At the end of the year I often re-evaluate my financial setup. I go through all my financial products - the bank accounts, loans, insurance, mortgages, and more.

All these products are provided by financial service providers, of which there are a handful in Canada (even with all the fintech’s combined, there are only a few real providers). It reminds me of the traditional media industry in a way, where all the mainstream media products (books, movies, tv shows) are controlled by a small group (publishers, labels, movie studios, etc). The rise of user generated content communities has changed this, and now anyone to be a creator without any gatekeepers.

I wonder if that concept can make its way to finance. In that, what if anyone could design a ‘financial product’. It could be as simple as an asset allocation mix that allows someone to invest into it, or as complex as a loan optimized for a specific life situation that maybe isn’t covered by what banks provide.

The simplest way this could start without a web of underwriting is to create an individual profile of all financial products used (bank accounts, investment allocations, loans etc), and allow others to copy that profile to suit their needs. Someone could gain social capital based on how many people have ‘cloned’ their financial profile for themselves. This dynamic could also uncover new types of products people want - either through a unique profile being cloned, or through the data from the network connections themselves.

Fintech products need to go from products that are ‘internet enabled’ to ‘internet native’, in that they could not be created before the internet existed. I think this is just one way, but there’s plenty of innovation space to cover yet.