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Examining the Fintech Landscape

The following is a testimony given by Eric Turner, Financial Technology Research Analyst at S&P Global Market Intelligence, before the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, at the hearing titled "Examining the Fintech Landscape" on September 12, 2017.

Chairman Crapo, Ranking Member Brown, and members of the Committee,

Good morning, and thank you for inviting me to testify today. My name is Eric Turner, and I am a Research Analyst with S&P Global Market Intelligence, where I cover financial technology. S&P Global is a leading provider of ratings, benchmarks, analytics and data to the capital and commodities markets worldwide. S&P Global’s insights and commitment to transparency, integrity, and superior analytics have been at the forefront of U.S. economic growth since the company’s founding over 150 years ago. Beginning with the expansion of our nation’s railroad system, to the rise of the world’s most liquid and resilient capital markets, to the growth of digital information and technology, S&P Global’s essential intelligence has remained independent and has guided important decisions throughout U.S. history.

Two of our flagship products, the S&P 500® and the Dow Jones Industrial Average®, are widely accepted as the leading measures of U.S. equity market performance. Our research, products, and insights offer American investors, their families, coworkers, and friends the critical information needed to make informed financial decisions. In addition to employing thousands of Americans across our great country, we work extensively with businesses of all sizes to help them invest and grow, as well as state and local governments, to help facilitate investment in schools, roads, bridges, and other public works.

S&P Global Market Intelligence is a division of S&P Global. We provide actionable intelligence on the global financial markets and the companies and industries that comprise those markets. We are committed to delivering the highest possible degree of quality, timeliness and completeness in our corporate, market and financial information. Offering web-based platforms, mobile apps, data feeds and on-demand APIs to deliver information to make decisions with conviction.

We support economic growth by providing market- and sector-specific data, news and research help investors identify opportunities and manage risk when providing financing to businesses and job creators. S&P Global Market Intelligence delivers timely and relevant information and analytics help government and industry leaders understand competitive and industry dynamics, perform valuations and make decisions with conviction.

Today I hope to provide the Committee with an overview of some key areas in the growing financial technology sector as well as the benefits and challenges presented. My comments represent insights gained through our research and are not necessarily the views of S&P Global.

Industry Background

Financial technology, more commonly known as fintech, is one of the fastest growing industries in the U.S. Close to $13 billion was invested in U.S.-based fintech companies in 2016 alone.

Building on the increased ubiquity of the internet and connected devices, fintech companies leverage advanced technology to provide innovative financial products to consumers.

Defining all areas of fintech is a difficult, if not impossible task. Technology has long enabled innovation by financial institutions, and in many ways fintech is a new name for old ideas. But it is useful to define emerging subsectors of the space that have the most potential to provide benefits to consumers and the financial industry as a whole.

Some key segments of the fintech landscape are digital lending, mobile payments, digital investment management, insurance technology, and distributed ledger technology.