FinTech is evolving to be a large family, comprising various areas including BankingTech, TradeTech, LendTech, InsurTech, WealthTech, PayTech, and RiskTech. The smart FinTech ecosystem is a multi-dimensional synergy between EcoFin business objectives, business areas, data and resources, and enabling techniques, as shown in Fig. 2 in  which presents a four-dimensional landscape of the smart FinTech and the synthesis between these aspects. In general, the ecosystems of smart FinTech can be viewed in terms of their (1) comprehensive FinTech-driven businesses and areas, and (2) processes, functions and activities. On one hand, FinTech-driven businesses and areas are overwhelming and evolving. Figure 1 overviews the smart FinTech ecosystems and categorizes them as follows: smart banking, smart insurance, smart lending, smart trading, smart assets and wealth management, smart payments, smart credit and risk management, smart Internet finance, smart marketing and services, smart currencies and blockchain, smart compliance and regulation, smart ethics and security, and smart innovations. Each of these primary areas is further defined by their respective businesses and supporting (DSAI) techniques [9, 27, 39, 44]. Below, we briefly illustrate how DSAI techniques can assist in these smart FinTech areas.
Smart banking offers active, personalized, automated, trusted, robust, secure, risk-averse and fragility-averse banking businesses and services, including retail banking, open banking, mobile banking, and business banking. The DSAI research for enabling smart banking includes DSAI techniques for detecting, analyzing and managing a bank’s network risk and risk contagion; modeling, detecting and managing banking risk and fraud; conducting credit analysis and improving pricing; optimizing, validating and risk-managing credit loans; creating, mining, securing, risk-managing and optimizing digital currencies including cryptocurrencies; creating, securing, evaluating, risk-managing and optimizing mobile banking businesses and services; personalizing, automating, validating, securing, risk-managing and optimizing Internet/online banking; enabling, personalizing, automating, securing, risk-managing and optimizing open banking; evaluating, securing and risk-managing shadow banking; and developing smarter and more automated, personalized, mobile and engaging banking services; etc.
Smart insurance enables insurance products, systems and services to ensure safe/secure, cost-effective, proactive, tailored, trustful, resilient, secure and risk-averse health, car, home/content/building, travel and other businesses. The DSAI research for enabling smart insurance includes those for tailoring individual, business and commercial insurance products and services; enabling early, active and evolving insurance fraud detection; making active, personalized and time-varying recommendations of insurance products and services; evaluating, analyzing, detecting, managing and optimizing insurance risk and compliance; evaluating, automating, detecting and optimizing insurance security; creating novel insurance models, products and services; evaluating, automating and improving insurance business operations; and integrating, recommending and optimizing multi-policy, multi-product and cross-selling insurance products and services; etc.
Smart lending supports lending, loan and mortgage businesses and services that are risk-averse, personalized, context-oriented, predictive, efficient, robust and secure for individuals, enterprises or projects. DSAI research directions for smart leading cover businesses and tasks such as for addressing relevant aspects and problems through blockchain; automating crowdfunding, e.g., campaign design and strategy optimization; creating and optimizing distributed ledger technologies; enabling fundraising such as by creating personalized recommendations, efficient fundraising models, and intelligent services; analyzing, detecting, managing and mitigating lending risk and security; enabling smart, efficient and low-risk peer-to-peer lending; and creating, validating and optimizing smart contracts; etc.
Smart markets and trading involves very broad EcoFin businesses and widely-explored DSAI techniques for intelligent capital, commodity, currency, energy, commerce, property and other markets, and supplies predictive, active, dynamic, risk-averse, anti-fragile, and high-utility trading strategies, support and services. The DSAI-driven smart markets and trading can support many tasks, e.g., for designing, automating and optimizing novel, secure, smart and personalized financial mechanisms, models, products, and services for equity and derivative markets; making and optimizing algorithmic trading, arbitrage trading, high frequency (cross-market) trading, and institutional trading across equity, commodity and currency markets; modeling, automating and optimizing digital asset pricing and credit scoring; enabling smart e-commerce for personalized retail businesses; enabling smart, efficient, personalized and secure Internet finance; conducting portfolio analytics and enabling smart portfolio management; enabling predictive trading and strategic trading; designing, automating and optimizing trading strategies, algorithms and platforms; enabling and optimizing socially responsible investment; modeling, evaluating and optimizing trading complementarity and substitutionary; and characterizing and improving trading incentives and campaign; etc.
Smart Internet finance has evolved from Internet banking to third-party payment, peer to peer lending (P2P lending), crowdfunding, and digital currencies, which also involve their supporting designs, operations, services, evaluation, compliance, and security (trust). More broad Internet financial services include Internet platforms, data and technology-driven financing, fund, lending, insurance, payment and markets associated with individuals, corporate organizations, sponsors, and regulators. Typical FinTech for smart Internet finance includes inventing new Internet technologies and services to enable the above products and services; enabling efficient, trustful, secure and convenient Internet banking services, authentication, active compliance checks, outlier detection, and connections to other banking businesses such as mobile banking; enabling equity, product and reward-based crowdfunding mechanisms, projects and their developments and risk management, e.g., default prediction, evaluating the success and risk of crowdfunding projects, automatic screening of illegal fundraising, evaluating and managing herding effect, social networking and mutual influences, and advising government regulation on investors and corporate; optimizing P2P lending bidding mechanisms and loan evaluation, predicting and managing P2P lending herding effect and information asymmetry, and evaluating their influence and systemic risk on investment and the economy; optimizing pricing, price volatility and fluctuation, payment accuracy, risk on investment, regulation, operation security and efficiency of digital currencies. Other areas where DSAI may contribute include enabling, securing, and regulating so-called big data finance, information-driven financial institutions, and smart systems and services for Internet finance.
Smart billing and payment offers efficient, secure, risk-averse, fast and convenient systems and services for online, mobile, WiFi, contactless (including for credit cards and by QR-codes) and IoT-oriented billing and payment services. Smart billing and payment becomes increasing important in the digital society and economy. DSAI-enabled smart payment research include areas such as authenticating, automating, securing and risk-managing billing validity and contactless payment; supporting efficient and secure IoT device-based contactless payments; enabling, securing, risk-managing and optimizing e-payments; automating, securing, risk-managing and optimizing Internet and online payments; automating, securing, risk-managing and optimizing mobile payments; modeling, detecting, analyzing and mitigating payment risk; and validating, detecting, analyzing and mitigating billing and payment risk and security; etc.
Smart credit/risk management offers efficient, personalized, active, evolving, secure and sustainable credit and risk valuation, products, services and management for business and customers. Typical DSAI-enabled smart credit and risk management tasks include automating, evaluating and optimizing anti-money laundering; monitoring, detecting, categorizing, factorizing, predicting and intervening client financial security, retail investor risk, financial systematic risk, financial institutional risk, financial network risk, and cross-market risk; detecting, quantifying and predicting financial risk factors and areas; quantifying, analyzing, detecting, predicting and mitigating financial crisis and crisis contagion; categorizing, monitoring, detecting, analyzing, predicting, evaluating and managing financial events, market movement, change, exception and emergence and their consequences and impact; etc.
Smart asset and wealth management offers businesses and services safe, secure, personalized, anti-fragile, and automated management of money, credit, properties, securities and intangible assets. DSAI-supported smart asset and wealth management involves many emergent research areas, including DSAI for making, evaluating and optimizing data monetization; valuating, analyzing, evaluating, optimizing and managing digital assets, Internet wealth, public welfare, institutional welfare, and superannuation; enabling, automating, risk-managing and optimizing digital financial advising; designing and optimizing novel, personalized, secure and healthy financing mechanisms; enabling, automating, evaluating and optimizing roboadvising; and supporting secure, personalized, low-risk and sustainable venture capital management; etc.
Smart currencies and blockchain enables efficient, secure, risk-tolerant, automated or semi-automated, dynamic, and high-performing blockchain infrastructures, computing and services for encrypted digital currencies. DSAI techniques can play a critical role in enabling smart blockchains. Examples are predicting the price movement of cryptocurrencies; constructing risk-averse trading strategies and portfolios of bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies; detecting risk and assuring smart contracts; enabling the efficient mining of bitcoins in distributed systems; supporting proactive and systemic blockchain governance and regulation; and detecting risk, intrusion and fragility in blockchain systems, behaviors and activities; etc.
Smart marketing and services offers cost-effective, relevant, proactive, personalized, positive, sequential and context-oriented marketing, advertising and recommendation activities and services. DSAI-enabled smart marketing involves many opportunities, such as conducting consumer sentiment and public emotion analysis; understanding consumer/client opinion and intention; quantifying, characterizing, evaluating, predicting and improving consumer confidence and a product/service’s market reputation and trust; evaluating and optimizing customer relationship management; validating, enhancing, synergizing and optimizing econometrics; evaluating, risk-managing, personalizing and optimizing stakeholder relationships; making, evaluating and optimizing financial recommendations; enabling, automating, evaluating, securing, risk-managing and optimizing supply chain finance; and supporting user privacy-preserving and advertiser information-protected federated advertising; etc.
Smart compliance and regulation supports automated or human-machine-cooperative, risk-sensitive, proactive, systematic, dynamic and evidence-based regulation and compliance operations, governance and risk intervention and control. The opportunities associated with DSAI-empowered smart compliance and regulation are comprehensive and significant for any FinTech business and technologies, such as enhancing corporate finance transparency; evaluating and optimizing corporate governance and regulation; making and optimizing cross-market regulation; creating and optimizing digital currency regulation; detecting, analyzing, risk-managing and managing financial crime; verifying, automating, securing and optimizing financial digital authentication; enabling, validating, verifying, detecting, risk-managing and optimizing financial digital identification; quantifying, validating, monitoring, detecting, analyzing and mitigating financial fragility, crisis and stability; recognizing, detecting, analyzing and mitigating financial fraud; enabling smarter and more efficient and personalized financial market regulation, design and policy implication; automating, evaluating and optimizing financial operations; quantifying, evaluating and managing information asymmetry and transparency; enabling, automating and optimizing international regulation; validating and improving market legitimacy; quantifying, verifying, detecting, analyzing and improving market social justice; and quantifying, evaluating, automating and improving marketplace trust and coordination; etc.
FinTech ethics and security involves whole-of-businesses, whole-of-time, whole-of-stakeholders, whole-of-physical-cyber-spaces, privacy-preserving, proactive, predictive, systematic, and dynamic management of FinTech ethics and security. DSAI techniques can help with extracting evidence and profiling ethical and security violations; modeling, detecting, evaluating and managing financial system security, financial network security, and financial instrument security; characterizing, quantifying, analyzing, evaluating, predicting and managing financial system vulnerability; and providing distributed, federated, privacy-preserving financial services, etc.
FinTech innovations drive smart FinTech developments and applications. Every area of smart FinTech needs continuous innovation and research, where DSAI technology is essential. Examples of DSAI-driven FinTech innovations are data and learning-enabled systems and services for automated pricing, credit scoring, loan valuation, trading strategy generation, customer chatbots, financial planning, security alerting, and compliance mitigation; proactive and personalized recommendations of crowdfunding projects, cross-product loan, insurance and investment portfolios and pricing; tailored risk-mitigated systems and services for asset and wealth portfolio prediction, optimization and risk management for high-value customers; detecting and intervening unethical and unsecure trading, lending, credit and loan valuation, payment, marketing, competition, and regulation; offering whole-of-business, privacy-preserving and federated FinTech and EcoFin businesses and services to large-scale, distributed and connected communities or societies, etc.
On the other hand, all of the above smart FinTech businesses and areas involve some common fundamental processes, functions and activities. Figure 2 illustrates the main processes and their key functions and activities: design, produce, operate, promote, optimize and safeguard.
Design: plan and devise EcoFin mechanisms, markets, products, participants, rules and governance, and innovations, etc.
Produce: convert and implement the designs into production with goods, services, systems and applications and functions and activities including pricing and valuation, trading and exchange, supply and demand, financial services (e.g., billing and payment), etc.
Operate: enable and support the whole-of-business execution by providing technology (including infrastructure) and managing resources (money, asset, personnel and management, data, facilities, etc.), communications (internal and external), stakeholders, processes, and operations, etc.
Promote: market and advocate businesses and opportunities, including supporting advertising, competition, recommendations, new developments (e.g., clients, products, channels, etc.) and managing stakeholder relationships, etc.
Optimize: evaluate, improve and expand the quality and performance (including efficacy and efficiency) of EcoFin businesses and operations and make optimal planning, strategies, reinforcement, recommendations and innovations, etc.
Safeguard: validate, secure and assure the compliance, regulation, privacy, security, trust and ethics etc. of EcoFin businesses and FinTech.