Financial technology, commonly referred to as fintech, has become one of the fastest-growing industries in the world. The term encompasses a broad range of software, technological innovations and services for use in personal or professional investing and banking.
- 'The FINTECH Book' explores profitable opportunities.
- 'Breaking Banks' profiles fintech's entrepreneurs.
- 'Smarter Banks' shows how fintech is used in the real world.
- 'Digital Bank' is a guide for bankers.
- 'The Age of Cryptocurrency' explores the significance of the blockchain.
For investors who want to gain a better understanding of the industry, here are five of the best books written explaining what is all about and how it is changing the financial services sector.
The FINTECH Book by Susanne Chisti and Janos Barberis
Subtitled "The Financial Technology Handbook for Investors, Entrepreneurs, and Visionaries," this is a comprehensive guide to the industry. It aims to provide information and helpful advice for bankers, fintech entrepreneurs, and investors eyeing profit opportunities in the fintech industry.
The material included in "The FINTECH Book" was crowdsourced, mirroring a fintech-related economic trend. It was edited by two leading fintech authorities. Chisti is the chief executive officer of FINTECH Circle, the first angel investor network in Europe to focus on fintech. Barberis is the founder of the SuperCharger, a fintech accelerator based in Hong Kong.
Breaking Banks: The Innovators, Rogues, and Strategists Rebooting Banking by Brett King
Many of the products emerging from financial technology provide support services to banks and other traditional financial institutions. However, a number of fintech firms are disruptors within the financial services sector, and such companies are the subject of King’s book.
It provides insightful interviews with and stories about fintech entrepreneurs who are at the forefront of providing financial services through nontraditional means and examines phenomena such as the rise of peer-to-peer (P2P) lending and investing robo-advisors.
King is a recognized authority on the changing face of banking and finance, the author of several books on technological advances in banking, and in 2012 was voted American Banker’s Innovator of the Year.
Smarter Bank: Why Money Management Is More Important Than Money Movement to Banks and Credit Unions by Ron Shevlin
Shevlin's "Smarter Bank" focuses on the ways that the best and brightest traditional banks are adapting to and taking advantage of innovations in financial services.
Shevlin describes how these "smarter" banks are embracing the latest technology and adjusting their business models to esh with financial services innovations and a changing financial marketplace. He shows how leading banks are employing fintech products and services to improve customer relationships and bottom-line profitability.
The book addresses a broad range of subjects, including innovations in the use of big data, customer engagement, the increasing importance of mobile banking and online payment services, and the financial behaviors of millennials. It is definitely a recommended read for banking executives.
Shevlin, a long-time marketing consultant and banking industry analyst, was ranked No. 2 on Bank Innovation’s list of "30 Innovators to Watch: Key Executives Shaping the Industry" in 2014.
Digital Bank: Strategies to Launch or Become a Digital Bank by Chris Skinner
Skinner followed up his ninth book, "The Future of Banking in a Globalized World," with "Digital Bank," a book that aims ambitiously to offer a blueprint for creating what Skinner sees as the bank of the future. The book is essentially an extension of the work that Skinner has been doing for years through the Financial Services Club, a networking forum for financial services professionals, which he founded in 2004.
The focus is on helping banking industry professionals become more aware of the impact of the digital revolution in banking is changing the ways in which individuals and companies interact with their banks. Skinner offers illustrations and real-world examples of the changing face of banking and financial services through examinations of online banks like Ally Bank in the U.S., Fidor Bank in Germany, and the European peer-to-peer lending service company Zopa.
The Age of Cryptocurrency: How Bitcoin and Digital Money Are Challenging the Global Economic Order by Paul Vigna and Michael Casey
As the title indicates, Vigna and Casey's book focuses on the rise of cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin. Vigna and Casey, reporters for The Wall Street Journal, explain the significance of alternative currencies and explore how they may revolutionize the world's basic monetary system by providing an entirely new financial system through blockchain technology. Further, they see this as a means of providing basic financial services to the vast portion of the world's population that is unbanked.
The authors provide a clear explanation of the origins of digital cryptocurrencies and how they enable transactions outside of, and independent from, a central bank. In particular, the book provides a thorough examination of bitcoin, acknowledging its weaknesses but more emphatically asserting that cryptocurrency has established a firm foothold in the monetary world and is likely to continue to increase in acceptance.