CFA Institute: Financial Technology Survey

CFA Institute: Financial Technology Survey


In 2016, CFA Institute conducted a Financial Technology (FinTech) Survey 1 of its members to ascertain the level of penetration of fintech into the financial services industry at that time. Furthermore, the survey attempted to gather member insight into future challenges faced and imposed by this technology. The respondents showed a high awareness of fintech in 2016, with a particular focus on automated tools, such as robo-advisers and marketplace lending.

The results of the  second fintech survey in 2020 suggest that the fintech revolution has been somewhat harder and slower to adopt than first imagined. Rather than rapid adoption of new technologies by agile start-ups, we instead have seen a slow and piecemeal adoption of certain use cases by very large firms with excess resources available to devote to uncertain technological experimentation. 

It can be argued that we are only at the end of the first phase of this process. With the initial wave of hype deflated, large companies are slowly wading through fintech’s promise use case by use case and adoption is occurring according to strict cost–benefit trade-offs. Smaller firms, in contrast, are limited in their ability to deploy resources on complex, costly, and uncertain fintech use cases.

For the future, the CFA Institute expects three key nonmarket drivers for implementing fintech in the investment industry: (1) strong regulation initiatives, (2) rapid changes in consumer behavior, and (3) a high penetration of e-commerce and digitization worldwide after the Covid-19 crisis passes.