Banking on the Future: Why our most hated institutions will become our most beloved

There are two banking systems in the world today: one for people with money (or good credit), and another for people without. Neither of these systems work well. Thankfully, we’re entering the “AWS for fintech” stage of banking, driven by new distribution channels, better data, and the API economy.

The Housing Market Is Killing the American Dream

The American Dream used to be about moving to opportunity—today it’s about moving to where you can afford to live. Here’s how tech is making housing more accessible, affordable, and attainable.

Five Ways Fintech Companies Can Find Customers

How to piggyback off established online marketplaces, how to exploit social networks (for good!), and why you’ll learn to love direct mail…again.

The Google Maps for Money

When you enter your desired destination into Google Maps, the app plots out the fastest, most efficient route, even adjusting for traffic and coffee stops along the way. What if that same predictive software existed for our finances? Imagine a future where you could outline your goals and an app would execute your optimal financial plan, rerouting and adjusting for “traffic” along the way.

Fintech’s Second Wave: Lenders in Disguise

The new consumer lending business doesn’t look like a lender: it looks like a swipeable financial assistant. Think of it as the “money button” on your phone.

Why Your Mortgage is So Complicated: The History and Opportunity of the Modern Mortgage

Why is the modern mortgage so damn complicated? Delve into the history of the American mortgage, the (many) processes and players, and the opportunities for innovation.

Fintech Can Save Us From Ourselves

We’re hardwired to make bad financial decisions. Fintech is finding new ways to address our irrational behavior around money, whether that’s by bypassing us all together (…if you’re not making choices, then you can’t make bad ones) or exploiting our cognitive bias for our own benefit.

On B2B2C Business Models

B2B2C can be one of the most effective ways of acquiring customers and constructing a powerful moat. Think Affirm in consumer lending, Instacart for grocery delivery, or OpenTable for restaurant bookings. When structured properly, these companies can reach downstream consumers with no per-customer acquisition cost.

The Big Ideas Fintech Will Tackle in 2020

As the year comes to a close, the a16z fintech team weighs in on the big ideas they hope fintech will address in the coming year, from abating the housing crisis to automating the CFO suite.

Does Zero-Fee Trading Pay Off?

Why cutting fees can actually be a smart strategy for incumbent banks.

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