Issue #10 - Unpacking Fintech Themes

The constant flood of fintech buzzwords, themes and terms often obscure what’s most important about the innovations, models and changes happening in our industry. 

This is the first of a multi-part series that unpacks the current themes and models to identify what they mean, where the opportunities are, and who some of the key players are. 

To kick off the series, we’ll focus on an overview of the four main themes with some quick definitions and a few relevant examples. 

Update: links to the followup articles:

  1. Open Banking

  2. Banking-as-a-Service

  3. Embedded Finance

  4. Embedded Fintech

If you have thoughts or questions to share on this series, please leave a comment.


Open Banking “...is the practice of sharing financial information electronically, securely, and only under conditions that customers approve of [via APIs].” +The Balance

Banking as a Service (‘BaaS’) “...enables the digital delivery of banking services via APIs.” +Tearsheet

Embedded Fintech is “...the integration of fintech products and services into financial institutions' product sets, websites, mobile applications, and business processes.” +Forbes

Embedded Finance “... is the integration of financial services into non-financial websites, mobile applications, and business processes.” + Forbes

  • Why:The motivation for non-financial companies to embed financial services is...driven by first principle design thinking, which means always focusing on what your customer’s needs are and then figuring out the set of services to offer the customer.” +Rosenblatt Securities

  • Opportunity: “...allow banks to simultaneously service millions of transactions and reduce the cost of attracting customers while maintaining retail infrastructure…” +TechEu

  • Examples: Google moves into Venmo and bank territory with checking accounts and updated payment app +CNBC


If you have thoughts or questions to share on this series, please leave a comment.

Shout-out to Dion Lisle for help thinking through this edition.