What is TechFin?

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by Adedamola Bada · 8 min read
What is TechFin?

Find everything you might need to know about the upcoming FinTech disruptor – TechFin. Learn what the technology is about, check the industry’s key players, and tech’s potential for the future.

TechFin is a service that deals in consultation and automation of all business related to the financial sector. It implies the use of technological devices to edge out the olden methods of financial services provision. These technological applications serve to lessen cost, boost output, and ensure the smooth flow of all operations.

Key Characteristics of TechFin

It is a common misconception, that FinTech and TechFin are the same, admittedly, they have some quite similar characteristics that we will separately highlight highlighted in another guide, TechFin and FinTech mean two different things.

FinTech is used to define financial institutions that employ the use of technological methods in bettering their customer relationship and delivery services. TechFin, on the other hand, refers to tech-based firms that intend to extend their operations into the financial sector.

Banking mobile apps, Circle Invest, PayPal, Monzo, and Plaid tech are typical examples of FinTech companies as the parent companies are financial institutions that are adopting modern technology. However, Alipay alongside Apple Pay, WeChat Pay, Google Pay, and the yet to be completed WhatsApp Pay, are classic examples of TechFin establishments.

With the rigorous policies and processes entailed in banking and finance processes, TechFin establishments tend to serve as the middle man and save people from the stress and delay involved. Ensuring that they can manage their money and invest valuable time into other pursuits.

Major Players in the TechFin Field

Ant Financial Services Group

This is an online payment platform, established in 2004 in China by Jack Ma and Alibaba Group. For the first 10 years of the startup, the business was known as Alipay, but is now known as Ant Financial. As of right now, the firm is the biggest pure TechFin establishment in the world today, valued around $150 billion. In 2013, the firm was announced to edge out PayPal as the biggest online payment service on the globe. By 2016, the firm had over 400 million active subscribers worldwide, But the number has since neared 1 billion subscribers by 2020.

In 2017, the firm proposed to acquire MoneyGram as a subsidiary for a fee in the region of $900 million, but the deal was unable to fall through due to some American security issues. In the same year, the firm released the facial recognition feature for payment options. By 2018, the firm established a direct money wiring service option between the Philippines and China. Then it went on to set a record of the highest amount ever raised in a single day, with the funds totaling to nearly $15 billion.

In 2019, the firm bought World First Ltd. for a sum of over $690 million. Later, it went on to partner up with Barclays to ensure that Chinese expatriates in the United Kingdom can have easy payment options through their stay in the UK. Currently, the firm’s Alipay operates in over 50 nations around the world, while partnering with worldwide reputes like Visa and Mastercard to ensure that its global customers can access the payment service regardless of the type of card they own.

Apple Inc.

Apple Inc. is an international tech-based firm that was founded by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne back in 1976. The firm produces hardware products that encompass all iOS devices. It is spearheaded by Tim Cook who was COO under Jobs who was former CEO until he died in 2011. Tim’s current net worth is valued at $1.3 billion.

In 2014, Apple Inc. released the Apple Pay feature that enables all subscribers with an iOS version of 8.1 or higher to make payments and transactions with people who enable transactions via smartcards.

The feature was initially restricted to customers within the American border but has since spread to over 25 countries, reaching Europe, Africa, Australia, and Asia, while partnering with worldwide reputes like American Express, Visa and Mastercard to ensure that its global customers can access the payment service irrespective of the type of card they own.

Although the service was launched in 2014, it did not begin to make real strides until 2 years later, when Apple Inc. partnered with Chinese, Australian, French, Chinese, and Canadian financial institutions, with popular businesses like KFC, ExxonMobil Corp., and Starbucks who approved of the feature to make payments.

Between 2017 to the present, the Apple Pay feature has become universal to almost any top business in the world, with the feature present on the Apple Watch alongside the mobile devices. Apple Pay also allows iOS users to complete transfers via the use of iMessage.

WeChat

WeChat is a China-based tech establishment, launched in 2011, and started as a social media messaging system but now has a mobile transaction service and is now used for citizen monitoring throughout China. The service is one of the biggest mobile applications, boasting of a monthly mean of one billion users. The service was initially known as Weixin but was swapped for WeChat when it reached a century of millions of subscribers.

The transaction service was released 2 years after its initial launch, and by 2016, recorded over 350 million people using the payment service “WeChat Pay”. It requires all subscribers to link the account to their credit cards. The transaction is immediate for all Chinese subscribers but it however requires extra certification of the identity of all non-Chinese users before transactions can be completed.

On the last day of January 2014, WeChat Inc. added a “red envelope” attribute to the payment service, for monetary gift-giving to a selected group of people. The attribute consists of two forms; in which the funds can be disbursed evenly, or at random, depending on whichever the subscriber chooses. By 2016, over 3 billion “red envelopes” had been sent out, with over 400,000 on February 8th. As of right now, WeChat Pay has topped AliPay to become the largest online payment service in China, with a lot of its subscribers from its huge social media database.

Google LLC

Google LLC is an international establishment that was set up in 1998 by Larry Page and Sergey Brin, a major subsidiary of a conglomerate known as Alphabet Inc., with the founders’ net worth at $66 billion and $62 billion respectively. Google LLC launched its Google Pay service in 2018, but has not recorded much success in getting off the ground.

The Google Pay feature is as a result of the merger between Google Wallet and Android Pay. The feature is present and functional in 30 countries around the globe and is in a few years, expected to have just as much success as the Apple Pay and WeChat Pay once the majority of Android users have been properly sensitized on its availability and how it works.

Facebook Inc.

Facebook Inc. was formed at Harvard in 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg, Eduardo Saverin, Andre McCollum, Dustin Moskovitz, and Chris Hughes. Membership was first restricted to students of Harvard but was later spread to other schools and the rest of the world. Zuckerberg currently owns WhatsApp, and Instagram, establishing him as the King of all social media. He became the youngest billionaire at 23 and is currently worth around $83 billion.

Facebook Pay was released in 2015 for subscribers in the United States to share money with friends. Unfortunately, the feature did not record as much success as Facebook Inc. would have wanted as social media platform’s glory days are over, losing out in daily traffic to WhatsApp, Instagram, and Twitter.

WhatsApp

Created in 2009 by Jan Koum and Brian Acton, WhatsApp is an online social media service that enables text, voice, and video communication on its platform. It is a mobile app that can also be accessed via its “web” on personal computers. The service also has a business subsidiary that allows small-scale entrepreneurs to connect with potential customers.

WhatsApp Pay is a new feature that has been predicted by experts to gain a lot of users. With WhatsApp being the most popular social media service in the world, such predictions are not far-fetched. Officially released in mid-June 2020 in India, the service is expected to fully function and make its way to the rest of the world in less than 2 years.

TechFin’s Potential for the Future

The tech-based firms are the firms with the highest number of subscribers in the world today. Activity via TechFin is expected to edge out FinTech in the coming years because the majority of these TechFin companies are renowned tech-based firms with huge customer databases on the platforms.

Platforms that many have become accustomed to over the years, making it convenient for the customers to adapt well into the introduction of financials. Over the coming years, it is expected to see various financial institutions merging with these tech-based organizations to avoid completely losing customers to the up and coming tech generation kids.

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