The Often-Updated FinTech Marketer Terms To Know

Does your head start to spin when the conversation turns to crypto? Or have you been tasked to put together a report on, oh, we don’t know…trends in the sharing economy (which you have definitely heard of before)? 

No need to scramble — we’ve got a cheat sheet. 

We’re covering the A-Z’s of general to more specific fintech marketing terms, and just like our original guide on Tech Marketer Terms, we’ll be updating this list as new terms roll in. If you’ve got any you’d like to submit, give us a shout in the form below. 

For now, jot a few of these down on that ever-growing collection of sticky notes and you’ll be in good shape for your next presentation. 

Altcoin: No punk rock coins here, just another term for cryptocurrencies (see below).

Alternative finance: Alternative finance basically refers to any financial processes, channels, and tools that exist outside of traditional finance systems. 

Angel investor: Despite what the name suggests, these aren’t individuals that drop from the heavens with a wad of cash. These are members of the entrepreneur’s network that see a company or idea with potential and invest the capital necessary to get it off the ground. 

Big Data: This term is used to describe the insane volume of data (both structured and unstructured) that floods businesses on a regular basis.  

Bitcoin: The simple definition of bitcoin is that it’s a virtual currency that uses P2P transactions (see below) to facilitate instant payments. It was the first virtual currency to gain widespread popularity and has inspired many forms of cryptocurrency to follow in its wake since its creation in 2009. 

Blockchain: Think of blockchains as a super-secure collection of files that can be viewed but not touched, and as new files are added, the one before it is frozen in time. 

Challenger banks: You’re more likely to hear this term when working with brands from across the pond, as challenger banks are seen as disruptors amongst the U.K.’s traditional banks. Brick-and-mortar branches are a rarity as these guys are digital-first. 

Collaborative economy: Think of a collaborative economy as ye olde marketplace. Folks can rely on one another instead of large corporations to meet their needs by swapping, borrowing, and renting goods and services.

Cost per acquisition (CPA, also cost per action): The amount spent on your company’s endeavor to convert a customer on a specific marketing channel is the CPA. The more effective your ads are, the lower the CPA will be. 

Crowdfunding: Think fundraisers and GoFundMes, these are perfect examples of crowdfunding. In business, crowdfunding is usually initiated to finance a new venture.

Cryptocurrencies: Unless you’ve been living under a rock since 2009, we’ve got no doubt you’ve heard of cryptocurrencies. This digital payment system doesn’t rely on a central issuing or regulating authority, and all transactions are sorted in a database where they are visible to the public. 

Customer relationships management (CRM): In short, CRM is a system of practices, strategies, and technologies used to manage a company’s relationships and interactions with both potential and existing customers. 

Data management platform (DMP): A DMP is a tool used to collect and organize big data, making it easy for brands to really up their digital marketing game. 

Decentralized Finance (DeFi): Think of this technology as an industry disruptor. The DeFi system takes control back from financial institutions and banks by eliminating third parties in transactions; this means no additional service fees or waiting long periods of time for transfers to clear. 

Deep data: Unlike big data, deep data has been organized and analyzed. So, you’re still looking at a ton of data, but all of it is actionable and valuable.

Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT): Sometimes referred to as a blockchain, this database maintains a secure and decentralized record of transactions, and is known for playing an important role in cryptocurrency systems. Less vulnerable to cybercrime, DLT is being implemented more and more in fintech.

Electronic Identity Verification (eIDV): The name kind of gives this one away, but eIDV is used to identify verification matches to the data provided by the user. Think of all the times you had to answer security questions while setting up an account, you were supplying data for future verification.

Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) criteria: This set of standards is used by socially conscious investors to evaluate a potential investment’s operations. What is the brand’s environmental impact? How do they manage internal and external relationships? What does executive pay and shareholder rights look like? These kinds of questions can help investors dodge a potential financial bullet down the road.

Gazelle company: In the wild, gazelles move fast and can make impressive leaps, but this doesn’t guarantee their safety — the same applies to gazelle companies. See, these young, fast-growing companies typically experience four years of sustained revenue growth but struggle to keep the pace beyond five years. Those flashy leaps often attract big prey – think Meta acquiring Instagram.

Infrastructure as a service (IaaS): If you’ve got an iPhone or use Google Drive, you’re kind of familiar with IaaS. Just think of it as the version for businesses that they rent or lease for computing, storage, and networking purposes; this eliminates the need for physical servers.

Initial Coin Offering (ICO): This is the cryptocurrency industry’s equivalent to an IPO (see below). Companies can launch an ICO as a way to raise capital and fund their creation of a new coin, app, or service. 

Incubator: Ah, the incubator — this is a cozy place to be. Basically, you’re looking at a parent company that takes baby companies under its wing until they can make it on their own.

Initial public offering (IPO): Once a company has reached a certain point of growth, it may take the opportunity to open up shares to public investors in an effort to raise additional capital. 

Lendtech: Lendtech brings the traditional structure of lending to a digital platform and utilizes AI and other tech strategies to paint a more realistic picture of borrowers. This technology results in faster turnaround times while making borrowing more accessible to those who may not meet a traditional bank’s qualifications. 

Multi-sided business model: In a multi-sided business model, users and customers are unique groups. Facebook is a great example of this. Businesses that rely on organic performance only would fall into the user category. Businesses that run paid ads pay a small fee to the platform, placing them in the customer category.

Minimum Viable Product (MVP): These products are nearly what you had envisioned, just with fewer features and more bugs. While not perfect, they’re usable enough to gain customer feedback that can be used to inform future product development.

Neobank: Neobanks are the U.S. equivalent of challenger banks (see above). 

Non-bank banks: If a brand refers to itself as a non-bank bank, they’re not considered a full-scale bank. This means they offer a variety of lending services, but no deposit services. 

Peer-to-peer (P2P) lending: The name says it all, really. These lending platforms cut out the middleman and enable borrowers to obtain loans directly from other individuals. 

Peer-to-peer (P2P) transactions: Think of all the times you’ve offered to cover the check at happy hour and your coworker insists on Venmoing you their half — that’s a P2P transaction. These transfer apps are linked up to your bank account and funds typically appear in as little as one business day.  

Payment aggregator: Sometimes referred to as a merchant aggregator, these service providers are basically a collection of payment gateways (see below).

Payment gateway: This software authorizes a transfer of funds between an individual and an online merchant; PayPal is a perfect example.  

Platform as a Service (PaaS): Much like IaaS (see above), PaaS platforms support the complete web application lifecycle. Basically, the brand manages the applications and services they provide, and their PaaS manages basically everything else.

Proof of Concept (POC): In short, this is evidence pulled from a pilot project that proves an idea or plan is achievable. 

PropTech: Proptech refers to the ways technology is optimizing the real estate industry. This technology strives to make the industry easier to navigate for all parties involved.   

Quick response (QR) codes: Once thought of as deprecated marketing tech, this square-shaped grid of pixels experienced a serious comeback in 2020. A quick scan with your camera and you’re directed to online content of the creator’s choice — pretty cool, right? 

RegTech: Short for regulatory technology, RegTech is a community of tech companies that help brands within the financial industry comply with regulations in a way that is more efficient and cost-effective. They monitor transactions in real-time to identify potential threats or fraudulent activity that a traditional compliance team might miss.

Regulatory sandbox: Think of this as a safe space for fintech startups and other innovators to experiment in a controlled environment while also helping regulators develop regulatory frameworks for new businesses.

Robo-advisor: Using computer algorithms and advanced software, these nifty little bots can help users build and manage their investment portfolios. Automated investing services like robo-advisors typically have low or no minimum requirement, helping aspiring investors get started quickly. 

Seed accelerator: Not to be mistaken with incubators or angel investors, these startup accelerators provide education, mentorship, and financing to early-stage companies for a fixed period of time. The process is intense and fully immersive, and brands walk away with what feels like years of wisdom in just a matter of months. 

Seed money: This relatively small amount of money is used to do everything from start a business to fund product research and development. Seed money typically comes from crowdfunding and angel investors, and the idea is to plant a seed that can flourish later in the form of equity shares.

Series A funding: If the brand you’re working with is talking about seeking out Series A funding, they’ve developed a consistent track record of some specific key performance indicators, and are looking for financial backing to scale up. The amount is usually somewhere between $2 and $15 million. 

Series B funding: Brands that are out of the development phase but need a little somethin’ somethin’ to reach the next level seek out Series B funding. These companies typically have valuations somewhere between $30 and $60 million, and the average Series B capital raised is $33 million. 

Series C funding: You probably guessed it — brands seeking Series C funding are quite successful and looking for financial support to scale further. They may even use these funds to boost their valuation for an upcoming IPO, and are looking at receiving hundreds of millions of dollars. Which is like, woah

Sharing economy: Uber, Airbnb, Lime scooter — these are all examples of a sharing economy. What do they have in common? Assets and services are shared between private individuals.

Software as a Service (SaaS): If you’ve been on the internet in the last 15 years, odds are you’re familiar with Saas. These are platforms that allow you to connect to and use cloud-based apps. 

Unicorn: Have the higher-ups identified a startup as a unicorn? What they’re saying is this company has been valued at at least $1B. At one point, rare. Increasingly, not even that exciting.

Venture capital: Venture capital can be given in the monetary form, but it can also be provided in the form of expertise. Intriguing, we know. This private form of equity goes to startups that have been identified as having some serious potential.

What’s Next?

What you choose to do with this newfound knowledge is totally up to you, but we do hope you feel prepared to bust out some of these terms on that sharing economy trend report. Heck, you may even feel inspired to lead a lunch and learn on it. 

The possibilities are endless.

If you’ve got any new terms to submit, we’d love to see them. You can give us a shout in the form below, and keep an eye out for future terms to know.

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