Global brands from Mercedes and Amazon (AMZN.O) to IKEA and Walmart (WMT.N) are cutting out the traditional financial middleman and plugging in software from tech startups to offer customers everything from banking and credit to insurance.
For established financial institutions, the warning signs are flashing.
Should we be removing friction and making it easier for consumers to access and use financial services? Or should we be introducing thoughtful points of friction into those financial services in order to encourage responsible usage and drive better long-term outcomes?
What’s best for the consumer?
Unsurprisingly, fintech is the sector attracting the largest amount of funding (57%, $1.6bn+, half of which was raised in Nigeria), followed - much much behind - by energy (~$300m) and education/jobs (~$250m, driven by Andela’s recent $200m Series E).