The financial services industry is undergoing a digital transformation, driven by the rise of fintech startups that are disrupting traditional financial services.
Fintech infrastructure plays a crucial role in this transformation, providing the underlying technology and infrastructure that enables financial services to be delivered online and on mobile devices.
In this article, we will explore what fintech infrastructure is, how it differs from traditional financial services infrastructure, and some examples of fintech and traditional financial infrastructures.
What is Fintech Infrastructure?
Fintech infrastructure refers to the underlying technology and systems that enable fintech startups and financial institutions to offer digital financial services.
This includes the hardware, software, networks, and protocols that support the delivery of financial services online and on mobile devices.
Fintech infrastructure is critical to the success of fintech startups and financial institutions, as it enables them to deliver financial services that are faster, cheaper, and more accessible to consumers and businesses.
Definition of Fintech Infrastructure
Fintech infrastructure can be defined as the technological and operational components that enable the delivery of financial services online and on mobile devices.
This includes the hardware, software, networks, and protocols that support the creation, storage, and transmission of financial data and transactions.
How Fintech Infrastructure Works
Infrastructure finance refers to the financing of large-scale infrastructure projects such as:
These projects are typically funded through a combination of public and private financing. Private financing can take several forms, including bank loans, bonds, and equity investments.
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Financial Services Infrastructure vs Fintech Infrastructure
While fintech infrastructure is similar to traditional financial services infrastructure in many ways, there are some key differences.
Traditional financial services infrastructure refers to the systems and processes that support the delivery of financial services through physical branches and offices. This includes bank branches, ATMs, and physical payment processing systems.
In contrast, fintech infrastructure enables financial services to be delivered online and on mobile devices, with no physical presence required.
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Examples of Financial Infrastructures
There are many different types of financial infrastructures, ranging from traditional brick-and-mortar banking systems to digital-only fintech startups. Here are some examples of both traditional and fintech infrastructures:
Traditional Financial Infrastructures
- Bank branches and physical payment processing systems
- ATM networks
- SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication) network for global payment processing
- Credit card processing networks
Fintech Infrastructure Companies
In recent years, fintech infrastructure companies have emerged as a key player in the financial industry. These companies provide the tools and technology needed for fintech startups to operate and grow. They offer a wide range of services such as payment processing, data analysis, risk management, compliance, and customer acquisition. Here are some examples of fintech infrastructure companies:
- Amazon Web Services (AWS) and other cloud computing platforms that provide infrastructure for fintech startups
- Plaid and other API platforms that enable fintech startups to access financial data and connect with banks
- Stripe and other payment processing platforms that enable digital payments
- PayPal and other digital wallets that enable online and mobile payments
- Plaid: Plaid is a data network that powers fintech and digital finance products. It allows apps to connect with users’ bank accounts and access transaction data.
- Stripe: Stripe is a payment processing company that enables businesses to accept payments online. It provides a suite of tools for payment processing, fraud detection, and billing.
- Galileo: Galileo is an API-based fintech infrastructure platform that provides payment and banking services to startups. It offers solutions for debit cards, ACH transfers, and mobile payments.
- Synapse: Synapse is a banking platform that provides APIs for payments, deposits, and lending. It allows fintech startups to build their own banking products and services.
- Marqeta: Marqeta is a payment card issuing platform that enables businesses to create their own payment cards. It provides APIs for payment processing, authorization, and card management.
Fintech Infrastructure Startups
Besides fintech infrastructure companies, there are also many fintech infrastructure startups that are developing innovative solutions to improve the financial industry. These startups are often focused on specific niches such as lending, insurance, or wealth management. Here are some fintech infrastructure startups that are making an impact in the industry:
- Chime: a digital bank that operates entirely online and through mobile devices
- Robinhood: a stock trading platform that operates entirely online and through mobile devices
- TransferWise: a global money transfer platform that enables low-cost international transfers
- Square: a payment processing platform that enables merchants to accept digital payments in-person and online
- Ualá: Ualá is an Argentinean fintech startup that offers a mobile app for personal finance management. It provides a prepaid card, money transfers, and bill payments.
- Kushki: Kushki is a Latin American payments infrastructure startup that enables businesses to accept online payments in local currencies. It offers solutions for credit cards, debit cards, and bank transfers.
- Konfío: Konfío is a Mexican fintech startup that provides loans to small and medium-sized businesses. It uses data analysis to assess creditworthiness and offers a fast and convenient lending process.
- Nubank: Nubank is a Brazilian digital bank that provides a range of financial services including credit cards, personal loans, and savings accounts. It has become one of the largest fintech startups in Latin America.
- Creditas: Creditas is a Brazilian fintech startup that offers secured loans to individuals using their assets as collateral. It provides a more affordable and convenient alternative to traditional bank loans.
These examples illustrate the diverse range of financial infrastructures that exist today, and the many ways in which fintech infrastructure is transforming the financial services industry.
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Fintech Infrastructure Startups in Latam
The Latin American fintech market has experienced rapid growth in recent years. According to a report by the Inter-American Development Bank, there were 1,166 fintech startups in Latin America and the Caribbean as of 2019. Many of these startups are focused on providing fintech infrastructure solutions.
Here are some of the most prominent fintech infrastructure startups in Latam:
- Botin: This Argentine startup provides a platform for small and medium-sized businesses to access financing and manage their cash flow.
- Creditop: A Mexican startup that offers short-term loans to individuals and small businesses through its mobile app.
- Exactly: A Brazilian startup that specializes in credit risk analysis and provides data-driven insights to financial institutions.
- Ini: A Chilean startup that has developed a digital platform for managing employee benefits.
- Kashin: This Colombian startup provides a platform for online payments and money transfers.
- Koban: A Peruvian startup that offers a cloud-based platform for managing customer relationships and sales processes.
- Tapi: A Mexican startup that provides a digital payment platform for small businesses.
- Ubanku: A Brazilian startup that offers a white-label platform for digital banking services.
- Wibond: A Mexican startup that has developed a platform for managing accounts payable and receivable.
- Yuno: A Brazilian startup that provides a digital platform for managing employee benefits.
- Zenpli: A Colombian startup that offers a digital platform for managing insurance policies.
- Aviva: A Mexican startup that provides a platform for managing insurance policies and claims.
- Z1: A Brazilian startup that offers a platform for managing investment portfolios.
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Components of Financial Infrastructure
Financial infrastructure is composed of several key components that facilitate financial transactions and enable the smooth functioning of financial markets. Some of the key components of financial infrastructure include:
- Payment systems: These are systems that enable the transfer of funds between individuals and businesses. Payment systems can be categorized as either retail or wholesale.
- Securities settlement systems: These systems facilitate the transfer of ownership of securities from one party to another.
- Central counterparties: These entities act as intermediaries between buyers and sellers in financial markets, assuming the counterparty risk of each participant.
- Central depositories: These entities are responsible for the safekeeping and administration of securities.
- Trade repositories: These entities provide a central location for the reporting and recording of financial transactions.
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How Financial Infrastructure Works in Private Equity and Venture Capital
For a venture capital firm like us, financial infrastructure plays a critical role in managing investments and supporting portfolio companies. The infrastructure includes everything from accounting and reporting systems to fund administration and investor communications.
In private equity and Venture Capital, financial infrastructure is designed to provide transparency and accuracy in financial reporting while minimizing administrative burdens. This infrastructure enables venture capital firms to focus on their core activities of sourcing deals, conducting due diligence, and adding value to portfolio companies.
At Newtopia VC: Latam VC , we leverage technology to streamline financial infrastructure and enhance our ability to invest in early-stage companies. By implementing robust financial systems, we are better equipped to monitor our investments and provide timely and accurate financial reporting to our investors.
In conclusion, financial infrastructure is a critical component of the private equity and venture capital industry. At Newtopia VC, we recognize the importance of building and maintaining a strong financial infrastructure to support our investment activities and drive success for our portfolio companies.
Infrastructure in the Banking Industry
Infrastructure is also critical to the banking industry, enabling banks to provide financial services to their customers. Key components of banking infrastructure include:
- Core banking systems: These systems are responsible for managing customer accounts, transactions, and other banking operations.
- Payment processing systems: These systems enable banks to process payments and transfers between accounts.
- Credit scoring systems: These systems are used by banks to assess the creditworthiness of borrowers and make lending decisions.
- Compliance and risk management systems: These systems enable banks to comply with regulatory requirements and manage risks associated with their operations.
Insurance Market Infrastructure Fintech
Infrastructure fintech solutions are also transforming the insurance market. These solutions offer new ways to manage insurance policies, claims, and underwriting. Some of the key areas of innovation in insurance market infrastructure fintech include digital
Fintech Companies Latam
Defi bank focus on improving the financial inclusion for the GenZ. Financial industry doesn’t know anything about Genz and there´s a 2.5B billion market worldwide.
Ubanku, starts being the first step of the financial life for them, with a frictionless marketplace that can save money with a cashback of products and services of the university life, access to micro loans, all this, while they learn about finance, this allow us to create an innovating score system to connect GenZ with other financial products.
Creditop is a loan aggregator that processes any credit request by centralizing lenders and connecting customers with their ideal loan.
We have disbursed +$7.5M in mortgages, car and personal loans with a profitable pricing model in each transaction.
Our mission is to improve life quality through credit efficiency in LatAm. Founders:
Ini, a SaaS and white label fintech platform that allows any -wannabe fintech-company to scale their own payment network and expand their ecosystem into new markets and territories without losing the core focus of their businesses even when there is no connectivity access.
Inipay ́s IP tech (POS terminals + alternative connectivity) is also an enabler to reach new markets and niches such as events, concerts, stadiums, national parks, tourism and hospitality.
Aviva is an AI startup following a unique approach to unsecured and productive credit for the underserved communities in Mexico.
Now imagine you are an unbanked person and all that you need to do for getting your first loan is having a face-time call. They have a great experience building Konfio (Mexican Unicorn). Founders:
A digital financial services platform for Bolivia, Paraguay, Ecuador and Peru; where the vast majority don’t have access to financial services or are drastically underserved by traditional banks.
Koban allows users to perform an array of financial services including online and offline payments, money transfers, budgeting tools and credit solutions, among other services for consumers and SMBs in the region.
Zenpli is an infrastructure focused SaaS working on putting a stop to the KYC and fraud challenge in LatAm.
Through 1-single integration, LatAm fintechs and other digital innovators seamlessly onboard more good customers by accessing best-in-class data across all domains and running accurate end-to-end identity decisions supported by advanced models that are hard to spoof.
We’re rolling our product with Mastercard in Mexico in Q4 2022 with the potential to generate ~500k in ARR over the next 12-months.
We’re backed by The Fintech Fund, Ralicap, Amador, Newtopia and world-class angels and advisors from C-level and VPs at Socure, EPAM, Konfío, R2 and Bureau.id.
Kashin (YC S22) is Square with working capital for micro-merchants in LATAM.
We control risk with collaborative credit scoring and our vision is to become the primary financial platform for the masses.
Before Kashin, the founders led Cabify, the largest regional Uber competitor, and grew it from 0 to $50m in annual revenue.
Buy now, pay later without credit cards.
WIBOND is a digital payment method to pay in small installments and without the need of a credit card.
It shows the best payment options according to each customer’s possibilities so they can enjoy their favorite products.
Tapi is a Fintech B2B. Next-generation API-first network for billers, partners and their clients to re-envision the way bills get paid in LATAM.
Z1 is the Brazilian Gen Z neobank, where teenagers and young adults can begin their journey to financial independence.
Through Z1’s banking app, users can send and receive money from parents, employers or clients from their side gigs, as well as spend the money through a physical and virtual card.
BOTIN is an investment super app and a one stop shop to trade traditional and non-traditional assets; its vision is to make the wealth generation tools of the 1% available to all.
Through its Neo broker stock trading app gives users a simple and direct access to invest in different assets across multiple industries and territories (e.g., ETFs and stocks from USA, real estate, crypto, tokens, and others).
BOTIN is focused in helping 300 million people in Spanish speaking Latin America to protect their savings and have an option for retirement.
YUNO wants to bring to Latin American companies an easy online checkout solution that solves the pain point of managing multiple payment methods, as well as fraud detection tools, which can be costly and painful to manage.
In conclusion, fintech infrastructure is rapidly changing the financial services industry by enabling new business models, reducing costs, and increasing efficiency. As a result, the fintech sector is experiencing unprecedented growth, and this trend is expected to continue.
For early-stage companies looking to build innovative fintech products and services, partnering with fintech infrastructure providers can provide a competitive advantage and help accelerate growth. If you’re an early-stage fintech company looking for funding and support, visit newtopia.vc to learn more about how we can help you achieve your goals.