Technologies driving the FinTech space

We asked a few professionals in the FinTech space what technologies they saw as drivers of forward progress and disruption…..


 As smartphones become increasingly embedded in our daily lives, the banking behavior of consumers is changing. Looking at our mobile banking trends report, it’s no surprise that leading financial institutions have listed “mobile-extending the business” as a key priority for this year.
62% of the globe’s adult population has a bank account, while approximately 50% of the globe’s population owns a smartphone.
In the past two years, Bank of America (the nation’s second largest bank and an Apteligent customer) has significantly cut back its physical footprint, with a 15% reduction in employees and a 10% reduction in branch locations. Instead, they’ve focused on ramping up their digital presence. In 2015, they reported over 18 million active mobile banking users and the biggest annual earnings in nearly a decade.
– Andrew Levy, CSO at Aptligent (@apteligent)


A major technology driving the Fintech space has been the massive improvement to UI/UX. Using analytics to figure out how people want to interact with software has been transformational for the Fintech space. Previously, major financial institutions had very clunky interfaces for letting people interact with their finances. Now, Fintech startups are partnering with and being bought up by major financial institutions primarily because they have a UI/UX that increases engagement and improves the service that users get.

The technology is pretty mature. What has changed is the consumer has come to expect a native/iphone/app level of ease and cleanliness in everything they interact with. This includes what was previously the realm of the large institutions with every service siloed into its own portal. Now consumers want and expect to be able to do everything from one interface, which is very doable.

– Anthony Del Porto, Director of Marketing  at Questis (@myquestis)


Blockchain technology shows great promise for the enterprise and many anticipate it could transform the way business is conducted around the world. As a distributed ledger shared via a peer-to-peer network, blockchain provides an up-to-date ledger that reflects the most recent  transactions or changes. This eliminates the need for trusted third parties such as payment processors. For enterprises in the fintech/finserv space, this means safer, faster and cheaper transactions on a global scale, making blockchain an industry game changer.

Blockchain technology can provide a permanent, secure tool that makes it easier to create cost-efficient business networks without requiring a centralized point of control. With distributed ledgers, virtually anything of value can be tracked and traded. It allows securities to be settled in minutes instead of days. It can be used to help companies manage the flow of goods and related payments or enable manufacturers to share production logs with OEMs and regulators to reduce product recalls.

– Christopher Ferris, TSC at The Hyperledger Project (@hyperledger)


In my view, biometrics will play a key role in the very near future when it comes to all onboarding and acquisition processes: account opening, loans and product acquisition, document signing etc. Biometrics will make the digitalisation and streamlining of these processes easier as the technology evolves.

I can see a huge impact within the payments space. Just imagine paying with your finger tip (TouchID) or even by selfie! As for what stage this technology is at – the future is already here! MasterCard has been piloting facial recognition payment services and it’s a hit with consumers: Nine out of ten would definitively replace their password with biometric ID. Why? For the convenience, and decreased risk of fraud.
– Luis Rodriguez, VP of Product Strategy at Strands (@StrandsFinance)
Biometrics are permeating the financial innovation space, as the technology offers viable solutions for leading concerns related to strengthening security and boosting convenience. Biometric technology will play an increasingly critical role in the industry, because financial fraud – an unsolved crisis  -is becoming ever more sophisticated. Further driving implementation, Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) guidance recommends and sometimes mandates using a multi-layered, dynamic customer authentication system, for which biometrics is a fitting addition.
Not only can biometrics and knowledge-based authentication (KBA) combine to address security concerns – for example, comparing a selfie with a stored photo at a records bureau for facial recognition – but biometrics can be
applied for the sake of convenience. With voice signature technology, customers can now speak on the dotted line, improving the overall consumer experience with easier enrollment and faster processing. Voice biometrics, in particular, are highly reliable with a 99.99% success rate, but the fine-tuning of a voice authentication system impacts the degree to which it is foolproof. Organizations must weigh their desired levels of security and convenience, which are in an inverse relationship along a sliding scale.
– Michael Boukadakis, Founder and CEO of Enacomm (@enacomm)

Fractional Trading

The financial technology space is clearly one of the fastest growing, with it looking to be a trillion dollar industry soon. One of the most legacy and outdated spaces is retail stock brokerage, which often charges high commissions and requires large minimums to begin. This, in-turn, has blocked retail customers from the emerging markets, which is fast becoming the largest consumer group of US brands, out of investing in the US Stock Market.
A technology overhaul of how investors track and trade the market (especially from their phones) is a key breakthrough. A solution we implemented was to use React Native to build an intuitive and visually pleasing app, instead of complicated charting and janky development. This alongside a real-time, fractional shares brokering option, it allows people to invest based on dollar amount instead of share amount, and in some cases, with no minimums. This pays off huge in terms of fees for the end user and convenience of dollar allocation (this is possible through brokerage-as-a-service capabilities that use cloud-based SaaS tech, all of which drive down legacy costs).
– Alexander Gillette, Business Development at DriveWealth
[Note: DriveWealth is a client of untapt]


One trend with financial technology I think we’ll continue to see are “un-banking” technologies. These are technologies that break from what traditional banks and financial institutions do and instead offer a more user-friendly experience. We’re seeing this in student loans, mortgages, investments, and other financial products already.

These financial products have traditionally been so complex that many consumers don’t completely understand how they work, what the costs are, and how to get a better deal. It’s no wonder Americans are frustrated with large, traditional financial institutions.

Now we’re seeing a lot of tools that help everyday people understand what’s happening with their money and how they manage it. These technologies hopefully result in more money in American’s pockets at the end of the day.

For example, SoFi recently stopped using the FICO credit score and became the only major lender [they] know of that does not use the score for any lending. Why? Because FICO isn’t transparent.

While more banks seem to be jacking up fees, Simple doesn’t charge anything for their accounts. Simple has also integrated budgeting directly into their accounts to make it easier for Simple users to achieve financial goals.

– Andrew Josuweit, CEO at Student Loan Hero

Interested in learning more about how you can get the best tech talent for your FinTech innovations? 

Kate is CCO of untapt and Founder of FactorZero. A marketer by trade, she's had varied roles as President of Girls in Tech, Founder of Other Side Group, Executive Director of Digital and Social Media at Syracuse University, and has been in and around startups her entire career. She writes for a bunch of places including Forbes and Entrepreneur, and dabbles (a lot) in women in technology and entrepreneurship stuff, startup stuff, good craft beer, hard cider and hops farming, skiing, hiking and playing music.