Cindy Taylor is founder of FintekNews, a website featuring the latest in financial technology news and trends. I had a chance to catch up with Cindy to find out more about FintekNews, what has helped compel the site into existence, and get the scoop on what fintech trends are hot in 2017.
G39: So, Cindy, what is FintekNews and by that token, what is Fintegration?
CT: FintekNews is a website and daily newsletter devoted to covering the financial technology sector at large, and all the major categories that comprise fintech including robo-advisors and wealthtech, blockchain technology, digital currencies, algorithmic and AI-based trading, digital banking, payments, crowd investing, P2P/marketplace lending and more. We also do daily features on bitcoin vs gold and other traditional investment products and a daily analysis of the KBW Nasdaq KFTX Fintech index, along with the fifty fintech stocks that comprise the index. The premise is to offer a quick, easily digestible read on all things fintech for financial sector professionals.
Fintegration, on the other hand, is the holding company for FintekNews. We offer consulting services to the financial media sector as well as whitepapers and specialized research to FintekNews advertisers under that entity.
G39: When was the site launched? What kind of news is aggregated?
CT: We launched FintekNews in July 2016, after developing the concept for over a year, and recently did a major upgrade of both our website and daily newsletter. We typically publish 8-10 items per day, with both original content, and commentary on fintech news which we curate for our audience and represent as the top fintech news stories of the day.
G39: Who is your audience? What are your most popular features?
CT: FintekNews utilizes a unique controlled distribution model, and we send our daily newsletter to over 200,000+ SEC- and state-registered investment advisors, hedge funds and VCs Monday-Saturday. We also have a significant readership within the banking and fintech sector.
As far as our most popular feature, our “3 Questions With” segment always gets very favorable reviews. We publish a new “3 Questions” interview each week with a thought leader in the fintech industry. We’ve included everyone from alternative coin start-ups, fintech investment bankers, and fintech banking consultants, to the presidents of leading fintech marketplace lenders.
Our fintech market analyses by our CEO Bill Taylor are also extremely popular and, believe it or not, our simple little “Notes from the Publisher” in which we outline the day’s stories with a one line comment – are also very well received with our readers.
G39: What fintech trends are you seeing that are especially hot in 2017?
CT: Last year, it was all about blockchain, blockchain, blockchain. While that train continues to roll down the track, this year we are seeing substantial buzz around artificial intelligence and machine learning in financial technology. We are also particularly interested in products being created by innovators such as the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, which has partnered with the UK’s Royal Mint to create a digital gold product that will trade in forex pairs against the U.S. Dollar, the Euro, and the British Pound later in 2017. They’ve also partnered with another British firm – CryptoFacilities – which has developed bitcoin futures, and while still unavailable in the U.S., we feel that when it does come to our shores, it will be a game-changer for digital currency trading.
G39: You mentioned your popular “3 Questions” feature with experts and thought leaders from all over the world. I’d love to turn to you to ask the big three questions.
First question: How did you personally become involved in fintech?
CT: I helped raise a $40M tranche to launch a hedge fund for my husband, and after that shifted my publishing career (which had previously been in the magazine and newspaper sector) to finance-related media. In consulting with various financial media after the JOBS Act passed in 2012, I thought it would be great if the industry would go after the hedge fund sector to garner new advertising revenue. We all know how that worked out – just a handful of hedge funds did some really basic marketing right after the legislation passed (a surfer video, an ad with a guy sitting on top of a building) and that pretty much was it. However, a whole new fintech industry was born, and we wanted to cover the industry in a general way and could not find a website that offered general news on fintech that we wanted as financial professionals anywhere in the United States. Finally, we just decided to do it ourselves.
G39: Second question: What do you believe the next major innovation in financial technology will be and why?
CT: As we mentioned before, we think that artificial intelligence is THE big thing for 2017, and we also are excited about new financial instruments such as digitized gold which will trade in forex markets along with bitcoin futures. But in reality, we see several trends occurring in different sectors simultaneously.
Additional digital currencies like Ethereum and Litecoin are starting to gain more traction. We see blockchain – the underlying technology of Bitcoin and other digital currencies – starting to be adapted more widely for tracking commodities, managing healthcare records, and processing financial transactions and more.
Then there’s new biometric technologies being increasingly adopted in the banking and payments sectors to protect customers’ digital identities. In trading markets, JP Morgan Chase recently reported the first ever mobile $100 million forex trade from a smartphone, signaling increased mobile adoption in the trading markets. And in banking, there are new online-only challenger banks giving traditional banks a run for their money. In crowd investing, we’re seeing deals close now not in the hundreds of thousands – or millions – but in the tens of millions of dollars.
We could go on all day, but you can see the list for us is endless, and it’s why we launched FintekNews. The pace of innovation in fintech across all sectors is breathtaking and any financial professional worth their salt needs to stay abreast of ALL the emerging technologies occurring in fintech in order to stay ahead of markets. One can’t possibly be an expert in all – so we distill it down so our readers can be an expert at large.
G39: And thirdly: What is your role within your firm and what do you do there on any given day?
CT: As publisher of an emerging media brand, I handle everything from editorial submissions to sales to new product development. Chief cook and bottle washer. And I love it all. It’s an incredible privilege to be considered a thought leader at the forefront of such an important sector for the American – and international – economy.
G39: We’re really excited about where fintech is headed, too! If someone wanted to find out more about FintekNews or to sign up for your newsletter – how can they find you?
CT: They can visit our website at http://www.finteknews.com/ and sign up for our daily newsletter or subscribe to our RSS feed at http://finteknews.com/feed/.