Expanding Boundaries of FinTech

15 years after the release of the first iPhone, consumers are now far more aware of what technology is capable of, and less tolerant of friction in its usage. As a consumer I now expect:

  • A sleep app that lets me browse pillow options, see what they’d look like on my bed, and buy them in-line
  • A lending app which, after I commit to a mortgage, lets me book a moving company and logs the appointment in my calendar
  • A trading app that teaches me about options and futures, makes it fun, and even pays me to learn
  • A mobile-game that has its own digital-currency, which I can use to buy coffee at Starbucks!

Peer-to-peer money transfers, lending services, online and mobile payments, KYC, background checks, and investor accreditation, and data about anything and everything have become de rigueur. No matter the app, we expect to be able to authenticate, communicate, traverse, transact, and pay from within it. We bristle and growl when any additional device is required, additional app needs to be opened, or even when a seemingly unnecessary click or tap is required on a smartphone. 


With so much interconnectedness, where does that leave the borders of Fintech? Is FinTech the embedded APIs, or the apps that use them? Is it crypto currency, or the entire Web3 world of decentralized ownership. The borders between domains are blurry and porous. Every company is becoming a fintech company.  Every fintech company will have a crypto component. The crypto fabric is uniting disperse players within an ecosystems. Soon every company and every app, be it B2B or B2C, will support digital objects or digital proxies of analog objects, where the objects are money, real estate titles, art, patents, attendance records, and more to come.

We have to open up our understanding of Fintech to include anything that has an impact on the global economy, and helps us as individuals or institutions participate in ongoing digital transformation. Fintech has the potential to be:

  • any system that boosts connectivity, efficiency, accessibility, and profitability
  • any system that facilitates the mass and real-time usage of services such as education, insurance, healthcare, and transportation
  • any system that democratizes marketplaces by growing the player pool, the assets, and the distribution channels, be they financial markets, games, sports, or digital commerce

With this in mind, the EvoNexus Silicon Valley Fintech Incubator, along with our strategic sponsors Royal Bank of Canada and Franklin Templeton, is leaning into the expanding definition of Fintech and now accepting applications from early stage (seed) startups in areas that push the boundary of fintech.  See our call for applicants HERE.

If you have thoughts about the definition of fintech in 2022, or want to discuss what we’re doing at the EvoNexus fintech incubator, please get in touch with me.

Jeffrey Axelrod
Executive Director
EvoNexus Silicon Valley FinTech Incubator

January, 2022