Journal of Management Information Systems

Volume 35 Number 1 2018 pp. 145-179

The Innovation Mechanisms of Fintech Start-Ups: Insights from SWIFT’s Innotribe Competition

Gozman, Daniel, Liebenau, Jonathan, and Mangan, Jonathan


The emergence of financial technology around the globe is driven by efforts to deconstruct and reimagine business models embedded within financial services. Entrepreneurial endeavours to this end are diverse. Indeed, the propensity toward complexity is considerable, bridging a range of financial services, markets, innovations, industry participants, infrastructures, and technologies. This study aims to improve comprehension of the global fintech landscape. It is based on the analysis of start-ups that participated in SWIFT's Innotribe competition. We used cluster analysis to group 402 fintech start-up firms, and then selected representative cases to create a foundational understanding of the structure of the fintech landscape. The main findings of this work are: (1) the development of fintech clusters to classify core services, business infrastructures, and underlying component technologies, which characterize fintech; (2) an analysis of how fintechs synthesize different technologies to restructure flows of financial information through competitive and cooperative mechanisms of disinter-mediation, extension of access, financialization, hybridization, and personalization; (3) an analysis of related strategies for value creation connected with the competitive and cooperative mechanisms that were identified. Collectively, our results offer new insights into the diversity and range of emergent innovations and technologies that are transforming the financial services industry worldwide.

Key words and phrases: business models, cluster analysis, data analytics, financialization, fintech start-ups, SWIFT innotribe, technological innovation, technology ecosystems, value propositions