Twas The Night Before Fintech Christmas

Twas The Night Before Fintech Christmas


Twas the Night Before Fintech Christmas

Twas the night before Christmas,
And money was flowing
to Big Finance and Big Banks
With no sign of slowing

Fees and surcharges
Were applied with care
With hopes that Regulators
Would stay out of their hair

When up popped a startup
Then two and then three
Nibbling at the edges
Where the Banks’ business should be

“We don’t need to worry”
“They can’t compete with us Banks”
“Who would trust a new startup?”
“Thanks, but no thanks”
But from Alternative Lending
Arose such a clatter
Suddenly acquiring customers
In numbers that matter

There is Lendio and Kabbage
Funding Circle and OnDeck
SmartBiz and LoanNow
The Banks said, ‘What the heck?”

Yet before the Big Banks
Rose and collected themselves
Came new ways to pay
O’er the Net, off the shelf

Emerged Square and Stripe
And WePay and Dwolla
Klarna and Braintree
The Banks started to holler

“Stop right there you startups!
With your beards and cool glasses
Bringing dogs into work
And noontime yoga classes”

“Un- and under-banked
Have no place at our table
Your ‘alt credit ratings’
Make the whole thing unstable!”
But stop they did not
In fact they kept coming
VCs sent more money
The growth metrics were humming

Wallets open to fintech
Were Spark, TTV and Kleiner
Fintech Collective and Andreessen
Dealflow couldn’t be finer

Now the Old Guard was nervous
Some started to fret
“Is that it? Is it over now?”
But they ain’t seen nothing yet

Hitting right at the heart
Of FinServ’s bread and butter
Personal Finance and Wealth Management
Came one after another

Wealthfront made a splash
Betterment did as well
Credit Karma & Nav arrived
With services to sell
“At least there’s one area
That won’t cause pain in our butts
That’s cryptocurrency and Bitcoin
Because those guys are nuts”

So they ignored Coinbase and Xapo
Align Commerce (now Veem) and BitPay
“They have nothing to offer
Fiat currency’s here to stay”

But along with Bitcoin
Came a tech called blockchain
“We don’t get how that works
But it’s a threat just the same!”
“Woe is me!” some moaned
“Our branch network means we’re sunk!”
But a few Banks were not done yet
They said, “This is bunk!”

“There are things we do well
Certain processes we know
And these guys need a place
To park all that dough”

And so they set about partnering
Investing in and acquiring
These startups and quick growth firms
Whose customers they were desiring
So is there room at the table?
Is there a happy ending
For Fintech Startups and Big Banks
in PFM, payments and lending?

We have no crystal ball
Just remember, play nice
However, it turns out
We’ll leave you with this advice

Recognize what’s important
May your blessings be many
And wear more comfortable shoes
Next year at Money 20/20!

Happy holidays and best wishes for the new year from the CSTMR family to yours! 

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Picture of Jack Macy
Jack Macy
Jack Macy is one of the co-founders of CSTMR. His background and experience span branding, marketing strategy, design, UX, and technical development across financial services, technology, healthcare, and nonprofits.

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