Fintech (financial technology) startups

As consumer trust in the banking system declines, a growing number of tech startups are ready to steal away up to $4.7 trillion worth of business, according to a recent study from Goldman Sachs. In 2014, global investment in financial technology companies tripled, to more than $12 billion. The trend continued in 2015, when $10.49 billion was invested in the first three quarters.

From payments processing and alternative lending firms to automated investment services, fintech startups have become attractive for a number of reasons. They’re easy to use, and often marginally cheaper than what the competition charges. Companies like Lending Club have popularized fintech as an attractive industry. The startup went public in 2014 for an $8 billion valuation, though founder Renaud Laplanche recently admitted that was a trying year.

Security is another common concern with fintech. Alternative lending firms often collect hundreds of data points to underwrite clients.

Still, „as people become used to trusting tech companies such as Google, Amazon, and Facebook with their personal information, they will also start trusting startups,” he said.


Ex.1 Match the Polish words to their English equivalents from the text:

1. zmaleć
2. bilion
3. potroić się
4. miliard
5. kwartał
6. konkurencja
7. branża
8. wycena

 billion  competition  industry  quarter  trillion  valuation  to decline  to triple


Ex.2 Match these words from the two columns to form collocations:

1. consumer concern
2. banking information
3. financial points
4. payments services
5. investment processing
6. common system
7. data technology
8. personal trust


Ex.3 Say these sentences in English using some expressions from the previous exercises:

1. Firmy fintech są poważną (serious) konkurencją dla system bankowego.
2. Bezpieczeństwo transakcji (transaction) jest jednym z glównych powodów do niepokoju.
3. Miliardy danych i osobistych informacji są przetwarzane każdego dnia.


I know English idioms!

This lesson’s text informs us that “a growing number of tech startups are ready to steal away up to $4.7 trillion worth of business”. The expression “steal away” is of course used here metaphorically. However, it might be useful to look at it from a more idiomatic perspective:
 to steal a march on sb = to get an advantage over that person by acting before they do (uprzedzić kogoś w zrobieniu czegoś)
 Our rival company managed to steal a march on us by bringing out their software ahead of ours.


Phrasals, phrasals…

The key word of this lesson: “startup” comes from a rather popular phrasal verb:
 to start up = to bring a business, organization or project into existence (zacząć działalność)
 The Agency helps over 1000 firms start up each year.
 She left the company to start up her own business.


fintech – technologia finansowa
startup – nowa firma (oparta na nowych technologiach)
consumer trust – zaufanie konsumenta
to decline – maleć, spadać
growing number – rosnąca liczba
to steal away – skraść
up to – do (jakiejś kwoty)
trillion – bilion (!)
worth – wartość
study – studium, badanie
global investment – globalne inwestycje
to triple -potroić się
billion- miliard (!)
quarter -kwartał
payments processing – przetwarzanie płatności
alternative lending – udzielanie alternatywnych pożyczek
automated investment services – zautomatyzowane usługi inwestycyjne
marginally – marginalnie
competition -konkurencja
to charge -pobierać (o opłatach)
to popularize – spopularyzować
industry – branża
to go public – wejść na giełdę
valuation – wycena
though – chociaż, jednakże
founder – założyciel
recently – ostatnio
to admit – przyznać
trying year – rok próby
security – bezpieczeństwo
common concern – typowy powód do niepokoju
to collect – zbierać, gromadzić
data points – tu: dane
to underwrite – gwarantować, żyrować
to become used – przyzwyczaić się
personal information – osobiste informacje


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Ex.1 1. to decline 2. trillion 3. to triple 4. billion 5. quarter 6. competition 7. industry 8. valuation

1. consumer trust
2. banking system
3. financial technology
4. payments processing
5. investment services
6. common concern
7. data points
8. personal information
1. Fintech companies are serious competition for the banking system.
2. Security of transactions is one of the main common concerns.
3. Billions of data points and personal information are processed every day.