Thursday, 27 April 2017

U.S. Government Accounting Office Releases Report on FinTech

The U.S. Government Accounting Office (GAO) has issued a report titled, “Financial Technology: Information on Subsectors and Regulatory Oversight.”  The GAO Report provides a description of the FinTech industry broken down by sector.  The sectors include: Marketplace Lending; Mobile Payments; Digital Wealth Management; and Distributed Ledger Technology.  For each sector, the Report describes “what it is and how it works”; “who uses it”; “potential benefits”; “potential risks”; “industry trends” and “oversight and regulation.”  The introduction to the Report states:

Advances in technology and the widespread use of the Internet and mobile communication devices have helped fuel the growth in financial technology (fintech) products and services. Consumer access to these new technologies has resulted in changes in their preferences and expectations regarding how they conduct financial transactions, such as using their smartphones to make payments or purchases. Fintech products and services include small business financing, education refinancing, mobile wallets, virtual currencies, and platforms to connect investors and start-ups.

There is no universal definition of fintech. It is also difficult to quantify the size of the industry because data are not separately reported from existing financial services or products’ data, and because the industry is constantly evolving. Traditional financial service firms also provide fintech products or services (e.g., existing financial services firms introducing fintech products and services). The fintech industry is generally described in terms of subsectors that have or are likely to have the greatest impact on traditional financial services, such as credit and payments.

The Report is a helpful overview of FinTech and more reports are supposedly on the way.  Hopefully, a report on IP and FinTech will be released. 

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