From banking giants to lending up-and-comers — here are the world’s top 200 fintech companies

From across the globe, spanning a diverse range of applications in finance — these are the world’s top 200 fintech companies.

Together, CNBC and independent market research firm Statista worked to compile a comprehensive list of companies building innovative, tech-enabled and finance-related products and services.

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The partnership set out to list the top fintech companies using a clearly defined methodology identifying how various different companies performed against a set of key performance indicators, including total number of users, volumes, and revenues.

The chosen companies have been divided up into nine categories: neobanking, digital payments, digital assets, digital financial planning, digital wealth management, alternate financing, alternate lending, digital banking solutions, and digital business solutions.

This was done to account for the fact that business performance of fintechs in different fields of finance can’t be compared like-for-like.

The fintech space has gone through a tumultuous period. Companies have seen their valuations slashed, funding is scarce, and businesses are cutting back on staffing and other costs in a bid to keep investors happy.

At the same time, innovation is continuing to happen. Several firms are developing tools to help customers budget in more effective ways and predict what their future financial situation might look like.

In the digital assets space, meanwhile, there’s been a greater focus on building technology to help improve some of the financial services industry’s biggest challenges, from moving money across borders to real-time settlement.

CNBC has broken the list up category by category — from neobanking all the way down to digital business solutions.

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For the full list and the methodology, click here.

Neobanking

Digital banks, or neobanks, are continuing to grow and develop new products. These are companies, typically with their own bank license, that have been set up with the aim of challenging large established lenders.

Neobanks have been among the hardest hit by a souring of investors on fintech, particularly as their business model — spending lots to attain large numbers of customers and make money on card payments — has come under scrutiny with consumer spending slowing.

Still, several neobanks have performed surprisingly well out of the rise in interest rates. Many have gotten into lending. In Europe, for example, Monzo recorded its first monthly profit after a jump in lending volume.

There are many expected names present in the neobanks category, including Revolut, Monzo, and Starling. However, there are also less established players represented from emerging markets, like Nigeria-based fintech Kuda and Indian foreign exchange startup Niyo.

Digital payments

The worldwide digital payments industry is currently estimated to be worth over $54 trillion, according to data from JPMorgan — and that’s only set to grow as more of the world starts to see digital adoption.

It’s a colossal market, with many different players fighting it out for their slice of the hyper-competitive pie. But that has meant there’s been room for other industry players to innovate and compete with their own offerings as well.

Statista identified 40 firms as top digital payments companies. These include major players such as Chinese mobile wallet Alipay and tech giant Tencent, which operates the WeChat Pay payment services, and U.S. online payments powerhouse Stripe.

Klarna, Affirm, and Afterpay also feature. The buy now, pay later space has been under huge pressure amid fears of a drop in consumer spending — but it has equally become a lifeline for many as rising inflation forces people to search for flexible payment methods.

Lesser-known firms, including French telecoms firm Orange and payments compliance startup Signifyd, were also selected. Orange operates Orange Money, a mobile money service. It is highly popular in Africa and counts more than 80 million accounts worldwide.

Digital assets

Digital assets is a market that has faced huge pressure recently, not least because the regulatory environment for firms has become much tougher following major collapses of notable names such as FTX, Terra, and Celsius.

It’s also incredibly sensitive to movements in prices of digital currencies, which have depreciated considerably since the peak of the most recent crypto rally in November 2021. Exchanges in particular saw their revenues dry up as trading volumes evaporated.

Valuations of companies in the digital assets space have taken major haircuts. And this pain has filtered through to the private markets, too.

Binance, which features as one of the top digital asset companies, is under heightened scrutiny from regulators around the world.

In the U.S., Binance is accused by the U.S. SEC of mishandling customer funds and knowingly offering investors unregistered securities while publicly saying that it doesn’t operate there.

For its part, Binance denies the allegations.

It was important that the company be included, given it remains the largest crypto exchange around and is a prolific backer of ventures focusing on so-called Web3.

Efforts are underway globally to bring digital assets into the regulatory fold. In the U.K., the government has made a play to become a “crypto hub.” And the European Union is making rapid strides with landmark .

Alongside crypto heavyweights Binance and Coinbase, Statista also identified Cayman Islands-based crypto exchange BitMart and nonfungible token marketplace OpenSea as top fintech companies operating in the digital assets category. 

Digital financial planning

Financial planning is another big area of finance that’s being reshaped by technology, as people have turned to online tools to manage their financial lives in favor of more cumbersome paper-based options.

There are now plenty of online platforms that enable users to get better visibility over their finances. Education has become a big focus for many players, too — particularly in light of the rising cost of living, which has put significant pressure on household budgets.

In this field, Statista identified 20 names that fit the bill as companies leading the pack globally when it comes to innovating in financial planning. 

They range from those changing the way people select and educate themselves about financial products, like NerdWallet, to services seeking to help people build up their credit scores, like Credit Karma.

Digital wealth management

A plethora of tech startups have rocked the wealth management space over the past several years with lower fees, smoother onboarding, and more accessible asset picking and trading experiences.

The likes of Robinhood and eToro lowered the barrier to entry for people wanting to own stocks and other assets, build up their portfolios, and acquire the kind of knowledge about financial markets that has previously been the privilege of only a few wealthy pros.

In the Covid-19 era, people built up a glut of savings thanks to fiscal stimulus designed to stem the impacts of lockdowns on world economies. That was a boon to fintechs in the wealth management space, as consumers were more willing to part with their cash for riskier investments.

These companies have been under strain more recently, though. Interest from amateur traders has slipped from the heyday of the 2020 and 2021 retail investing boom. And, as with other areas of fintech, there’s been a greater focus on profitability and building a sustainable business.

In response, platforms sought to prioritize product development and longer-term investing experiences to continue attracting customers. In the context of high interest rates, several companies launched the ability to invest in government bonds and other high-yield savings options.

In the wealth management category, Statista identified 20 names. They include Robinhood, eToro, and Wealthfront, among others.

Alternate financing

Small and medium-sized businesses, which are often turned away by established banks, have increasingly turned to new forms of financing to get the necessary funds to grow their business, meet their overheads, and pay off outstanding debts.

Equity crowdfunding has given companies a chance to give early customers the ability to own part of the services they’re using. 

Meanwhile, revenue-based financing, or borrowing against a percentage of future ongoing revenues in exchange for money invested, became a more popular way for firms typically turned away by banks and venture capitalists alike to get access to funding.

Higher interest rates arguably make these forms of financing more attractive versus seeking loans, which are now far more costly — though it does pose challenges for these businesses, as their own ability to raise capital themselves becomes more difficult.

In the alternate financing category, 20 firms were awarded. They range from Patreon, the popular membership service for online content creators, to crowdfunding companies Kickstarter and Republic.

Alternate lending

Non-bank lending has been a rising trend in the financial services industry over the last several years.

Tech startups looked to provide a better experience than banking incumbents, using cloud computing and artificial intelligence to improve service quality and ensure faster decisioning on loan applications.

The global digital lending platforms market is forecast to be worth $11.5 billion in 2023, according to GlobalData, and this is expected to grow to $46.5 billion by 2030.

Over the last year or so, a number of fintechs pivoted to lending as the primary driver of their business, looking to benefit from rising interest rates — the Federal Reserve, Bank of England and numerous other central banks have rapidly raised rates to combat inflation.

Lending also tends to be the more lucrative part of finance, more generally.

While digital payments is often the area that draws most investor buzz, lending generates more money in financial services. Payments, by contrast, is a notoriously low-margin business since companies tend to make money by taking a small cut of the value of each transaction.

Statista identified 25 fintech companies that fall into the category of top alternate lending firms.

They include American small business lending firm Biz2Credit, Irish e-commerce lending company Wayflyer, and Latvian loan refinancing startup Mintos.

Digital banking solutions

An emerging category of fintech companies takes a different approach to disrupting financial incumbents — giving other companies the ability to offer their own digital banking offerings rather than being the face of those services themselves.

Banking-as-a-service has been a buzzword in fintech for some time now. It’s not exactly a well-known term, but it refers to the ability for non-financial companies to provide their customers a range of financial products including checking accounts, cards, and loans.

Embedded finance, where third-party financial services like bank accounts, brokerage accounts and insurance policies are integrated into other businesses’ platforms, has also gained traction.

Another theme that falls within this world is open banking, or the ability for non-bank firms to launch new financial services using customers’ account data.

Digital banking solutions has become a more closely-watched aspect of fintech, as attention has turned away from consumer-oriented services to business-focused ones. However, it hasn’t been without its own challenges.

Like other areas of fintech, the space has been vulnerable to a funding crunch as hawkish central bank actions have made capital more expensive. Railsr, formerly a U.K. fintech darling, entered liquidation in March after reports that it was struggling to find a buyer. 

“Not all programs were created equal,” Peter Hazlehurst, CEO of Synctera, one of the top 200 awardees, told CNBC. “As a result, a number of folks were unable to raise their next round or continue to grow or to continue to get customers.”

In the digital banking solutions category, 15 firms were awarded, including Airwallex, ClearBank, and Solaris.

Digital business solutions

Digital business solutions might not be the most attractive part of fintech, but it’s the one gaining much of the love from investors at the moment.

These are companies selling a range of financial solutions to businesses, ranging from accounting and finance, to human resources and anti-fraud solutions.

As the economic outlook has darkened for many businesses, the need for products that help firms deal with their own costs and operate in a compliant manner has become critical.

In the digital business solutions category, Statista identified 25 companies.

They include tax and accounting software firm Intuit, human resources platform Deel, and fraud prevention startup Seon. 

Source: CNBC