Deeper fintech evolution in 2021

Francis Plaza

While 2020 has been a challenging year for everyone, the year was also a milestone for fintechs in our country. We saw explosive growth across the entire community. Our friends at GCash hit over one trillion pesos in transactions. PayMongo grew around 40 times. E-commerce and food delivery continued to achieve strong growth, among many other incredible feats. In the wake of startup funding, from Qwikwire's $2 million round led by Spiral Ventures to our own Stripe-led PayMongo Series A worth $12 million, most impressively, we also saw a wave of new entrepreneurs and businesses, many of whom went online for the first time.

Our internet economy continues to drive forward, resilient and racing ahead to levels never seen before. While fintech is still in its nascent stages, this year 2021 presents an enormous opportunity for the industry to accelerate its growth. Many businesses now have a better understanding of the online space and the benefits of fintech services, and the internet provided a wider avenue for them to unlock growth. Every business now essentially are becoming internet companies. New business models will emerge, and significant revenues will be opened from financial services.

Take a look at the food and restaurant sector as an example. Many restaurants now get a significant portion, if not a majority, of its revenue through delivery channels. Consequently, they unlocked reach in locations they previously couldn't serve. This also allowed others to launch food brands without physical spaces, essentially running their restaurants from a ghost kitchen. As meal deliveries become the norm, not only will physical restaurants and ghost kitchens continue to accept payments online, but they also have an opportunity to create a growing loyalty from their customers. What you'd traditionally think of as loyalty cards and points could turn into subscription models, stored value food wallet, scheduled deliveries and many others.

The restaurant example is one obvious among many different, if not more complicated, business models that could be unlocked as many business sectors continue to thrive on the internet. This monumental shift across industries require the same change in financial services. Even those with zero to do with financial services will find fintech as a fabric of their evolving business models.

On the one hand, many of these businesses could also become enablers for further financial inclusion. For example, Grab drivers are now top-up channels for people to add cash to their e-wallets. On the other hand, fintechs can unlock their infrastructure as services for other business. PayMongo is an excellent example for unlocking the capabilities of payment services to all types of businesses. Other fintech services include cards issuing, lending, treasury as a service and fraud tools.

Overall, 2020 taught us great lessons of resilience and purposeful evolution as we adapt to the economy's changing needs. This year will remind us of the more immense opportunity for fintechs and financial services to continue racing ahead. 🌱

Published date:
April 8, 2021
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