The Future of Money: Banking on Fintech | Summary and Q&A

October 25, 2017
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The Future of Money: Banking on Fintech


The traditional banking system is being disrupted by startups offering innovative banking and financial services, aided by the shift towards technology and changing consumer preferences.

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Key Insights

  • 🏦 Traditional banks, like Walmart, are being challenged by disruptors, much like Amazon challenged physical retail.
  • 👤 Startups are succeeding by offering specialized services and better user experiences.
  • 😘 New data sources and technology are enabling startups to offer lower costs and better underwriting.
  • 📉 Owning the end consumer is a key advantage for startups, as it allows for cross-selling and long-term growth.
  • 🥺 Boring infrastructure plays can lead to later innovation and value creation.


hi everyone it's great to be here so I get to talk about the future of money so so just some some background you know Walmart is the largest company by revenue on the planet at least it is for now and in Walmart traditionally all of their money has been made by having physical locations it was impossible 30 years ago to have any revenue that was as... Read More

Questions & Answers

Q: What is driving the disruption in the banking industry?

The shift towards technology, changing consumer preferences, and the ability of startups to offer specialized services and better user experiences are driving the disruption in banking.

Q: How do startups compete with well-established banks?

Startups often focus on specific categories and offer innovative solutions that traditional banks don't provide. They also leverage new data sources and technology to offer lower costs and better user experiences.

Q: What are some examples of startups disrupting the banking industry?

Examples include companies like Lending Club and Prosper in lending, a firm in point-of-sale loans, Zenefits in insurance, and Credit Karma and NerdWallet in consumer finance.

Q: How do startups overcome the challenge of customer acquisition?

Startups often find creative ways to acquire customers, such as partnering with merchants or leveraging existing customer bases. They also focus on low-cost customer acquisition strategies and targeting underserved markets.


In this video, the speaker discusses the future of money and how traditional banks are being disrupted by new startups in the financial services industry. He explains how companies like Amazon and Uber have decoupled physical locations from revenue, and how this is now happening in the banking industry with the rise of technology-first companies. The speaker also talks about the challenges startups face in competing with well-established banks and the different categories within the banking and financial services sector that startups are targeting. He highlights the importance of innovation and customer acquisition strategies in the success of these startups, and how data and automation are playing a key role in transforming the industry.

Questions & Answers

Q: What is the analogy the speaker makes between Walmart and Amazon and banks and startups?

The speaker compares Walmart to Amazon and suggests that banks are in a similar position to Walmart. Just as Amazon disrupted the retail industry by decoupling physical locations from revenue, startups are disrupting the banking industry by doing the same.

Q: Why is the physical location becoming less important for banking success?

The physical location is becoming less important for banking success because people are becoming more accustomed to using technology and digital platforms for their financial needs. Younger generations, in particular, prefer using mobile apps and online portals rather than visiting physical bank branches. This change in user behavior is driving the need for innovation in the banking industry.

Q: What are the four main categories within the banking and financial services industry?

The four main categories within the banking and financial services industry are core banking (money transfer, lending, and savings), products and services that banks do not offer (such as invoice financing), insurance, and investing in capital markets.

Q: How are startups disrupting the lending space?

Startups are disrupting the lending space by offering lower-cost alternatives to traditional banks. They are able to undercut banks on interest rates and provide a better user experience. These startups, also known as marketplace lenders, focus on specific lending categories and provide a more specialized and efficient service compared to banks.

Q: How are startups leveraging new data sources in the lending industry?

Startups are leveraging new data sources to underwrite loans to customers with little or no credit history. For example, they can use data from smartphones to analyze a potential customer's behavior and creditworthiness. Startups can also use alternative data, such as educational background or online activity, to assess an individual's risk profile. These new data sources enable startups to provide loans to previously underserved populations.

Q: What challenges do startups face in competing with incumbent banks?

Startups face the challenge of acquiring a large customer base before incumbent banks roll out their own innovative solutions. Incumbent banks have a significant advantage in terms of resources, distribution, and brand recognition. Changing established customer behavior and building trust can be difficult for startups. Additionally, regulatory compliance and the need for capital can also pose challenges for startups in the banking industry.

Q: What are some innovations happening in the insurance industry?

There are several innovations happening in the insurance industry. One of them is the exploration of new insurance formats, such as insuring autonomous vehicles or insuring against cyberattacks. Startups are also finding new ways to target specific customer groups, like offering insurance for niche markets such as non-drinking individuals or groups of people with shared risk profiles. Additionally, the use of new data sources and automation is helping insurers improve underwriting processes and create personalized insurance products.

Q: How are startups like Credit Karma and NerdWallet disrupting the financial services industry?

Startups like Credit Karma and NerdWallet are disrupting the financial services industry by owning the end consumer experience. These companies provide consumers with personalized financial recommendations and comparison tools, helping them make more informed decisions. By owning the customer relationship, these startups can capture and retain a large user base and become a trusted source of financial information and services.

Q: What are some key strategies for success in the FinTech space?

Startups that have a clear customer acquisition strategy and can attract customers at a low cost have a higher chance of success. Building infrastructure, operating systems, or platforms that enable other startups or banks to offer new financial services is also a winning strategy. Lastly, owning the end consumer and building a strong relationship with them is a valuable approach in the FinTech space.

Q: How are data and automation transforming the financial services industry?

Data and automation are transforming the financial services industry by enabling better underwriting, improved customer experiences, and more personalized financial products. Startups are leveraging new data sources and using machine learning algorithms to analyze this data and make more informed decisions. Automation is also streamlining processes and reducing operational costs for both startups and established financial institutions.

Q: What opportunities exist for startups in the FinTech industry?

Startups in the FinTech industry have opportunities to disrupt traditional banking services, target underserved markets, and provide customers with better user experiences. By focusing on specific niches or providing enhanced services in areas where banks are less competitive, startups can differentiate themselves and attract customers. Additionally, startups that can build strong distribution channels, own the customer relationship, or provide essential infrastructure have the potential for success in the FinTech industry.


The future of money lies in the disruption of traditional banks by innovative startups in the FinTech industry. Companies like Amazon and Uber have shown that physical locations are no longer necessary for revenue generation, and the same trend is now happening in banking. Startups are focusing on specific areas of banking, leveraging new data sources, and providing better user experiences to attract customers. However, startups face challenges in acquiring customers, competing with incumbents, and navigating regulatory hurdles. Success in the FinTech industry requires a clear customer acquisition strategy, the ability to provide infrastructure or operating systems, and ownership of the end consumer. Data and automation are transforming the industry and creating new opportunities for startups to disrupt banking and financial services.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Walmart, traditionally reliant on physical locations for revenue, is being challenged by Amazon's success in e-commerce, and now the same disruption is happening in the banking industry.

  • Startups are targeting specific categories within banking and financial services, offering better and more specialized services than traditional banks.

  • New data sources and technology are driving the transformation in financial services, enabling startups to offer lower costs, better user experiences, and access to previously underserved markets.

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