The Rise of the Fintech Intermediary Ecosystem

July 7, 2015 J J Hornblass

Bank Innovation fintech ecosystemHere’s a quiz for you:

Which commands a greater price today: A) a financial product; or B) the distribution of that financial product?

If you answer B, then you were right — or you work at Xignite.

Xignite has made its business being an intermediary — in the company’s case, for financial market data. There are, to put it mildly, lots of financial data providers. In fact, the data providers often buy data from one another.

But all that data doesn’t mean the data is easy for banks to digest. Financial data providers like Bloomberg or Thomson Reuters have notoriously provided the data but stopped shop of helping clients process it, let alone analyze it.

Enter Xignite. As Stephane Dubois, the company’s founder and CEO, told us today, Xignite has allowed for far better “receipt” of financial data through the propagation of application programming interfaces, otherwise known as APIs. Interestingly, Xignite launched in 2003 to sell financial data. But the company pivoted to API data in 2011 after it realized that the intermediation of the data was more valuable than the data itself. Dubois said Xignite gets paid more for API-ing the data than it did for the data itself. (The financial data we are talking about generally has price points in the six-figures, if not more, for an annual subscription.)

Xignite exemplifies the rise of the API-fueled, cloud-delivered intermediary ecosystem. In fact, Xignite is working with other like-minded to startups to create what sounds like a network of fintech intermediaries. Taken in aggregate, these intermediaries can provide, well, any financial service or financial service data needed to run a fintech startup.

When you think about it, it is possible today to fully “cloud” a fintech startup. There are ventures that offer cloud payments, core banking systems, data integration, analytics, marketing — you name it. There’s an entire ecosystem out there already. And if Dubois’s experience with value creation is an indication, it is these ventures that stand to gain the most as financial services metamorphoses into something far more nimble, intuitive and analytical than it is today.

Yes, the answer to the quiz above is most certainly B.

Source: Bank Innovation

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