FiBD: The FinTech Bullshit Detector

FiBD: The FinTech Bullshit Detector

Chris Skinner

Chairman at The Financial Services Club

Views 339

FiBD: The FinTech Bullshit Detector

19.01.2017 06:45 am

I’ve been wondering for a while how so many companies can be starting up something in the same space, and how are they surviving?  The reason for mentioning it is that we keep hearing these numbers around how many billions are being invested in FinTech, bitcoin, blockchain and such like, and yet I cannot see the unicorns.  Well, not many anyway.  How many can you name?

A couple of years ago there were 84, according to Jim Bruene on the Finovate blog, and yet now?  OK, so there’s a raft of them in China, but then China is reinventing the game.  In the States, there’s Stripe and Square … there was and is Lending Club, but some say it has lost its way.  There are a few more, sure, but it’s not a big list.

Then there’s the blockchain bit, and not a single unicorn there yet, unless you count bitcoin the currency.

This slightly concerns me as you would imagine there would be more breakout firms by now.   After all, it’s over a decade since the FinTech revolution began – I personally place my first FinTech firm as Zopa, which launched in April 2005 – and the market is still nascent.  Equally, for every firm that has broken out, there are dozens that have not.

How many FinTech failures are there?

Again, there was the notable implosion of Powa Technologies due to bad management, but how many others are there that you don’t hear about?   And am I just finding this question rising because I meet so, so, so, so many new start-ups with bright ideas and big ambitions?

Now don’t get me wrong. I haven’t turned into a bear on the FinTech scene.  No, I’m still bullish, but I am getting to the point that if anyone else comes up to me and says we’ve got this great solution for KYC or we’re doing things the banks cannot even imagine or this is going to be the most disruptive software you’ve seen yet or this is the next bitcoin, I’m going to scream.

That is why I’ve invented the FinTech Bullshit Detector, FiBD for short.1

It works the same as buzzword bingo, and sits in the back of my mind whenever I hear a pitch.  The buzzword bingo terms in the pitch must include at least three of the following:

  • Disruption
  • Open
  • Breakthrough
  • Gamechanger
  • Innovative
  • Millennial
  • Leverage
  • Next Generation
  • Platform
  • Legacy
  • Digital
  • Democratisation
  • Anything … as-a-service
  • Marketplace

I’m sure there’s more, but I’ll leave it at that.  Now you know that if you pitch to be me and I say: you’ve been FiBD, that you just reached my point of least interest.

OK, let’s get on with the day.

Latest blogs

Nish Kotecha and Noslen Suárez PhD Finboot

How blockchain can help us have trust in the food we eat

Today’s food supply chains are global, connected and generally efficient, but the COVID-19 pandemic has shone a spotlight on areas of weakness. The urgent need for robust and resilient systems and processes has been brought sharply into focus, and Read more »

Chris Miller RSA Security

Back to Normality: Five Steps to Stay Resilient After Disruption

The financial services sector has lived through many global disruptions, but the nature of recent events has put an unprecedented strain on operational resilience; from needing to ensure critical functions could continue with skeleton staff and Read more »

TYRON JONES n/a

How Technology Has Disrupted the Used Car Buying Experience

We’ve seen many fields change rapidly as a result of the integration of modern technological advancements over the last couple of decades. And it looks like more is coming on the horizon as well, judging by current trends. One of the markets that Read more »

Shuvo G. Roy Mphasis

Reboot 1.0: How financial services technology can enable the supply chain to support a post-lockdown boom

Ground control and Captain Tom When veteran Captain Tom Moore decided to walk one hundred laps of his garden before his 100th birthday to raise funds to support NHS heroes battling Covid-19 from the frontline, he never imagined that he would Read more »

Lisa Gutu Salt Edge

Building a PSD2 compliant channel: challenges and opportunities for financial institutions

PSD2 obliges ASPSPs including banks, e-wallets, prepaid cards and other companies that offer payment accounts to provide at least one channel for secure communication with third party providers (TPP). Even neobanks or e-money institutions, including Read more »

Related Blogs

Ian Bradbury Fujitsu

Britain remains the most attractive country in Europe for financial services investment

Recently EY has revealed that Britain remains by far the most attractive country in Europe for financial services investment. According to the EY research, the UK recorded more than double the number of projects of any other European country, with Read more »

Will Hurst Monevo

Fintech vs traditional banking

The financial services competitive landscape has evolved in recent years and it’s clear that fintechs have certainly disrupted traditional banks. Fintechs include any financial tech company that serves any of the following areas; lending, blockchain Read more »

Ray Brash PPS

“Repair the roof while the sun is shining” – why fintechs were COVID ready

During his 1962 State of the Union Address, John F. Kennedy declared: “The best time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining”. While the original philosophy behind the sentiment wasn’t intended for organisations, per se, it’s an apt quote when Read more »

Koen Vanpraet PXP Financial

Top Five Fintech Predictions for 2020 and Beyond

The last decade has been incredible for fintech, with advancements being made across a range of areas including retail banking, wealth management and, in particular, payments. To give some perspective, in 2019 we saw 64% of consumers worldwide using Read more »

Bobby Gill GCWealth
Magazine
ALL
Free Newsletter Sign-up
+44 (0) 208 819 32 53 +44 (0) 173 261 71 47
Download Our Mobile App
Financial It Youtube channel