Between the proliferation of technology and the rise of cryptocurrencies, consumers are at the forefront of what could be a significant evolution in how they manage their finances, make purchases, hold assets, and even make investments.
Economies across the globe are exploring their own digital currencies, attempting to develop regulatory frameworks and working rapidly to adapt to the rise of “fintech” (financial technology).
Exactly what the world’s financial system will look like in the future is anyone’s guess, but the industry shows the promise of being transformative and potentially very lucrative for early investors.
Here are five fintech ETFs (exchange-traded funds) that you can tuck in your portfolio to capture this disruptive growth.
ETF #1: Global X FinTech ETF (FINX)
This Global X FinTech ETF is the oldest and most established on the list. With nearly five years of track record on public markets, FINX is a legitimate ETF with clear interest behind it. The tactics of this fund involve putting money behind companies “helping to transform established industries like insurance, investing, fundraising, and third-party lending,” according to Global X. That means a mix of names you may have heard of like mobile payments giant PayPal Holdings (PYPL) and others you may not have, like mortgage lending analytics firm Black Knight (BKI).
ETF #2: ARK Fintech Innovation ETF (ARKF)
The ARK family of ETFs may not be as well known as some of the others in the market, but these unique offerings are focused on disruptive areas of technology and growth, from biotech stocks to self-driving vehicles. ARKF is the fintech ETF, launched in early 2019 and offering exposure to firms in mobile payments as well as digital wallets and blockchain technology. Its leading position right now is payments fintech Square (SQ) as well as a smattering of digital retail plays, including South American e-commerce giant MercadoLibre (MELI).
ETF #3: ETFMG Prime Mobile Payments (IPAY)
Mobile payments are a big part of the potential many see in fintech. Just as a digital age has allowed us to easily access information on the go, smartphones also allow us to transact anywhere on the planet – without cash, and often with greater security than with a physical credit card.
The ETFMG Prime Mobile Payments ETF is a pure play on this corner of fintech, featuring PayPal and Square along with blue chips like Visa (V) and smaller players like PaySign (PAYS) that are seeking a piece of the mobile payments pie. The fund isn’t as broad as others on the list, but with $660 million in assets represents one of the larger dedicated fintech funds.
ETF #4: Tortoise Digital Payments Infrastructure Fund (TPAY)
A smaller and more recent entrant, TPAY is also a twist on digital payments – but one that focuses on the infrastructure required for 21st century transactions rather than trying to pick stocks that process the most volume. One leading holding is Fiserv (FISV), which offers risk management and compliance services as well as technology services to banks. DocuSign (DOCU) is another holding that provides security and verification services. Rather than build up an installed user base with a payment app or demand billions in linked accounts, these companies count the banks themselves as clients – not consumers – and add an interesting twist to the digital payments trend.
ETF #5: Innovation Shares NextGen Protocol ETF (KOIN)
If the name of this fund has you wondering what it has to do with fintech, the ticker offers a clue. This fund focuses on blockchain technology that powers cryptocurrencies including bitcoin, ether and others. Blockchain is a way to track and digitize assets of any form in a secure and decentralized way.
The largest of KOIN’s holdings are tangential plays like chipmaker Nvidia (NVDA), which is well known for creating the hardware used by cryptocurrency miners. KOIN is in position to give investors an easy way to play the growth in cryptocurrencies – without the volatility of owning actual bitcoin.
Which fintech trends are here to stay and which do you believe are a flash in the pan?