Regulators Aim To Govern Fintech To Protect Billion Dollar Market Opportunity

By Staff Writer

Apr 08, 2016 09:36 AM EDT

Financial technology is running in full speed.  According to KPMG and CB Insights, investments in fintech startup reached $14 billion in 2015. The fintech also has a potential market opportunity of $147 billion, which require regulators to supervise the industy.

Center of Financial Service Innovation (CFIS), as quoted by Tech Crunch, reported the growing number of alternative financial service in the United States in 2015. The $147 billion market is a 6.8% growth from 2014. That number represents fees that consumers pay as an interest revenue in the underserved financial market.

In total, the entire annual volume of financial activity is $1.6 trillion. The CFIS found that the underserved marketplace has grown from $138 billion in 2014 to $147 billion in 2015. That showed a significant market opportunity which is accessible for fintech companies, especially for those who can provide high-quality and affordable solutions for underserved consumers.

Citigroup also released a separate report on Wednesday to highlight the fintech companies and the growing pace of investment in the sector. According to the report, the investment for fintech industry in 2014 reached more than $11 billion and it continued to grow, reaching $20 billion in 2015.

A huge growth in the financial technology has been a disruption for the financial sectors. Regulators have been keeping an eye on this digital disruption, and in the last G20 meeting in Shanghai, financial technology companies was one of the topics discussed in the Financial Stability Board. In order to assess systemic implication of the fintech to the banking and financial service industry, G20 will establish a task force to evaluate fintech innovation.

In the U.S., Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) at the Treasury Department is considering new regulations for banks and fintech companies. Comptroller of the currency, Thomas Curry, said in a statement, which was quoted by CNBC, that fintech innovatiatons need to be regulated to balance the risk from their technology innovation.

"While banks continue to innovate, rapid and dramatic advances in financial technology are beginning to disrupt the way traditional banks do business," Mr. Curry said. "Banks and regulators must strike the right balance between risk and innovation."

OCC has set May 31 as the deadline for comments. After that the agency will move forward to develop a framework to update financial technology regulations.

In accordance to OCC, Nasdaq reported that Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, on Thursday, said that fintech will be able to play a role in making small-dollar loans to consumers. CFPB Director Richard Cordray told the Congress that his agency proposed a federal rule to govern a payday-loan industry.

Fintech has a big market opportunity, as many underserved financial consumers are accessible to them. Therefore, regulators prepared rules and regulation to govern the financial tech sector.

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