At Money20/20 in Las Vegas this October, The Fintech Times had the opportunity to sit down with Katelyn McCarthy, VP of strategy and business development at Discover® Global Network, and Jordan McKee, research director for the fintech practice at S&P Global Market Intelligence to hear valuable insights into the current state of the fintech industry, discuss findings from the 2023 Fintech State of the Union and what lies ahead for 2024.
The pair discussed trends in digital payments, factors critical for fintech success in 2024, and the role of partnerships in driving industry growth.
In today’s digital age, consumers are demanding seamless payment experiences. As McCarthy puts it: “For the first time, a majority of consumers have used a digital payment solution or are expecting to use a digital form of payment as the norm.”
This shift has driven a focus on creating frictionless payment experiences, including robust fraud prevention measures. The challenge is to translate these online experiences seamlessly into physical and omnichannel settings.
“Bringing that frictionless experience that is online into omnichannel and physical settings. That experience needs to translate. So, it’s totally seamless.”
Keys to fintech success in 2024
Looking ahead to 2024, success in fintech hinges on adaptability and strategic partnerships. According to McCarthy, fintechs must be agile in adjusting their business models to capitalise on current opportunities, such as consumer preference for change or the modernisation of tech stack so solutions can be developed and brought to market sooner, while navigating challenges like increased capital costs. Moreover, successful fintechs are those embracing partnership strategies, both in terms of vendors and ecosystem collaborators.
Partnerships are the lifeblood of fintech growth. As McCarthy stressed, partnerships serve as a catalyst for expansion, customer acquisition, and cost reduction. Furthermore, there’s a growing willingness among fintechs to collaborate with others in the ecosystem, opening up new avenues for innovation.
“Partnerships are a critical ingredient to the success of the entire ecosystem. There’s a great opportunity for fintechs to also look at ways to partner with others that they might have been wary of in the past.”
Venture capital investments
McKee anticipates a shift in venture capital investments towards fintech infrastructure in 2024. While previous waves focused on user-friendly financial services, the industry is now turning its attention to solving essential but less glamorous problems such as spend management, treasury management, vaulting, and risk and compliance.
“In 2024, infrastructure is in, and this is a trend we’ve seen for some time. Those infrastructure-oriented problems are large opportunities in their own right.”
Challenges on the horizon
Rising capital costs, funding constraints, and stringent regulatory requirements are some of the macroeconomic factors that fintechs will need to navigate in 2024. As McCarthy points out, having a strong perspective on how to address these challenges will be critical.
As the fintech industry continues to chart new territories, with digital payments, strategic partnerships, and infrastructure development at the forefront. Insights shared by McCarthy and McKee provide a glimpse into the roadmap for fintech success in 2024 and beyond. As the industry evolves, adaptability, collaboration and a deep understanding of market trends will be the keys to thriving in this dynamic landscape.
“In years past fintechs had the luxury of being tourists, they could explore different fintech sub-segments, new geographies, and as we move into 2024 it’s important for fintechs to be intentional in terms of how they’re allocating resources and how they’re architecting their strategic roadmap.”
Watch the interview in full