Forbes Fintech 50 Emerges, Shows Off Mobile Payments, Mobile Banking Range

February 25, 2020         By: Steven Anderson

In 2019, investors added a combined total of $53 billion and change to the financial technology (fintech) startup field. That’s the word out of Forbes, who sent us over a look at some of the biggest names to emerge out of that early investment with its Fintech 50 list. While making the Fintech 50 is something of an achievement in its own right, one point to emerge from the list is that companies who make the list seldom focus on the same markets within fintech, but rather pursue a range of options.

Perhaps the most amazing point to emerge from this year’s Fintech 50 are that 19 out of the 50 companies—nearly 40 percent—are first-time entrants. Two companies on the list have more than a billion dollars in funding each, while one company actually has just $20 million to its name.

As for what the entrants do, the answer is “a little of everything.” Some are familiar entrants, like Acorns, the personal finance app that helps users save and invest. Coinbase, Credit Karma and Dave also made the list with a range of personal finance options, whether it’s about improving credit or making better access to the growing field of cryptocurrencies. Others are lesser-known but no less valuable entrants like Axoni, who uses blockchain technology to help drive usability in financial market infrastructure.

Breaking down the numbers, payments firms still have the most interest, drawing a combined total of $15.1 billion in 2019. That’s up just 20 percent from 2018, where it was $12.6 billion. Still though, it’s ahead of the rest of the market by a wide margin. Mobile banks, however, jumped up 157 percent over their 2018 numbers, reaching $7.7 billion in investment in 2019.

So while payments are still top of the heap in terms of gross investment totals, they may not stay there for long. Which is fine, really; mobile payments have been the beneficiary of a lot of investment in the past; a maturing market would necessarily see less incoming investment as firms consolidate or exit the market. They’ll still be a very large part of the market as all that investment starts going somewhere and demanding a return.

The newest Fintech 50 shows us the changing nature of fintech and where our most familiar firms weigh in, as well as where the newcomers lie. Knowing this, we now have a better idea of who to watch out for in the year to come.