9 minute read

Fintech Trends: 2024

A Look at the Key Trends Shaping the Fintech Landscape

The fintech industry is rapidly evolving, with 2024 proving to be a landmark year for technological advancements and widespread consumer adoption.

Financial technology, or fintech, is reshaping the way individuals manage money and engage with financial institutions. From the increased use of fintech applications to the rise of alternative credit scoring methods, these innovations are making financial services more accessible and more efficient.

The surge in fintech adoption is not just limited to younger generations — Baby Boomers are increasingly embracing these new technologies as well, reflecting fintech’s broadening demographic appeal.

Key trends, such as the normalization of emerging payment technologies, the focus on sustainability, and the growth of embedded finance are redefining consumer expectations and pushing the limits of technology and AI innovation.

1. More Consumers Using Fintech Apps Than Ever Before

The adoption of fintech apps has seen remarkable growth in recent years. As of 2023, the global fintech adoption rate stands at 64%, up from 60% in 2019. This trend highlights the growing trust in, and reliance on, digital financial solutions, driven by increasing consumer awareness and engagement with fintech services, particularly in payments and money transfers, which 75% of consumers have used.

The Ernst & Young Global Fintech Adoption Index also notes this surge, detailing the rise in usage rates and identifying factors driving this growth. Key drivers include convenience, speed, and enhanced security. As these technologies become more sophisticated, user-friendly, and personalized, adoption is expected to continue climbing.

Additionally, findings from Tipalti and Fortune highlight fintech’s popularity among all age groups, including Baby Boomers, who are increasingly incorporating fintech into their day-to-day activities. This widespread acceptance across the generations underscores fintech’s transformative impact across the entire financial landscape.

2. Fintech Brands Must Woo the Baby Boomers

Fintech usage among Baby Boomers is on the rise, with most now using at least one fintech application. This surge presents a significant opportunity for fintech firms to tap into a lucrative market segment that has traditionally been slower to embrace new technology.

And this new segment is very enthusiastic. According to Fortune, Baby Boomers are the fastest-growing demographic among all fintech users, with adoption doubling year-over-year to the current rate of 79%.

This growth is driven by the convenience and control fintech apps offer, making financial management easier for older adults.

As Baby Boomers increasingly rely on digital tools for banking, payments, and investing, fintech brands need to tailor their offerings to meet the specific needs and preferences of this demographic.

  • Ensure user-friendly interfaces for less technically fluent consumers
  • Voice-command functionality
  • Larger fonts
  • More robust customer support

The technology doesn’t necessarily just sell itself though. Fintech companies must emphasize the benefits of their services, such as time savings, reduced need to carry cash or visit the bank, more personalized recommendations, and also address any concerns about security and usability. 

3. Focus on Sustainability

Sustainability is becoming a pivotal focus within the fintech sector as companies increasingly incorporate eco-friendly initiatives. This includes providing green loans —- loans at favorable terms for sustainability and environmentally beneficial projects.

Fintech companies are also innovating with advanced eco-solutions like carbon tracking tools and mobile payment options for carbon offsetting, enabling consumers to directly reduce their carbon footprints through everyday financial transactions. These developments underscore the industry’s commitment to sustainability. 

Cyber currency is also getting greener too. Environmentally friendly cryptocurrencies like Chia (XCH), Cardano (ADA), and Nano (NANO), which utilize less energy-intensive mining processes, are gaining traction. Additionally, open banking frameworks are being increasingly leveraged to enhance transparency and encourage sustainable financial practices.

4. Digital Wallets and Emerging Payment Technologies

Emerging payment technologies and digital wallets are becoming as commonplace as credit card swipes and chip reads.

Examples of emerging payment technologies include biometric payments, such as Apple’s Face ID and Samsung’s iris scanner, wearable payment devices like smartwatches, voice-activated payments, and QR code payments.

Digital wallets like Apple Pay, Google Wallet, and Samsung Pay allow consumers to make transactions seamlessly using their phone or wearable connected device, while peer-to-peer (P2P) payment methods such as Venmo, Cash App, Zelle, and Dwolla continue to grow in usage. In fact, P2P payment adoption reached 68% in 2024 and is projected to climb to 73% by 2027.

The convenience and security offered by these technologies are driving their widespread usage. Consumers appreciate the ability to make instant payments without the need for physical cards, and the enhanced security measures such as tokenization and biometric verification.

5. New Credit Score Alternatives

The traditional credit scoring system is a significant barrier to many Americans, with an estimated 49 million individuals lacking access to traditional credit scores. These scores are crucial for securing car loans, student loans (private loans), phone plans, favorable insurance premiums, credit cards, housing, and, in some cases, even employment.

A lack of credit scores impacts nearly every area of U.S. life, disproportionately hindering immigrants, young adults, and the unbanked or underbanked.

Credit score alternatives are emerging as a solution for both consumers and financial institutions. Instead of relying on conventional metrics like credit reports and FICO scores, fintech companies are using alternative data to capture a consumer’s cash flow information, looking at paystubs, utility bills, and other details that can paint a fuller picture.

This shift toward new credit score alternatives can benefit millions of Americans who have been historically excluded from access to mainstream credit and banking.

6. Open Banking Expansion

Open banking is here, it’s popular, and it’s only expanding. Open banking refers to a system that allows a third-party platform to access financial data from banks and other financial institutions through APIs (application programming interfaces).

An example of this includes a customer using a budgeting app to reduce or negotiate their bills, where they grant the app permission to pull in data from multiple credit card, investment, bank, and subscription accounts.

Through open banking, customers can securely share their financial and personal data with authorized third parties in a secure, easy, and user-friendly way.

This convenience is highly appealing to customers everywhere. In the future, more regulations and interoperability standards may come into play, as well as greater integration of artificial intelligence and more robust machine learning (ML) capabilities.

7. Embedded Finance Revenues Exploding

Embedded finance lets you borrow, bank, or pay without ever leaving the existing (often non-financial) app you’re in.

This technology facilitates borrowing money, banking, or making a purchase. Notable examples of embedded finance include Klarna, Affirm, Intuit Credit Karma, Stripe, Plaid, Shopify, and Amazon, but there are other less obvious examples.

Let’s say someone uses Canva to create a design, and then the platform prompts them to pay $20 to print the file and pick it up at a third-party printer, like CVS or Walgreens — or even to have it directly mailed to them from Shutterfly.

Here, Canva would be integrating a third-party printing service into its app, and possibly an additional third-party app for the payment processing. This embedded finance can generate an important stream of revenue in addition to Canva’s premium subscription model.

Consumers benefit, as they get the ease of being able to create and purchase within one platform, whereas previously, they would have had to create the artwork in Canva, download it to their computer, and then upload it to an online printing service or bring a USB flash drive to a retail store.

With embedded finance as appealing to consumers as it is to businesses, forecasts suggest embedded finance revenue will see explosive growth, becoming a $640 billion industry by 2029.

8. Rise in Synthetic Identity Fraud

Financial fraud of all kinds is on the rise; this includes synthetic identity fraud too. This type of fraud involves fabricating a new identity by combining real and made-up data to carry out various fraudulent activities like obtaining credit cards, other loans, and ATM cards. 

Perpetrators often acquire the Social Security Number (SSN) of vulnerable individuals, those less likely to know their SSN or check their credit history, such as children, the elderly, or the unhoused. On top of the real SSN, criminals will layer on fake names, dates of birth, and other phony details.

Compared to “traditional” identity fraud, synthetic fraud: 

  • Is more sophisticated and requires greater long-term planning to patiently build fake identities and establish fake credit profiles over time. 
  • Involves the creation of new identities instead of stealing or impersonating an existing identity or credit profile.
  • Is much harder for banks and financial firms to detect. Fraudsters can operate undetected for vast periods as it involves engaging in normal-looking credit activity for extended periods.

Fintech companies and financial firms are developing more advanced fraud detection systems to combat synthetic identity theft — this includes biometric verification, third-party passcode generators, temporary passwords, stricter ID checks, and analysis of public records.

Businesses will likely need to advocate for and increase, information-sharing among financial institutions and other agencies to mitigate these new fraud risks. 

9. Increase in Consumer Lending Activity

Consumer borrowing is continuing to increase, with credit card applications and mortgage applications rising. This includes Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) loans, an interest-free credit option that has seen a 40% increase in usage in recent years.

Buy Now, Pay Later

Businesses catering to the BNPL segment, however, could be negatively impacted by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) May 2024 ruling. 

The CFPB states that BNPL lenders will now be classified as credit card providers. This offers consumers greater protections for returns and disputed charges, but it poses major regulatory and operational challenges for retailers and BNPL operators. Many other fintech-related businesses will also be impacted by the ruling, including credit reporting agencies, regtech (regulation technology) providers, and payment processors.

Loan Applications 

An increase in credit card and mortgage applications will create greater business opportunity for fintech affiliate partners, including content publishers, finfluencers (financial influencers on social media), and financial comparison platforms such as Bankrate, WalletHub, loanDepot, LendingTree, and Quicken Loans.

10. AI Shaping How Consumers Manage Money

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is revolutionizing how consumers handle their finances. According to Plaid, consumers are using AI to handle bills, long-term planning, and conduct their day-to-day banking in an intuitive and streamlined way.

Here are some top consumer use cases:

  • 53% Lower, negotiate, or cancel bills and subscription services.
  • 51% Resolve customer service issues. 
  • 50% Advice on budgeting or spending. 
  • 50% Financial education advice. 

As AI continues to advance and integrate into financial services, both improved financial literacy and customer service are expected to improve.

11. Crypto is Mainstream and Back on the Rise

While 2022 was a shaky year for cryptocurrency when a majority of consumers saw it as a volatile investment, since 2023 it has been on the rebound.

Bitcoin going mainstream, thanks to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which has driven up interest and demand. This newfound fervor may spill over onto other cryptocurrencies.

While Bitcoin itself is not traded on traditional stock exchanges, the SEC approved 11 spot Bitcoin ETFs in January 2024. A spot Bitcoin ETF, similar to other spot ETFs for precious metals and commodity assets, allows for shares of a fund to be created or redeemed based on market demand. This provides investors with a more traditional way to invest in Bitcoin without needing to directly purchase or hold the asset.

The 2024 Cryptocurrency Adoption and Sentiment Report reveals other interesting findings:

  • Ownership rates are surging, with a record 40% of all adult Americans now owing crypto — up from 30% in 2023. The most current figure is likely low since the study was published before the Bitcoin ETF.
  • Increased optimism: 63% of current crypto owners said they planned to obtain more crypto funds in the next year, with Ethereum (ETH), Dogecoin (DOGE), and Cardano (ADA) the most desired coinage after Bitcoin.
  • More women are buying: The rate of crypto ownership among women has surged from 18% to 29% within one year, and the gender gap will likely continue to narrow.

So far, the Bitcoin ETF hasn’t hurt other investment platforms like Robinhood and Stash, which previously provided the easiest mainstream access to crypto.

If anything, the Bitcoin ETF has helped these DIY investor apps. Robinhood stock (HOOD) has been up slightly since the ETF. The company’s CFO, Jason Warnick, has noted, “We think it [the Bitcoin ETF] increases overall market interest in crypto and also brings liquidity to the market. So net-net, we’re really pleased with the Bitcoin ETFs.”

12. Continued Rise of Neobanks

Neobanks, digital-only banks, are continuing to grow in popularity. Neobanks offer fee-free accounts, high-APR savings products, and a robust, mobile-first user experience. Some of the most popular neobanks, like Varo, Chime, and Aspiration, are already household names.

These neobanks are shaking up the banking industry, compelling conventional brick-and-mortar institutions to improve their digital offerings, ease up on fees, and offer more competitive rates.

Consumers appreciate the convenience and better overall user experience of neobanks compared to brick-and-mortar. Consulting firm Simon-Kucher & Partners estimates that worldwide there are now over 1 billion neobank customers, with the sector experiencing 30% growth within an 18-month window.

Initially, neobanks were operating at a loss as they siphoned away customers from traditional banking institutions. But now, some of these neobanks are beginning to achieve profitability. Christoph Stemeier, a senior partner at Simon-Kucher & Partners predicts, “Probably 10 years down the road, I’m not sure we will still distinguish between a neobank and a traditional bank.”

Still, notes Stegmeier, “Only a select few of the 399 neobanks tracked by the firm are expected to survive in the long-term.” He estimates that about 50 neobanks will ultimately sustain — much fewer, but still enough to offer consumers ample choice. 

13. Fintech Provides Stability Amid Financial Uncertainty

In times of economic uncertainty, with consumers and analysts grappling over whether we are in a recession or not, fintech solutions have become a critical resource for consumers seeking financial stability.

A growing number of individuals rely on fintech apps to weather the storm:

  • 71% of Millennials and 63% of Gen Z rely on fintech to budget, bank, save money, and navigate their day-to-day financial lives. Overall, more than half of all U.S. consumers are fintech-reliant. 
  • Fintech apps provide a direct line to credit scores and credit alerts, alternative lending options, budgeting tools, and personalized finance advice.

Increasingly, fintech apps are introducing features that can help users mitigate risk and achieve better overall financial wellness.


For 2024 and beyond, the fintech industry is at the forefront of technological innovation, transforming how we interact with money and financial services. 

While every year brings rapid new advancements, 2024 is proving a particularly pivotal year for the industry. From the Bitcoin ETF in January 2024, to deeper AI integrations, to embedded finance, fintech has completely transformed our relationship with money. 

In the coming years, fintech will continue to lead the way in creating a more inclusive, innovative, and green financial ecosystem. 

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