The Year in FinTech 2017 to 2018

It’s that time of year: review and predict. Here are 18 links of 2017 trends and 2018 predictions to ponder over the New Year holiday.

2017 in Review

The FinTech revolution as covered in 2017 is evolving into a phase of innovation in which addressing customer needs, expectations, and preferences takes precedence over disrupting the business models of incumbent financial institutions. Entrepreneurs are filling gaps in existing services and starting to use new analytical tools to uncover new needs. Smart bankers are paying attention.

FinTech apps in 2017: what changed, what didn’t

Matthew Wong, lead analyst at CB Insights, shows charts listing the top 100 U.S. finance apps in the Apple app store at the start and end of 2017. The biggest difference: the position of bitcoin exchange apps.

Data: the trends to watch in 2018

A look at 2017 and some of the key trends for 2018 as shown by the numbers. “2017 was an eventful year in payments with significant happenings including the Equifax data breach, the launch of Zelle, Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods and many more,” writes PaymentsSource’s Nick Holland.

A look at the most telling statistics in B2B payments this year

“Small business (SMB) optimism retained its strength throughout the new year on the promise of a new President and SMB-friendly regulations. Paper checks remained prevalent in B2B payments, of course, but the industry is beginning to anticipate a slowdown in favor of electronic payments. And the rollout of Same Day ACH transactions made a less-than-stellar impact in the B2B world. PYMNTS takes a look at some of the most telling statistics collected from the year.”

2017: A year of firsts

Theo Lau, director, market innovation at AARP, puts AI, digital transformation, collaboration, financial inclusion, and digital finance in the developing world on her list. “Ultimately, technology will enable and empower us to become better humans, better spouses, better friends, and better citizens of the world,” she concludes.

2018 FinTech Predictions

Pascal Bouvier CFA, venture partner at Santander InnoVentures, sums up 2017 in a single tweet: “With all the craziness we experienced in 2017 (new US administration & its policies, bitcoin chaos, China rising, geopolitical topsy-turvy), the $ is still the most trusted brand in the world. Hard to see that changing in 2018 either.” The New York Times has the story.

He also leads into the predictions derby with the introduction to his own: “It is that time of the year where pundits unabashedly flog the predictions market like a stolen donkey. I will not escape this tragic destiny and am adding my two cents to the mix.” His focus: risk.

Top 10 retail banking trends and predictions for 2018

“Financial institutions struggle with complex regulations, legacy systems, new technologies and competitors, and an increasingly demanding customer base,” writes Jim Marous in his introduction to insights from The Financial Brand‘s crowdsourced predictions from a panel of 100 financial services leaders. “While the order of the top three [strategic] priorities remained the same as last year, the priority of reducing operating costs dropped from 41% last year to only 32% for 2018. At the same time, the priority of investment in innovation dropped from the 4th position to 7th, with the number of firms mentioning innovation falling from 26% to 22%.”

Where FinTech dollars will go in 2018

Blockchain and AI. “A study released in December found that 82% of U.S. commercial banks plan to increase fintech investment over the next three years; 86% of bank senior managers surveyed said they intend to boost fintech funding imminently,” reports Penny Crossman in American Banker.

Where will VCs invest in 2018?

Wired answers: Blockchain, AI, Voice, Pets. Pets likely will pay off fastest. It’s the one thing I wished I had invested in years ago, aside from bitcoin.

2018 FinTech predictions

American Banker reporter Bryan Yurcan recalls that “as recently as 2012-13 getting reports from various analyst firms saying people still “didn’t trust” mobile banking. Now they are asking Alexa about their checking balance and initiating payments in smart cars.” In this roundup of expert opinions, “advancements in AI and voice assistant banking were often mentioned, as well as more partnerships with fintechs.”

A look ahead to 2018: AI, trend of the Year

BAI Banking Strategies‘s latest “Executive Report” covers how AI builds customer relationships and how it is remaking risk management, along with the six key cuustomer trends in 2018.

FinTech 2018: what’s next

Listen for an engaging hour as Brett King and his guests at the Breaking Banks podcast close off the year and make their predictions for the next. FinTech is financial services today, and the rules still apply regarding regulation, vendor relationships, security, financial inclusion, and investment bubbles.

11FS 2018 predictions

Amoung the questions the consultancy asks: Open Banking and PSD2? Is 2018 the year the empire strikes back? Is SME the new Banking Battlefield? “2018 –  the year people stop talking about products and start talking about distribution of services,” concludes co-counder David Brear.

The top 5 trends in banking for 2018

“As we approach the end of 2017, it’s clear that banks are all too aware that digital transformation is a priority and they are embracing technologies like blockchain, artificial intelligence, and chatbots in a bid to reinvent themselves and re-establish the engagement with their digital-first customers,” writes David Horton, head of innovation at IT and consulting firm Synechron.

What is the most important wealthtech trend to pay attention to in 2018?

Xtiva’s Jay Palter asked some online influencers and prominent commentators in the WealthTech and got a lot of intersting answers, led by an increasing focus on customers.

Bankers should resolve to be more paranoid in 2018

The economy has been strong for a long time. It will end soon. “Every banker knows in his or her heart of hearts that the cycle will turn,” says Eugene Ludwig, founder and CEO of Promontory Financial Group and U.S. comptroller of the currency under the Clinton administration.

Holiday homework for two thousand and greateen

The Financial Revolutionist presents a revelently eclectic list of videos, podcasts, “long reads,” and books to inform the new year in finance, technology, and banking.

FinTech Rising predictions for 2018

Now for my own:
1. The Bank of England issues a cryptocurrency, as Brexit pushes hard on London. Nothing moves innovation like a crisis.
2. Identity will become the first “killer app” of blockchain technology, fueled by the U.S. “breach crisis”.
3. Banks will continue steady digital transformation as faster payments create urgency for risk management, but absent a crisis. . . .

And here’s an extra lest we forget what the payments economy today is really like.

Credit card payments continue to lead the pack in growth

The 2017 annual supplement to U.S. Federal Reserve payments study shows that “growth in credit card payments far outpaced growth in debit card and automated clearing house payments in 2016,” boosted by ecommerce sales, reports Jim Daly in Digital Transactions. “Card payments grew from 103.5 billion with a value of $5.65 trillion in 2015 to 111.1 billion with a value of $5.98 trillion in 2016,” the Fed study (PDF) states.

The last word goes to Nobel Prize winning economist Milton Friedman as he describes in 1999 the functions of cryptocurrency.