#FinTech / The Tearsheet guide to fintech jargon for 2021

The world of financial technology is sounding like an increasingly niche space where jargon is becoming something of a currency.
Our updated termsheet will help you cut through the noise to understand what everything really means…

agile: fast
altcoin: a bitcoin alternative
accelerators: finishing school for startups
AI: “big data,” 2021 version
API: official permission to use someone else’s work
beta: we have no idea what we’re doing
big data: so 2012
biometrics: fingerprints
bitcoin: you’re still kidding
bitcoin mining: computers are competing to get new bitcoins
blockchain: a very secure Excel sheet
co-creation: customer creation
central ledger: a really important blockchain run by really important people
chatbot: do I sound human yet?
conversational banking: you’re talking to something
consensus: when everyone agrees this is a thing
consumers: people
contactless: tapping a card instead of swiping it
conversational AI: If ‘you ask’, then you’ll get ‘a worthless answer’
corporate VCs: attention startups: take our money, let us buy you later
cross selling: selling bank stuff customers don’t need
cryptocurrency: digital currency for anarchists
chief culture officer: chief ping-pong table installer
data aggregation: still screen scraping your information
decentralized autonomous organization:humans aren’t involved
DeFi: Losing business models taking on Visa and PayPal
democratize: lowering the barriers to entry, to get more customers
DLT: blockchain tech built with banker specs
embedded finance: integrating someone else’s financial product
enterprise: for businesses, not for lowly humans
future proofing: making sure your product isn’t a passing fad
digital ambassadors: bank tellers
digital identity: the real you
digital tokens: a way to raise money
digital transformation: innovation theater
digital wallet: your wallet on a phone, sans cash and ID
Jamie Dimon: he hates bitcoin but loves blockchain
disruptors: startups with big egos
ecosystem:we want everything you do to loop back to our family of products
ethereum: the new bitcoin
fail-fast-fail-often: fail
fintech: finance today
frictionless: easy
game changing: hoping you forgot the last time we did this
guests: people
high-tech-high-touch: we support both people and robots
ICO: kind of like an IPO, but using cryptocurrency
incubator: boarding school for disruptors
incumbents: grownup people
innovation lab: adult playground
innovative: (see: game changing)
insurtech:a bot will soon tell you your medical visit is not covered
KYC: customer intake form
LinkedIn: a noisy, expensive and ineffective place to get B2B leads
machine learning: the machine that knows how to react when you yell at it
native: you don’t need Safari or Chrome to use it
omnichannel: every channel
open banking: banks need to outsource creativity, via APIs
participants: real people
permissioned ledger: you need an invite to join this
PFM (personal finance management): balancing your checkbook
pivot: our first idea didn’t really pan out
post-app world: apps will die
proof-of-concept: we’re waiting for the money to make this a thing
proof of stake: you’ve got skin in the game
proof of work: you’re mining
remittance:money that costs money to send home overseas
relationship building: when banks want to stalk you
revolutionary: hyped
robo-advisers: you’ll end up talking to humans
Satoshi Nakamoto: we don’t know if he exists, but he apparently designed bitcoin
smart contract: you don’t need to argue with real people
scale: grow
solution: experiment
stablecoins: fiat currencies dressed up as cryptocurrencies
sprints: not your average never-ending large-scale tech overhaul
Square: maker of Cash App for hyperactive bitcoin traders
Stripe: payments infrastructure focused on getting into your business next
surprise and delight: it’s kind of new and customers probably won’t hate it
test-and-learn: playtime for focus-groups
throughput: when input and output aren’t long-enough words
ubiquitous: everywhere
unicorn: those special startups in the Three Comma Club
users: people who downloaded our app once
VC: mom and dad
Venmo: how you stalk your ex
XaaS (anything as a service): using the Internet