Fintech: It’s Not What You Think

By September 7, 2016May 3rd, 2018Uncategorized, Small Biz

By Vanessa Wagner
Small Business and Entrepreneurship Manager

Right now, if somebody says the word “fintech,” you might think of top-market scuba gear or aquatic spy tools. Fintech is actually technology that helps provide a financial service. New apps and software can now streamline how companies manage processes like payroll and accounting. Fintech is good for business, and we want to encourage Loudoun startups in the fintech space.

Up to now, San Francisco and New York have been hubs for fintech startups. These hubs have been fueled by access to equity lending and proximity to leading financial markets. Over the past several years the technology has rapidly advanced and is disrupting the traditional financial sector. This has caused more regulatory scrutiny of this emerging market. For this reason, fintech firms can benefit by having a presence near Washington, D.C. to engage in the policies that impact their industry.

In just the first half of 2016, some of the major bodies governing the U.S. economic sector have taken actions that demonstrate a pro-innovation stance. For example:

May 2016: The SEC Regulation Crowdfunding adoption is enacted, which allows for the sales of securities through crowdfunding under a new section of the Securities Act of 1933.

April 2016: The FDIC reduced heightened supervisory monitoring for “de novo” institutions from seven to three years; a potential signal of relaxing regulation for new banking institutes.

May 2016: The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency released a white paper in support of “responsible innovation,” which is defined as, “The use of new or improved financial products, services, and processes to meet the evolving needs of consumers, businesses, and communities in a manner that is consistent with sound risk management and is aligned with the bank’s overall business strategy.”

This is all proof that the regulatory environment is becoming more favorable to fintech startups.

Loudoun companies in the fintech industry can benefit from the affordable space, opportunities to collaborate and programming offered at our incubator at the Mason Enterprise Center-Loudoun in Leesburg, which is currently receiving applications for companies in the B2B space. Co-location in data centers is also a great opportunity that fintech companies can use to ensure the safety and security of the information they store for their clients.

If you’re a fintech startup, we’d love to help you get plugged into the Loudoun business community and find resources that will help your company grow. Contact Loudoun Economic Development today at 1-(800)-LOUDOUN and ask for Vanessa Wagner.

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