What Amazon did with “Just Walk Out” stores was cool. Snap’s Spectacles – also interesting. Some may argue that Pokemon Go had a good run too.
Those innovations may seem cool to the wider public, but we – the fintech-obsessed – dig deeper to uncover the underlying coolness within mainstream banks and cutting edge fintechs.
For the sixth consecutive year, Bank Innovation has compiled a list of the most inspired and inventive financial services companies out there – from the largest banks to the smallest tech companies – who are setting the tone for the banking of the future.
Did we miss anyone? Let us know in the comments or via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
1. Ant Financial: Expanding the Borders
Ant Financial has been on a roll for its international expansion plans lately. The Alibaba affiliate, which operates the payments platform Alipay, is reportedly raising $3 billion in debt to fund international investments and acquisitions, such as MoneyGram’s $880 million acquisition.
Last year, Ant also invested an undisclosed amount into Thailand’s Ascend Money; back in 2015, India’s Paytm got the company’s attention too.
After completing, what was called, the largest private tech raise ever, Ant brought in $4.5 billion on a $60 billion valuation last year, placing it firmly on track to become the largest (potential) fintech IPO.
Ant Financial’s Alipay digital payments platform already claims 451 million users, with an average of 153 million daily transactions. Back in June 2016, the company announced its plans to sign up 2 billion users in 10 years time for the pipeline of its fintech businesses. Those include digital payments, wealth management, financing, insurance, and credit reporting. With the current pace of international expansion, Ant is well underway to deliver on that promise.
2. Hyperledger: The Importance of Open Source
With 118 “sponsors” and growing by the week, the Hyperledger Project has been busy since its founding one year ago.
With five open-source blockchain projects – Blockchain Explorer, Cello, Iroha, Sawtooth Lake, and of course Fabric – the project is devoted to creating technologies that sprawl across industries. The most important part of this effort, according to Hyperledger Executive Director Brian Behlendorf, is that it’s a collaborative effort — Behlendorf refers to the project as a “do-ocracy” because really anyone can contribute.
“If there’s a good idea from one project, it can flow into the next,” says Behlendorf. “That’s how the nature of competition differs when it’s open-source.”6 - Readers Like This Post