Following the departure of LendingClub founder and CEO Renaud Laplanche, the online lending industry has been the focus of much attention over the past few days. This is understandable; it’s a surprising development in a prominent sector and media is responsible for holding high-profile executives accountable for what they do.
In the reporting of the LendingClub news, however, there is one troubling element. Several outlets are treating peer-to-peer lending as shorthand for the FinTech field as a whole. This makes it seem like FinTech is in trouble when it’s not. It affixes a negative signal to the FinTech market at large.
FinTech is vast and heterogeneous. It is comprised of an assortment of solutions and software-as-a-service applications: payments, wealth management, remittances, accounting technology, digital currency, trading, and many others. These platforms and services are significantly reducing the friction that plague traditional financial services. They are increasingly consumer-facing, which is one reason why FinTech is becoming more newsworthy than it was in past years.
FinTech firms are making it easier, cheaper, and more convenient to access financial services and deserve to be treated like the unique and diverse companies they are and not as a homogenous and undifferentiated mass.