To many people, FinTech is a modern concept that emerged as a consequence of the Internet. However, the reality is very different. FinTech's origins can be traced back to the 1850s - yes, the 1850s!


The emergence and development of FinTech


We will now take a stroll down memory lane, highlighting some of the major events that have helped shape the FinTech sector we know and love today.


1858 - We saw the first transatlantic cables connecting North America and Europe. This was a massive step for the world of technology.


1918 - The introduction of Fedwire by the US Federal Reserve allowed the electronic transfer of funds between member banks.


1950 - This is the year that the first mass-market credit card, offered by the Diner's Club, was made available.


1967 - We saw Barclays Bank install the first ATM, a step towards making 24/7 fund withdrawals available to the masses.


1971 - Introduction of the NASDAQ, the world's first digital stock exchange, revolutionising the technology sector.


1990s - The emergence of the Internet fuelled many business opportunities, but one that stands out today is digital banking platforms.


1998 - PayPal's arrival, with Elon Musk as one of its co-founders. Musk is an entrepreneur who would go on to dominate the world of FinTech, introducing cutting-edge technology across many business sectors.


It is fair to say that prior to the turn of the century, there were some pretty monumental events that may have been seen as relatively minor at the time. We went from the first transatlantic cable in 1858 to cutting-edge electronic banking in 1998 in the form of PayPal. This is only part of the journey!


2009 - Amid the Great Recession, investors began to show increasing interest in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Dismissed by so-called experts then, many have been forced to reevaluate their positions.


2009 - Another massive development in the tech world was the introduction of Venmo technology, which allowed clients to move money via their mobile phones. Surprise, surprise, the company was later acquired by PayPal.


2010 - We saw the introduction of C2FO which has gone on to become the largest global technology platform for working capital requirements.


2011 - This was the year that Google introduced the Google Wallet, making full use of smartphone technology so consumers could manage and move their funds online and on the move.


2013 - It was time to attack the traditional banking system with the introduction of Chime, an all-digital, no-fee alternative.


2013 - The launch of Plaid saw bank accounts directly connected to mobile phone apps, a first for the mass market.


2019 - This was the year of the Unicorn, with a raft of start-ups valued at more than $1 billion taking advantage of the AI boom.


2020 - The onset of Covid prompted massive interest in digital payments, creating some exciting opportunities for investors.


2021 - This year prompted some exceptional forecasts for the FinTech market, which was expected to grow 25% and be valued at over $300 billion by 2022.


2022 - The development of C2FO continues, with the company launching a flexible approach to cash flow funding.


Looking back, it is easy to pinpoint some of the decisive moments in the development of the FinTech sector. At the time, something as simple as introducing the first ATM may have seemed big news but not necessarily recognised as the start of a substantial financial technology revolution.




The global FinTech market is expected to hit $680 billion by 2028, with particular interest in virtual cards, embedded finance and alternative financial solutions. It will be interesting to see how this movement develops and which groundbreaking technology is released in the short to medium term, never mind the longer term.

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