15 Important Things That Happened in FinTech in 2015



Amit Goel

Co-Founder at LetsTalkPayments.com


As the year draws to a close, it is time for a recap. 2015 was the hottest year for FinTech. The deal activity was at an all time high with $4.5 B+ in just last 5 months till November end. P2P payments was a hot topic and year 2015 saw the launch of many new big brand wallets “BrandX Pay”. Startups made a huge dent in the market with disruption intensity forcing incumbents to react. Let’s look at specific items below:

Acquisitions:The payments industry continued to witness massive acquisitions in 2015, repeating the trend from last year. Many payment companies have focused on acquiring technology providers; this shows a strong interest in providing technology-based services to customers. Payment companies are focusing on digital technologies such as mobile payments, cloud-based services; biometric authentication and other modern methods meet the expectations of the digital generation.

1. Visa Announces Agreement to Acquire TrialPay: Visa partnered with TrialPay, a leading payments technology company that was founded in 2006 and now reaches over 500 million users across 20,000 merchants in 180 countries. With TrialPay, Visa will be able to target consumers based on their transaction histories and present them with specific promotions.

2.Early Warning Acquire Authentify: In April, Early Warning, a leading player in fraud prevention and risk management, announced a definitive agreement to acquire Authentify Inc. This acquisition will enable Early Warning to offer organizations digital multi-factor authentication and the ability to integrate, manage and prioritize multiple digital channel authentication methods, via one platform, reducing fraud and risk while improving the consumer experience.

3. PayPal Buy Xoom, The Remittance Player, M&A Team Picks Another Gem: In July, 2015 the online payments players PayPal acquired remittance player, Xoom. The strategic acquisition will broadens PayPal’s consumer offering to its 68 million active U.S. customers by cross-selling Xoom’s services.

4. Prosper Marketplace Acquires BillGuard: Prosper Marketplace announced a definitive agreement to acquire BillGuard, the personal finance tracking application that enables users to protect & control credit and identity in real-time from their mobile devices.

5. Visa Acquires Visa Europe, a Division Visa Split off From Ahead of the Company’s 2008 IPO, for $23.4 Billion: Visa Inc. announced in November, 2015 that it would acquire its former European arm Visa Europe, for as much as €21.2 billion ($23.4 billion) in cash and stock—an agreement that would bring Visa’s global operations under one roof.

6. ATM Leader Diebold Agrees to $1.8 Billion Takeover of Wincor Nixdorf: Diebold Inc. ,a global leader in providing self-service delivery, value-added services and software primarily to the financial industry – agreed to buy Wincor Nixdorf AG, a leading provider of IT solutions and services to banks and the retail industry, to create the biggest maker of cash machines and security systems with more than $5 billion in sales.

P2P Payments: also known as person-to-person payment or peer-to-peer payment has been a hot topic in the FinTech industry since the past five years. There were two major news in 2015 for the segment:

7. MasterCard Makes Sending and Receiving Money Faster, Easier & More Secure with MasterCard Send: MasterCard launched MasterCard Send™ on May, 2015 – a first-of-its-kind personal payments service that enables funds to be sent quickly and securely to consumers domestically and internationally. Through a single connection to the MasterCard Send platform, businesses, merchants, governments, non-profits, issuers and other senders can send money to consumers whether they are banked or unbanked, and located domestically or abroad.

8. Facebook Makes P2P Payments Available to Everyone in the US:  Messenger person-to-person payments were made available to everyone in the U.S. Customers can add their Debit Card and pay anyone on Messenger in a few taps. Money goes straight from your checking account to the recipient’s checking account.

Year 2015 marked the launch of many “BrandX Pay” wallets

9. Samsung launches its own mobile payment service Samsung Pay: Samsung Pay launched initially in Korea on August 20th, 2015. In September, 2015, the company launched the service in US also. Samsung Pay is a secure and easy-to-use mobile payment service, Samsung Pay works almost anywhere you can swipe or tap your card. The company also plans for bringing the service to the China, Spain and the U.K. are also underway.

10. Google Finally Responds to Apple Pay With Android Pay: Android users will now be able to make contactless payments in the US. Google, in collaboration with the payment networks, finally rolled out Android Pay. The service was launched in September, 2015.

11. America’s Bank, JPMorgan Chase & Co. announced the launch of its own digital wallet Chase Pay: At the Money 20/20 conference held recently in Las Vegas, America’s largest bank by assets JPMorgan Chase & Co. announced the launch of its own digital wallet called “Chase Pay”. Described as a “closed loop network,” Chase Pay will allow Chase’s 94 million credit, debit and pre-paid card customers to make in-store, in-app and online purchases, beginning 2016.

12. LG is Gearing Up To Launch LG Pay: LG Electronics revealed that it had signed an agreement to develop its own mobile payment service called LG Pay. LG, which signed the agreement with South Korea’s largest and second-largest credit card firms Shinhan Card Co Ltd and KB Kookmin Card Co Ltd.

13. Walmart Introduces Mobile Payment Solution ‘Walmart Pay’:American multinational retail corporation Walmart launched its own mobile payment solution called “Walmart Pay.” The solution will enable a fast, easy and secure way for customers to pay with their smartphones in Walmart stores. Customers can pay with any iOS or Android smartphone, through any major payment type and at any checkout lane, all through the Walmart app.

14. Apple Pay Starts its Journey in UK, Officially, Plans to launch in China by February, 2016: Contactless payment system Apple Pay arrived in the UK on July, 2015 and is now available in shops supporting Apple Pay and across the London transport network. Apple Inc. also plans to launch its contactless payment system Apple Pay in China, the company’s second-largest market, The Wall Street Journal reported. Apple hopes to launch the mobile payments solution before the Spring Festival holiday on February 8, 2016.

Proximity Marketing: With the introduction of new technologies, proximity marketing has become much more than sending contextual messages to customers. Proximity platforms could also transform digital out-of-home, or even traditional billboard marketing. The year 2015 marked some major developments in this arena:

15. Facebook Enters the Arena of Proximity Marketing with Bluetooth Beacons: Facebook leveraged Bluetooth beacons to test a new service to send information to users based on their locations. The information can be about shops, landmarks, etc. near the user’s location. The service, dubbed as “Place Tips”, can make a mark in terms of users’ digital presence and will be driven by the rising penetration of smartphones that can continuously broadcast the user’s location.

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