Presenting our recent book, “The Rise and Development of FinTech: Accounts of Disruption from Sweden
FinTech, a portmanteau of “financial technology”, is a popular term used to describe new technology that seeks to improve and automate the delivery and use of financial services. Recent years have seen a global expansion of FinTech across various nations. The Asia-Pacific market, in particular, has seen a recent boom with FinTech investments in the region, having expanded from US$103 million in 2010 to US$4.3 billion in 2015 according to consultancy firm Accenture. This figure was in turn doubled during the first seven months of 2016, reaching investments of US$9.6 billion in the Asia-Pacific region. This was especially noticeable in countries like Singapore, in which FinTech investments in the country more than doubled from US$180m in 2017, to US$365m in 2018, putting Singapore among the top five FinTech markets by funds raised last year in the Asia-Pacific region after China, India, Australia and Japan. Moreover, a 2019 report from Accenture indicates that global investment in FinTech ventures more than doubled in 2018, to US$55.3 billion.
To this end, FinTech is often depicted as a disruptive force that threatens traditional banking with new, agile and savvy competitors. In truth, the emergence of FinTech has served to transform the manner in which people and companies interact with their banks and the way in which traditional banks respond to the digital challenge by managing their back-office operations.
Thus, an important issue is to discern the key components that determine whether or not FinTech companies may grow and develop within in a society. FinTech has been particularly prosperous in Sweden, having attracted roughly two-thirds of FinTech investments within the Nordic region. According to a 2015 study by TechEU, Sweden ranked third place behind the UK and Germany in terms of FinTech investments. One of the reasons Sweden has become such a leading example for blossoming FinTech companies is the fact that it fosters a startup friendly climate as well as a society that is highly advanced in its societal digital transformation processes. It is believed that Sweden, for better or for worse, could well become a “cashless” society in the near future.
In our book, The Rise and Development of FinTech: Accounts of Disruption from Sweden and Beyond, we have compiled a comprehensive guide to illuminate the rise and development of FinTech in Sweden and elsewhere, with the Internet as the key underlying driver. The book offers multiple case studies to examine various topics such as the adoption of online banking in Sweden, the identification and classification of different FinTech categories, process innovation developments within the traditional banking industry, and the venture capital (VC) landscape. The book, freely available through open access, provides expert accounts approaching several hot topics such as how the regulatory landscape can shape the future of FinTech companies, the factors involved in driving the adoption of future FinTech services, the future role of traditional banking, the role of policy and government initiatives, and many other questions discussed in an easily digestible yet thought-provoking manner.
Anthony Larsson, Stockholm School of Economics
Robin Teigland, Chalmers University of Technology