Fintech has long been lauded for being at the heart of change within finance. It ended 2019 on a high, but progress and opportunities in many areas have been stifled, with funding down or flat.

According to a report by FleishmanHilwell, early-stage fintech startups will find it more difficult to secure funding going forward, leading to a spike in mergers and acquisitions, due to many fintechs being cash crunched.

As Covid rolls on and the recession deepens, investors will no longer be satisfied with ‘growth’ and instead will be looking at hard numbers: profitability, average revenue per user, discounted cash flow, price-to-earnings ratio. There will therefore be a shift away from paid customer acquisition and unfocussed diversification , towards specialized and sustainable offering that can prove profitability.

One potential beneficiary of this new focus may be in digital payments through open banking. These have seen a huge boost in 2020 because of Covid, both in their use but also, crucially, in the confidence people now place in them. With the cost to the merchant of taking payment being lower than through the traditional contactless chip-and-pin routes, the pace is quickening for smaller everyday payments using such means.

In the year ahead the big technology brands are likely to ramp up their own future of fintech plays, for example Amazon Pay will be joined by Google offering its bank account as well as the rise of the Apple Card. All could offer opportunities for smaller fintech players to capture the attention of these giants.

Use of the ewallet will continue to grow as retailers embrace new payment methods – and it could also be boosted by the success of the QR code, riding on the back of its rise to prominence with the Covid track-and-tracing apps.

The global mobile wallets market is predicted to jump by c50% to reach a value of $1.47 trillion amid the Covid pandemic, with more than 1.7bn people using mobile wallets by 2024.

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MSC R&D and its sister company Infintec, can help ambitious growing fintech business grow faster through hands-on, strategic, funding and commercialization support. Why not give us a try: opportunities@infintec.org