There’s a disruptive shift happening in the financial industry where nimble technology start-ups are moving in on traditional bank-dominated services such as lending, investing, payments and retail transactions, and everyday banking. Dubbed FinTech, this financial technology renaissance is quickly moving from alternative to mainstream and is something to watch in 2016 and beyond.

We’ve already seen the rise of the robo-advisor in Canada, with new firms like Wealthsimple and Nest Wealth leading the online wealth management revolution. Online lending entered the marketplace this year with startups like Borrowell, Grouplend, and Mogo offering personal loans without the hassle of visiting a branch. Grouplend raised $10 million this year and recently rebranded into Grow in order to better reflect the wider range of products and services it offers.

Mobile payments should finally move to the forefront as Apple Pay made its long-awaited Canadian debut this week. Vancouver-based nTrust is an alternative to PayPal that lets you send and receive money instantly for free within Canada. Knightsbridge Foreign Exchange offers bank-beating exchange rates and free wire transfers. Coming soon – EQ Bank – a digital bank that will combine your chequing and savings into one account and promises to pay market leading rates without any fees.

While many of these companies won’t survive beyond a few years, clearly this technological revolution is here to stay. Banks and investment firms have been put on notice and the hope for consumers is that we’ll get cheaper and easier access to financial services in the future.

This week(s) recap:

Last Monday I shared how I went from credit card abuser to rewards card master.

Last Wednesday Marie explained the real cost of investing.

And last Friday Marie concluded her retirement series with a financial assessment for your retirement.

On Monday I helped a reader who was over-contributing to his RRSP.

On Wednesday Marie shares some useful tips on how to determine your asset allocation.

And on Friday I shared my favourite tips on how to simplify my finances and save money.

Once a month I write a column for the Toronto Star’s new Star Touch tablet edition (for iPad). The app has recently surpassed 100,000 downloads in just two months.

Over on Rewards Cards Canada I compared the top two travel rewards cards in Canada to see how they stack up.

Weekend Reading:

Speaking of banking technology, Big Cajun Man Alan Whitton is on-board with mobile cheque deposits but advises readers not to do so over public Wi-Fi.

A new study confirms that people are unlikely to change their mind, even when facts contradict their views.

At the Wallet Hacks blog, Jim Wang lists 70 essential money skills that everyone must know.

Do you owe your mother $1,000,000? John Ryan at Money Time blog explains.

Today’s good was born from yesterday’s bad. The Motley Fool’s Morgan Housel shares the upside of being miserable.

Jonathan Chevreau confesses seven financial mistakes that still haunt him – including when he impatiently sold his Apple shares in 2002.

That makes a nice segue into how Michael James takes his investment decisions out of the loop.

If left to drift, your portfolio can morph into a different beast.

Preet Banerjee explains why the financial advice industry is moving from an investment-centric view to a planning-centric view. The highlight is that if you’re paying full-service costs but only getting investment advice, that’s a big problem.

Ethan Bloch has some financial advice for his millennial peers: “Just have your f—— latte!”

What you need to know about your credit score in your 20’s and 30’s: Try something called the Netflix and chill loop.

It may be time to let go of the Canadian hang-up that everyone must own a home.

Super seniors may face the danger of outliving their savings.

Rob Carrick has a nine-step boomer retirement planning guide.

Squawkfox is back to share her olive rule: track your spending to prevent the pits.

Million Dollar Journey explains how to save more money with less effort.

Finally, John Heinzl shares a great story about how dividend investing can help you raise your family.

Have a great weekend, everyone!


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