Defining categories of Fintechs: A Categorization Proposal Based on Literature and Empirical Data




Fintech, financial technologies, Categories, Cluster analysis, Incumbent banks


Purpose – The analysis of the competitive impact of FinTechs requires the standardization of their categories to compare their products and services with the already delivered by incumbent banks. In this study, we address the problem of the multiplicity of FinTechs categories and provide a solution using content and cluster analysis.

Theoretical framework – The literature about FinTechs. In our bibliographical research, we do not find works aiming to present a standard definition of categories of FinTechs. This type of work is almost nonexistent and categorization of FinTechs is defined as a “blurry issue”.

Design/methodology/approach – In this study, we address the problem of the multiplicity of FinTechs categories and provide a solution using content analysis, cluster analysis, and the software Gephi.

Findings – The result is a model comprised of nine FinTechs categories: Payments and Transfers; Exchange; Lending; Insurance; Investments; Advice; B2B; Digital Banks; and Others. We also elaborate a portfolio with 157 products and services offered by Brazilian incumbent banks, which allows the comparison between these two types of companies.

Originality/value – The main contribution is the use of objective criteria and existing literature, as well as Gephi software, to build categories of FinTechs analysis, an emerging theme in financial market studies.


Download data is not yet available.

Author Biographies

Itamir Caciatori Jr., Universidade Federal do Paraná - UFPR, Paraná, (Brasil)

Doutor em Administração pela Universidade Federal do Paraná - UFPR, Paraná, (Brasil). 

Ana Paula Mussi Szabo Cherobim, Universidade Federal do Paraná - UFPR, Paraná, (Brasil)

Doutora em Administração Universidade de São Paulo -USP, São Paulo, (Brasil). Professora Titular do Departamento de Administração Geral e Aplicada e professora do Programa de Pós Graduação em Administração. Coordenadora do Projeto de Extensão Liga de Investimentos em Finanças, na  Universidade Federal do Paraná - UFPR, Paraná, (Brasil).


Alt, R., Beck, R., & Smits, M. T. (2018). FinTech and the transformation of the financial industry. Electronic Markets, 28(3), 235–243.

Anagnostopoulos, I. (2018). Fintech and regtech: Impact on regulators and banks. Journal of Economics and Business, 100, 7–25.

Arner, D. W., Barberis, J., & Buckley, R. P. (2015). The Evolution of FinTech: A New Post-Crisis Paradigm? University of Hong Kong, Faculty of Law, Research Paper No. 2015/047. October.

Arner, D, Barberis, J., & Buckley, R. P. (2016). The Evolution of Fintech: A New Post-Crisis Paradigm?’(2016). Georgetown Journal of International Law.

Arner, Douglas, Barberis, J., & Buckley, R. (2015). The Evolution of Fintech: A New Post-Crisis Paradigm? University of Hong Kong Faculty of Law, 2015/047(47), 1–44.

Associação Brasileira de Fintechs, & Serviço Brasileiro de Apoio às Micro e Pequenas Empresas. (2018). Catálogo Fintechs 2018 de A a Z (p. 189). p. 189. Retrieved from

Banco Central do Brasil. (2018). Relatório de Economia Bancária 2018 (p. 214). p. 214. Retrieved from

Banco Central do Brasil. (2019). Estudo Especial do Banco Central do Brasil 64/2019: Concorrência Bancária e Custo do Crédito (No. 64/2019). Retrieved from

Bardin, L. (2002). Análise de conteúdo. Lisboa: Edições 70, LDA.

Baregheh, A., Rowley, J., & Sambrook, S. (2009). Towards a multidisciplinary definition of innovation. Management Decision, 47(8), 1323–1339.

Bastian, M., Heymann, S., & Jacomy, M. (2009). Gephi: An open source software for exploring and manipulating networks. BT - International AAAI Conference on Weblogs and Social. International AAAI Conference on Weblogs and Social Media, 361–362.

BCBS. (2018). Basel Committee on Banking Supervision Consultative Document Sound Practices for the Management and Supervision of Operational Risk. Basel.

Bhattacherjee, A. (2012). Social Science Research: Principles, Methods, and Practices. In Textbooks collection. Retrieved from

Blondel, V. D., Guillaume, J. L., Lambiotte, R., & Lefebvre, E. (2008). Fast unfolding of communities in large networks. Journal of Statistical Mechanics: Theory and Experiment, 2008(10), 1–12.

Brandes, U., Delling, D., Gaertler, M., Görke, R., Hoefer, M., Nikoloski, Z., & Wagner, D. (2008). On modularity clustering. IEEE Transactions on Knowledge and Data Engineering, 20(2), 172–188.

Buchak, G., Matvos, G., Piskorski, T., & Seru, A. (2018). Fintech, regulatory arbitrage, and the rise of shadow banks. Journal of Financial Economics.

Caciatori Junior, I., & Cherobim, A. P. M. S. (2020). Academic production and technological emergence in finance. Innovation & Management Review, 17(2), 115–131.

CB Insights. (2019). Fintech trends to watch (pp. 1–106). pp. 1–106. Retrieved from

Chen, M. A., Wu, Q., & Yang, B. (2019). How Valuable Is FinTech Innovation? Review of Financial Studies, 32(5), 2062–2106.

Cherven, K. (2015). Mastering Gephi Network Visualization. Birmingham: Packt Publishing.

Christensen, C. (2013). The innovator’s dilemma: when new technologies cause great firms to fail. (1st ed.; Harvard Business School Press, Ed.). Boston, MA.

Creswell, J. W. (2010). Projeto de pesquisa: métodos qualitativo, quantitativo e misto (3rd ed.). São Paulo: Artmed Editora.

Dorfleitner, G., Hornuf, L., Schmitt, M., & Weber, M. (2017). FinTech in Germany. In FinTech in Germany.

Ernst & Young. (2015). EY FinTech Adoption Index 2015. Retrieved from

FINANCIAL STABILITY BOARD. (2019). FinTech and market structure in financial services: Market developments and potential financial stability implications - Financial Stability Board. Retrieved from

Freixas, X., & Rochet, J.-C. (1999). Microeconomics of Banking (4th ed.). MAssachusets: Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

FSB. (2017). Financial Stability Implications from FinTech Supervisory and Regulatory Issues that Merit Authorities’ Attention. Retrieved from

Gimpel, H., Rau, D., & Röglinger, M. (2017). Understanding FinTech start-ups – a taxonomy of consumer-oriented service offerings. Electronic Markets, 1–20.

Gomber, P., Koch, J. A., & Siering, M. (2017). Digital Finance and FinTech: current research and future research directions. Journal of Business Economics, 87(5), 537–580.

Gromek, M. (2018). Clarifying the blurry lines of FinTech. In R. Teigland, S. Siri, A. Larsson, A. M. Puertas, & C. I. Bogusz (Eds.), The Rise and Development of FinTech (p. 22). New York: Taylor & Francis.

Haddad, C., & Hornuf, L. (2019). The emergence of the global fintech market: Economic and technological determinants. Small Business Economics, 53(1), 81–105.

He, D., Leckow, R., Haksar, V., Mancini-, T., Jenkinson, N., Kashima, M., … Tourpe, H. (2017). Fintech and Financial Services: Initial Considerations. In IMF Staff Discussion Note (No. SDN/17/05). Retrieved from

Hornuf, L., & Haddad, C. (2019). The Emergence of the Global Fintech Market : Economic and Technological Determinants. Small Business Economics, 53(1), 81–105.

International Monetary Fund. (2019). Fintech: the experience so far. Retrieved from

Jacomy, M., Venturini, T., Heymann, S., & Bastian, M. (2014). ForceAtlas2, a continuous graph layout algorithm for handy network visualization designed for the Gephi software. PLoS ONE, 9(6), 1–12.

Milian, E. Z., Spinola, M. de M., & Carvalho, M. M. d. (2019). Fintechs: A literature review and research agenda. Electronic Commerce Research and Applications, 34(September 2018).

Noack, A. (2009). Modularity clustering is force-directed layout. Physical Review E, 79(2), 1–9.

Oliveira, P., & Von Hippel, E. (2011). Users as service innovators: The case of banking services. Research Policy, 40(6), 806–818.

Philippon, T. (2016). The FinTech Opportunity. Retrieved from

Porter, M. E. (1980). Competitive strategy: Techniques for analyzing industries and companies. In New York.

Porter, M. E. (1990). The competitive advantage of nations. New York: The Free Press.

Porter, M. E. (2004). Estratégia competitiva: técnicas para análise da indústria e da concorrência. (2a.). Rio de Janeiro: Elsevier.

Puschmann, T. (2017). Fintech. Business and Information Systems Engineering, 59(1), 69–76.

Puschmann, Thomas. (2017). Fintech. BUSINESS & INFORMATION SYSTEMS ENGINEERING, Vol. 59, pp. 69–76.

Romanova, I., & Kudinska, M. (2018). Banking and Fintech: A Challenge or Opportunity? (Vol. 98, pp. 21–35). Vol. 98, pp. 21–35. Retrieved from

Schueffel, P. (2016). Taming the beast: a scientific definition of fintech. Journal of Innovation Management, 4(4), 32–54.

Yin, R. K. (2016). Qualitative Research From Start to Finish. London: The Guilford Press.

Young, G., Smith, K. G., & Grimm, C. M. (1996). “Austrian” and Industrial Organization Perspectives on Firm-level Competitive Activity and Performance. Organization Science, 7(3), 243–254.

Zhang, J., Jiang, C., Qu, B., & Wang, P. (2013). Market concentration, risk-taking, and bank performance: Evidence from emerging economies. International Review of Financial Analysis, 30(71303255), 149–157.




How to Cite

Caciatori Jr., I., & Mussi Szabo Cherobim, A. P. (2021). Defining categories of Fintechs: A Categorization Proposal Based on Literature and Empirical Data. Future Studies Research Journal: Trends and Strategies, 13(3), 386–408.



Artigos / Articles