For more than a decade, fintech startups and products have captured outsized attention and investment. In many ways, these companies have set the agenda for driving consumer expectations for financial services. In 2023, the times they are a-changin’. Although the global economy may be emerging from the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, the triple threat of rising inflation, increasing interest rates, and looming recession have changed much of the thinking around fintech.

The growth-at-all-cost mindset that drove investments now faces a market that demands efficiency, profitability, and expense discipline. This will bring the return of legacy players, most of whom are publicly traded and answer to investors, regulators, and shareholders.

What’s more, the success of digital transformation and the growing adoption of technologies once thought of as emerging, such as mobile, artificial intelligence, and the cloud, as well as the relative immaturity of the next wave of emerging tech such as crypto and Web3, have resulted in some questions as to which technology will usher in the next phase of fintech.