech entrants. Wealth management is an attractive adjacent market for banks, lenders, Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs), and insurance firms. These new entrants in the wealth management space are working with FinTech firms that are configurable and born in the cloud architecture to assemble their technology stack. Web 3.0 is an emerging space with a broad ambit across industries with possibilities to manage the entire asset lifecycle better. These assets could be physical assets, digital assets, media, identity, equity, bonds, or even virtual assets in the metaverse. Breaking down process complexity and reducing costs of operations across payments, treasury, and RegTech areas will drive the growth of FinTech activity.
The FinTech outlook for 2023
In the upcoming year, we expect to see FinTech firms make deliberate moves to increase their profitability to meet investors’ demands. These actions will include firms selling/licensing their machine learning models, eliminating operational efficiencies through Web 3.0 innovations, focusing on the intersection of financial services and industry experiences, and making sustainability a priority.
If you have questions about FinTech trends or would like to discuss developments in this space, reach out to Ronak Doshi.
Also, watch our webinar, Key Issues for 2023: Rise Above Economic Uncertainty and Succeed, as we explore major concerns, expectations, and key trends expected to amplify in 2023.