Zeta’s founder, Bhavin Turakhia, has criticized the overuse and misuse of the term ‘fintech,’ stating that only a few startups can actually be called fintechs. Speaking at the Makers Summit 2023, Turakhia explained that ‘fin’ and ‘tech’ are different things, and that the financial services industry is like any other sector, with manufacturers, distributors, and technology service providers. Turakhia categorizes most fintech startups as ‘distributors’ in the financial services ecosystem, while licensed financial institutions are the ‘manufacturers’ and companies like Zeta are the ‘technology service providers.’ Turakhia believes that a clear definition of fintech is difficult to make, and that the term is being used interchangeably across startups providing financial services.
According to Bhavin Turakhia, founder of Zeta, companies should partner with a bank and add their own value to create a niche experience that banks may not provide, if they want to be considered true fintechs. He advised that fintech startups can build layers of value on top of a bank’s original products and then charge for that value. Turakhia said that companies should create such an experience that their customers are willing to pay for it. He also noted that founders are free to define their financial services business in any way they want, but they need to be clear on selecting the right category.