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Discover Global Network Releases the Third Annual Fintech State of the Union; Revealing 94% of Venture Capitalists Are Optimistic on the Future of the Fintech Market

VCs note fraud prevention and payment processing as key areas for growth and investment over the next five years

Discover Global Network, a leading global payment network, released their third annual Fintech State of the Union (FSOU), the most comprehensive study of its kind in the industry, providing global perspectives from fintechs, venture capitalists, and consumers. The research study commissioned by Discover Global Network with 451 Research of S&P Global Market Intelligence surveyed each sector to reveal key areas for growth, the value of fraud prevention and security, and the rise of digital payments among consumers.

At Money 20/20, Discover will share an exclusive look at FSOU results, which highlight emerging trends in the industry.

Here are key takeaways from respondents in the North American market:

  • Majority of US Venture Capitalists Anticipate Growth; and with Founders that have Proven Experience and Technology
    • VCs believe that investments/capital markets technology (78%), payment processing (67%), and fraud prevention (64%) are the fintech segments with the most growth opportunity in the next 5 years.
    • More than half (56%) of VCs believe it’s critical for fintechs to build strong relationships with payment networks.
    • VCs are looking for fintechs with experienced operating teams (44%), proven customer traction (44%), proven founders (33%), favorable valuation (33%) and technology capabilities (31%).
  • Fraud Prevention & Security are Crucial to Building Trust and Adoption of New Digital Payment Experiences
    • Fintechs see payment and data security (59%) as a highly relevant use case.
    • Fintechs (56%) are most interested in partnering with a payment network to develop solutions for data payment security, followed by cardless online payments (20%) and commercial B2B payments (18%).
    • The most critical factor to consumers when using an emerging payment experience is security of personal information (67%).
  • Despite a Decline in Consumer Spending, Digital Payments & E-Commerce Continue to Rise
    • Nearly half (46%) of consumers have reduced discretionary spending and 86% of consumers use at least one digital payment service; up 17 points year-over-year.
    • Online (54%) is now the preferred channel for discretionary spending over in-store (46%) in the US.
    • While manually entering personal payment information continues to be the preferred way of making online payments to a business for consumers (34%), one-click checkout rose four points (27%) year-over-year.
    • Tapping a card at checkout is now the preferred payment method for in-person payments at business for consumers (39%), increasing six points year-over-year and surpassing inserting/swiping a card (32%).

“The fintech ecosystem is dramatically changing and fintechs need to make informed decisions to stay ahead of the competition and continue to meet their goals. Our study shows how fintechs can position themselves to appeal to venture capitalists, meet the payment needs of consumers, and the importance of partnering with a payment network," said Katelyn McCarthy, vice president of payment strategy at Discover. “Discover will continue to provide payments expertise, a robust network platform and collaboration on solving customer needs with our current and future fintech partners.”

Money 20/20 Keynote Session

  • Mainstage Presentation: Discover’s Katelyn McCarthy, 451 Research’s Jordan McKee and Nyca Partners’ Tom Brown will have an in-depth discussion on the state of fintechs, including trends to watch and how firms are positioning themselves for success.
    • When: Monday, Oct. 23 9:40 AM Local Time
    • Where: The Exchange, Money Hall
    • What: 2023 Fintech State of the Union

For a deeper dive into these findings, visit (or download) the full study from articles on our Insights Hub. Attendees can visit Discover at the Discover Global Network Lounge (#2305), located at the entrance of the exhibition hall. Following the close of Money 20/20, join Discover and 451 Research for an upcoming webinar discussing emerging trends and perspectives shaping the payments ecosystem. For more information and to register, visit the event site.

Survey Methodology

A global survey of 5,004 consumers, 852 fintech vendors in VP, C-suite and founder roles, and 83 Venture Capitalist respondents in Director and Partner roles was commissioned by Discover Global Network and conducted by 451 Research, part of S&P Global Market Intelligence, an independent research firm, in Q1-Q2 2023. Markets surveyed include Brazil, Canada, China/Hong Kong, Germany, India, Mexico, Singapore, the U.K. and the U.S.

About Discover

Discover Financial Services (NYSE: DFS) is a digital banking and payment services company with one of the most recognized brands in U.S. financial services. Since its inception in 1986, the company has become one of the largest card issuers in the United States. The company issues the Discover® card, America's cash rewards pioneer, and offers private student loans, personal loans, home loans, checking and savings accounts and certificates of deposit through its banking business. It operates the Discover Global Network® comprised of Discover Network, with millions of merchants and cash access locations; PULSE®, one of the nation's leading ATM/debit networks; and Diners Club International®, a global payments network with acceptance around the world. For more information, visit


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