At its most basic, FinTech is about companies leveraging technology to make financial services more efficient. Traditionally conservative in nature and dominated by large banks, the financial services industry was ripe for new ideas and innovation. FinTech companies recognize the opportunity to reinvent the financial services industry through disruption. Consumers and businesses are already benefitting from disruptions to how we bank, invest, and transfer money — and will continue to do so.

FinTech shouldn’t be thought of as an after thought or alternative to the status quo, but rather as another option. Crowdsourcing and money transfers are two examples that are being re-envisioned by innovators in the FinTech sector, making it easier to do business and at a lower cost. Because FinTech companies are typically small and nimble, they can innovate and adapt in ways large companies can’t.

Collaboration brings out the best

Behind this growth of innovation in financial services is something equally innovative — FinTech clusters. These hubs of like-minded companies are designed to help start-ups get access to investment, product feedback, sales opportunities, and advice from industry leaders. Last year, Toronto’s MaRS FinTech Cluster was established to help bring the next generation of tech to the financial services industry. Paycase, a mobile money-transferring start-up, credits the cluster concept for helping it and others get established. “The FinTech cluster gives start-up companies access to major financial companies to create amazing solutions,” says Joseph Weinberg, co-founder and CEO of Paycase. “Small companies with great ideas also gain credibility with lenders and investors by being part of these collaborative clusters.”

Credibility and trust are important in the financial services industry, and consumers and investors want to know there is a strong team behind the idea.

Weinberg has discovered pockets of innovation across the country and finds it rewarding to advance FinTech in Canada. “It’s easy to find your competition and complimentary companies,” he says. “The possibilities are endless, and the next decade will be one revolutionized by innovation.”