How Are Top Fintech Innovators Building the Tools of Tomorrow?

By Duncan Ferris

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The synergy between technology and money has never been greater, and companies like WonderFi Technologies, Block Inc, PayPal Holdings and SoFi Technologies are leading the sector to new and exciting horizons.

Financial technology – also known as fintech – has changed the way people interact with money from top to bottom. But how are the biggest innovators pushing the envelope? This issue is discussed with reference to Block Inc (NYSE: SQ), PayPal Holdings (NASDAQ: PYPL), SoFi Technologies (NASDAQ: SOFI) and WonderFi Technologies (OTCQB: WONDF) (TSX: WNDF).

WonderFi Technologies (OTCQB: WONDF) (TSX: WNDF) operates as a software company. It has developed a platform which integrates with the entire decentralized finance (DeFi) ecosystem, with the business serving customers around the world.

WonderFi’s most recent earnings showed that it achieved revenue of CA$2.9m for the three-month period ended 30 June 2022, compared to zero in the same period 12 months prior.

The young company is aiming to become a global leader in all things cryptocurrency by giving users access to regulated and simple crypto trading, DeFi, NFTs, gaming and more under a single roof with a single login.

WonderFi Technologies is already making some serious moves towards this goal, having acquired leading Canadian crypto asset trading platform Coinberry in its most recent quarter.

The move significantly expanded the scope of the business, bringing approximately 225,000 users and $99.5m of client assets into WonderFi Technologies’ ecosystem and further expanding the company’s ability to offer users secure and regulated access to crypto assets.

This isn’t the only acquisition the business has made to expand its footprint in 2022. March saw it bring BitBuy under its umbrella, a move which made the business the largest approved crypto trading marketplace in Canada.

While both of these acquisitions have expanded the company’s customer base, they have also provided it with the ability to spread beyond the Canadian borders. This lets the already growing business target expansions into other high growth markets.

Social media billionaire Jack Dorsey’s Block Inc (NYSE: SQ) operates as a financial services and digital payments company. The company has built a platform aimed at small and medium businesses that allows them to accept credit card payments and use tablet computers as payment registers for a point-of-sale system.

Block Inc’s latest earnings update showed that the company had seen revenue decline from $4.7bn to $4.4bn for the three months ended 30 June. This decline came as Bitcoin revenue dipped from $2.7bn to $1.8bn. However, transaction, subscription and services, and hardware revenue each increased compared to the same period 12 months prior.

Perhaps that is why Block Inc is working hard to expand its portfolio of products and their reach. For example, the business recently announced that it is working with Apple to allow iPhone users to accept in-person contactless payments through the Square Point of Sale app.

The business hopes that the flexibility of being able to receive payments in an instant through a simple touch of a smartphone will be attractive to business owners and bring more people into its ecosystem.

The company is currently facing some difficulties though, with The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau having launched an investigation into its Cash App offering. The consumer watchdog has even filed a petition for a federal judge to make sure the company complies with its investigation, claiming that its “slow-walking” is disrupting its work.

 PayPal Holdings (NASDAQ: PYPL), which is led by Dan Schulman, operates as a holding company. Through its subsidiaries, the company provides a technology platform that enables digital and mobile payments on behalf of consumers and merchants. The company offers online payment solutions and serves customers worldwide.

PayPal Holdings’ most recent earnings showed that the business’ net revenues climbed by 9% to $6.8bn, while the business’ commitment to work with activist investment outfit Elliot Investment Management appears to have been well-received by shareholders.

However, the period saw the business undertake significant cost-cutting measures, with these having cost around $71m in the second quarter. The efforts are expected to lead to savings of around $260m across the full year.

In terms of its current initiatives, PayPal Holdings is focusing heavily on improving payment options for small businesses and their customers alike. For example, one of the company’s latest innovations is the launch of a buy now pay later product called PayPal Pay Monthly.

The offering aims to attract users with attractive features such as an absence of late fees and the freedom for consumers to choose their repayment method and select automatic payments up front when completing their transaction. Payments can be spread across 6–24-month periods, allowing customers to make bigger purchases that might otherwise not be possible.

SoFi Technologies (NASDAQ: SOFI) is an online personal finance company and online bank helmed by Anthony Noto. The company provides financial products including student and auto loan refinancing, mortgages, personal loans, credit card, investing and banking through both mobile app and desktop interfaces.

The company’s latest earnings release showed a 57% increase in revenue to $362.5m, while the business also enjoyed an eighth successive quarter of positive adjusted EBITDA. The company attributed much of its success to the diversity of its offering. 

That’s because, according to Noto, SoFi Technologies is intent on becoming “the Amazon Web Services of fintech”. In this spirit, the business has worked hard to consistently expand its offering and its capabilities through moves like its acquisition of Technisys in February 2022.

This acquisition alone was expected to add a cumulative revenue of $500 to $800m through year-end 2025, with its more than 60 established bank, fintech and non-financial brands in Latin America and the US significantly expanding the company’s scope.

 That doesn’t mean everything has been plain sailing for the business recently though. Early August saw the company suffer a share price dip after Japanese multinational SoftBank sought to offload part of its stake in the business. Noto and the rest of SoFi Technologies will be hoping that this is just a bump in the road.

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Topics:
Cryptocurrency
DeFi
Fintech
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Financials
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WonderFi Technologies Inc.

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