Figuring out the size and direction of the financial technology market is tricky. But there’s no doubt that it’s large and evolving. The market is changing, as mobile payments grow in popularity, more companies adopt blockchain technology and big banks adapt to (or buy) fintech startups.
According to data from fintech-focused investment bank Financial Technology Partners, cited by Let’s Talk Payments, financial technology companies around the world raised a total of $36 billion in financing in 2016. Meanwhile, according to a report from professional services consultancy KPMG, the overall amount invested in fintech dropped from $46.7 billion in 2015 to $24.7 billion in 2016, which it said is “still historically robust, but a considerable decline.”
There’s clearly a lot of money being thrown around in fintech. For IT professionals who work in financial services, it’s a heady, confusing time as all financial institutions try to adapt to a changing technological landscape. That’s where BizTech comes in.
For the third year in a row, we rounded up our picks for our Must-Read Financial IT Blogs list (check out our 2016 and 2015 lists). These are the blogs you should be reading daily to stay on top of all things financial IT and what industry developments mean for your organization. We compiled this year’s list through our own research and suggestions from readers. We also found a few from CDW’s FinTalk blog, which regularly highlights interesting and relevant fintech content with its FIN List.
We hope you enjoy this year’s picks of our 25 Must-Read Financial IT Blogs. Please let us know in the comments if you know of a blog that we missed this year. And be sure to pick up a badge to post on your site if your blog was one of the 25 named!
Established in 2012 and relaunched in 2015, BankNXT is aimed at financial professionals seeking industry knowledge and thought leadership. It is particularly focused on helping bankers succeed in the era of “engagement banking,” which, according to American Banker, is “a marketing, sales and service model that deploys technology to achieve customer intimacy at scale.” The blog regularly covers the intersection between tech and banking, investing, financial services insurance and payments.
The Financial Brand provides strategic analysis and insight on a range of critical issues facing banks and credit unions, along with real-world examples, ideas and practical advice about how to succeed in retail banking. The blog is regularly updated with news on marketing, branding, retail channels, mobile, product design, innovation and sales strategies. It covers tech topics that affect retail banking, including artificial intelligence, automation and software.
Fintastico curates the latest news from selected sources across the fintech industry. It offers a clean and crisp card-based feel and is updated around the clock with a variety of news. Readers can filter the news by financial services type, including banking, blockchain, insurance, investments, payments and more.
Led by financial journalism veterans Bill Streeter and Steve Cocheo, Banking Exchange pitches itself as an information resource for bankers that builds on a deep background of banking knowledge and contacts. Banking Exchange encompasses a website, magazine, roundtables, seminars and more. Its tech coverage runs the gamut from how the cloud is reshaping banking to blockchain’s place alongside core IT systems.
@BankingExchange | Read the blog: bankingexchange.com/technology-channel
The world of payments is in flux right now, especially with the rise of mobile payments in stores and services like Venmo that allow users to quickly send money to friends and strangers alike. PaymentsSource helps readers keep tabs on the changing payments market and covers it from almost every angle: digital wallets, how merchants are affected, investments in the payments world, and the technology that underpins it all.
Blockchain is now way bigger than just the technology that enables the bitcoin cryptocurrency. It has attracted major tech backers like IBM and Microsoft and appears poised to grow in importance in the years ahead. Yet bitcoin is probably the best-known product of blockchain. CoinDesk is an authoritative source for news and information on digital currencies such as bitcoin as well as blockchain technology. The site covers trends, price movements, technologies, companies and people in the bitcoin and digital-currency market.
American Banker is The New York Times of the financial services industry, a daily trade newspaper and website first founded in 1836. Despite its august pedigree, the website is up to the minute on financial technology news, whether that's how blockchain can help stop distributed denial-of-service attacks, humanoid robots in bank branches, mobile banking and more.
The official publication of the Electronic Transactions Association, Transaction Trends covers the payments technology industry thoroughly. That includes in-depth coverage of security tech for payments, mobile payments, and how the changing landscape is affecting retailers and merchants.
The world of finance is complex, and Accenture, the global management consulting and professional services company, is one of the few firms that can make sense of the mountains of data financial services companies deal with every day. Accenture helps banks, lenders, credit service providers and others enhance, upgrade and transform their products, services and processes. The firm’s banking blog provides high-level thought leadership on the changing nature of fintech for Accenture’s customers, from cybersecurity threats to digital customer engagement.
Formerly known as the Fintech Journal, Dataconomy dives deep into how Big Data and connected devices are reshaping the tech world. The blog regularly covers how this data technology intersects with the world of finance, particularly in the realms of blockchain, machine learning and payments.
Like its name suggests, FinTech Summary is not your typical daily or weekly blog. Instead, it serves as a weekly newsletter that delivers the most relevant and insightful analysis and thought leadership on trends in the fintech industry. The site is run by Alex Nech, an economist by profession who has a background in finance and fintech startups. The site’s essays section also provides regular insights from Nech on the industry.
The world of credit unions is smaller in size and stature than the world of big banks, but credit union membership is growing at a faster clip than other financial institutions. Credit Union Times provides an in-depth and daily look at the credit union market and the tech that credit unions rely on to compete with bigger financial firms, including analytics, mobile payments and data security.
If you want a comprehensive view of the mobile payments market, MobilePaymentsToday should be your go-to source for news and analysis. The site provides daily updates on everything from mobile banking and commerce to mobile point-of-sale terminals, near-field communications technology and more. This site takes the pulse of mobile payments so you don’t have to.
The world of breaking news has The Associated Press and CNN. The world of fintech has Finextra. The site bills itself as the “leading independent newswire and information source for the worldwide financial technology community.” The site generally covers how tech intersects with wholesale and retail banking, capital markets and the insurance industry. In addition to daily news, the site also publishes a wide range of research articles, features, white papers and case studies.
Conventional wisdom might hold that banks are slow-moving and stodgy, but Bank Innovation seeks to disrupt that idea. Launched in 2009, the site tracks and encourages innovation in banking. With regular updates on personal financial management software, digital banking, mobile payments and applications, cybersecurity and more, the site shows that banks are striving to incorporate new tech and stay relevant in today’s marketplace.
What separates Daily Fintech’s coverage from the pack is its roster of regular contributors, each of whom is an expert in their specific domain. They draw on their professional experience as entrepreneurs, bankers, investors and consultants to ground the insight they deliver. The site’s four main contributors include thought leader and serial entrepreneur Bernard Lunn; Efi Pylarinou, a former Wall Street pro and well-traveled finance expert; Jessica Ellerm, a well-respected expert on digital growth hacking who is based in Australia (with her own blog); and Arunkumar Krishnakumar, who writes on consumer banking and finance and formerly worked for Barclays and PwC.
The site is a bit unusual in that it is produced by consultants at Consult Hyperion, a consultancy that focuses specifically on transaction technology. The blog regularly provides thought leadership on the real-world impacts of financial technology, ranging from mobile payments to bitcoin and blockchain. The consultancy’s experts have backgrounds in security, cryptography and transactions and bring that insight to bear.
Finovate is one of the premier financial services industry events, and its blog keeps readers abreast of not only what’s happening with Finovate events (who is speaking where and when) but what past speakers are up to in the world of fintech. The blog also covers industry news and regularly interviews fintech experts on key trends.
There are a lot of blogs and websites that cover the changing nature of the payments landscape. And PYMNTS provides authoritative news coverage of those trends. What sets PYMNTS apart is that it serves as an interactive business-to-business platform for companies in the payments market to demonstrate thought leadership, provide information about products and reach global decision-makers.
IBM is a known commodity to banks, which have long relied on the company’s technology for core IT systems. However, more recently IBM has become a champion of emerging fintech like blockchain. The site’s banking blog focuses on the future of banking tech, from blockchain to machine learning and cognitive computing — which happen to be core business focuses of IBM.
In the fintech market, the names don’t get much bigger and bolder than Chris Skinner. A noted author (Digital Bank and its new sequel ValueWeb) and independent commentator on the financial market, Skinner is well respected in the fintech community. In his day job, he serves as chair of the European networking forum, the Financial Services Club. Skinner’s regularly updated blog is a must-read on global fintech developments.
If you want to get real-world fintech insight from someone who has been in the trenches of finance, Duena Blomstrom is a solid bet. Blomstrom is an independent digital and customer experience consultant, fintech specialist, entrepreneur and angel investor. She has worked with a wide range of financial institutions and her blog provides sharp and distinctive insight.
When you hear the words “mortgage technology,” your eyes might start to glaze over. National Mortgage News makes sure they don’t. Mortgages are essential building blocks in the economy and enable homeownership and a wealth of other financial investments that come with home equity. The site keeps you updated on everything related to the mortgage-tech sector of the fintech world.
In addition to providing daily news on the fintech market, the site produces regular videos that tackle key trends in the financial world. The site also invests heavily in a continually updated global database of decision-makers to inform its coverage.
For those looking for a roundup of fintech news, Fintechna offers a weekly digest of key fintech trends. Regular topics include fintech startups, blockchain, insurance tech and personal finance. The site also has a discussion group on LinkedIn limited to fintech professionals.