It’s unavoidable. Blended words, buzzwords and acronyms are part of the Fintech vernacular…


I’m often called out at conferences for using buzzwords – Seamlessly integrated solutions, through-the-line marketing, ‘anything’-as-a-Service. And my current favourite – phygital.

At one recent event, delegates were actually given buzzword bingo cards (there’s one below for you to use). Thankfully, no one stood up and yelled BINGO during my session, but I’m sure there were a few audience members close to completing their card by the time I was done.

The fact is, it’s hard not to use buzzwords when explaining Fintech (which, by the way, is Financial Technology). Blended words and acronyms are all the rage. There are even websites to help you create your own acronyms based on key words or product names.

At Split Payments, we are innovating with emerging payment technologies like Open Banking, faster settlement capabilities and machine learning. So it’s hard not to search for ways to simplify the jargon with some clever abbreviations. And so, here is a less than definitive look at buzzwords in the Fintech space.


Buzzwords are to Fintech what Emojis are to SMS…


The One-Stop Turnkey Payments Buzzword Glossary

Blockchain: Also known as distributed ledger technology (DLT), it is a shared record of transactional data that is maintained by a network of computers rather than a central authority. Blockchain first emerged as the record-keeping technology behind bitcoin, and no tech glossary would be complete without dropping this buzzword. For payments, the fact that a blockchain record is immutable (a record that can not to altered) is well suited to handling sensitive financial data.

Fiat Money: This is not vehicular by nature, it is in fact cold hard currency in a crypto world – it is traditional currency like dollars, pounds and yen, that a government has declared to be legal tender – so the value is derived from the relationship between supply and demand. As such, Fiat is not backed by a physical commodity.

InsureTech, RegTech, PropTech – WhatevTech: Blended words is the latest trend to delineate the various forms of Fintech according to which sector they are innovating in. For example, RegTech is a fast growing subset of Fintech, where technology solutions help companies efficiently and affordably comply with the ever changing regulatory landscapes. Go ahead, choose an industry, add Tech to the end, and own it! (dare I suggest you comment below).

Instant Account Verification (IAV): Instant Account Verification is a simple and secure way for consumers to verify their bank account details using online banking credentials. This is a faster way to verify identity and initiate payments compared to micro deposits or manual provision of documents such as bank statements.

Integrated Payment Solutions: Allowing businesses and consumers to use multiple payment types (card, bank transfer, buy now/pay later, digital wallets, etc.) that are aggregated and maintained by a single platform.

Blind Direct Debit: This is one Split created that speaks to traditional direct debit, where the success (or failure) of a payment is only apparent after 3 days – the time it takes for a direct entry bank transfer to clear between banks.

Neobanks: Not to be confused with the more common species called Challenger Banks, a neobank is a completely digital bank that doesn’t use any existing legacy systems to operate. Without a physical infrastructure or dependency on existing systems, these branchless banks can innovate rapidly and pivot just as easily. In Australia, Volt are the first neobank to be given a fully-fledged banking licence, but Xinja are making the biggest wave with crowd funding equity campaigns and a very human approach to banking.

Open API: An Open API or Public API is a free-to-use, publicly available application programming interface (API) that provides developers with programmatic access to a proprietary software application.

KYC and AML: Two very important payment components that are effectively intertwined. KYC is an acronym for Know Your Customer. It is the process to ensure businesses identify and verify their clients when obtaining financial services for anti-money laundering (AML) purposes.

PSD2: No matter where in the world you find yourself having a conversation about Open Banking, PSD2 will inevitably come up as a best practice benchmark. As the 2 suggests, this is the second iteration of the EU’s Payment Services Directive, designed to allow consumers to grant access to their banking and financial information to third parties. OK, it’s more complicated than that, but we’re out of time…


Finally, two radical emerging capabilities to throw in to the mix

Quantum Computing: Whilst this may still be on the fringes of Fintech vernacular and is not really a buzzword, it’s something that will impact security of payments in a big way, so it makes the list. Did you know that the device you’re reading this on has more computational power than the Apollo 11 lunar landing mission? True fact. So imagine when the concept of quantum computing – put simply, the ability to perform a large number of computations at the same time – is readily available to the public? Security measures like 128-bit encryption will be easily hacked in seconds, heralding a new age and fresh challenges for security of payment.

ECG-Encryption: To counter quantum computing falling in to the wrong hands, researchers in China have developed the ability to unlock your car or pay for that coffee using your heartbeat. It’s not too far fetched given Fit Bits and Apple Watches are monitoring your heart already (let’s call it WristTech…). And the compelling thing is that your heartbeat changes, so it requires regular recalibration, a bit like managing your passwords. You heard it here first.

At Split Payments, we believe in two particular buzzwords that speak to a future state of payments – Financial Technocracy: Empowering consumers to manage the platforms through which they access their banking services. And, of course, Open Banking: Making financial services more available by empowering consumers.

So go ahead, take it offline and stir-fry those in your ideas wok… if you have a buzzword and definition to add please do leave a comment.


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