The future of financial services is in the hands of both the FinTech and traditional firms that can complement each other’s strengths to meet customer needs and redefine the industry.

In Q1 2018, VC backed fintech companies raised USD 5.4B across 323 deals. Going forward, global Fintech investment is expected to hit a new high in 2018. The majority of global financial services companies plan to increase FinTech partnerships as 88% express concern they will lose revenue to innovators, according to the 2017 PwC global report, Redrawing the lines: FinTech’s growing influence on Financial Services. A large majority of global banks, insurers and investment managers intend to increase their partnerships with FinTech companies over the next 3 – 5 years and expect an average return on investment of 20% on their innovation projects.

FinTech companies cover a wide range of sub-industries, from crowdfunding (Kickstarter) and peer-to-peer lending (Lending Club) to algorithmic asset management (WealthFront) and thematic investing (Motif Investing). FinTech companies also operate in payments (Xoom), data collection (2iQ Research), credit scoring (ZestFinance), education lending (CommonBond), digital currency (Coinbase), exchanges (SecondMarket), working capital management (Tesorio), cyber security (iDGate) and even quantum computing (QxBranch). Despite operating in such a diverse set of domains, these companies share a common attribute: they build and implement technology which is used to make financial markets and systems more efficient. And while the companies mentioned above represent only a handful of the spaces and companies that are included under the umbrella of FinTech.

Lastly, there is a lot of very cool technology being developed and deployed by FinTech companies. Whether the application of cryptocurrency block chains to problems such as online identity or leveraging large unstructured social media data sources to make better underwiritng decisions, there are a lot of reasons to care about the space beyond the economic and business potential.

Even as fintech gains an ever more important role in shaping the finance industry going forward, a clear understanding and cutting edge knowledge about the field is concentrated among the early adopters. This is where we as F.I.N.T. seek to bridge the gap and help HEC and ESSEC students gain an edge through this platform for discussion, knowledge sharing and interaction and exposure to fintech companies and banks.