The merging of high-level technical knowledge and financial products was perhaps only a matter of time, considering the way in which technology has changed the world. However, it took some time before Fintech emerged in a big way as an industry. PayPal may be called the first big Fintech firm, but over the past few years, many more interesting firms have come into existence and have provided people as well as institutions with a range of services.
Many have said that Fintech is all set to reshape the financial services industry in the year to come but the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde has gone a step further and stated that it has the potential to be a hugely disruptive influence on the global financial system as a whole. Considering the fact that the comment is coming from someone with decades of experience in high finance, her words are certain to be taken seriously. The development of a range of Fintech products has made it possible for people to make payments with far more ease and most importantly, it is now allowing unbanked people in emerging markets to use services that they would not have been able to even a few years ago.
However, Lagarde believes that the clout that is soon going to be enjoyed by some of the biggest tech companies in the financial sector is going to be a matter of concern for most policymakers and it is imperative that the financial system remains safe. During a G20 meeting of finance leaders in Japan, Christine Lagarde said, “A significant disruption to the financial landscape is likely to come from the big tech firms, who will use their enormous customer bases and deep pockets to offer financial products based on big data and artificial intelligence.” She went on to add, “This presents a unique systemic challenge to financial stability and efficiency, and one I hope we can touch on during the G20, and address in a cooperative and consistent fashion.”