Finally, after decades of usage, the word fintech has made its way into the Merriam-Webster dictionary.The portmanteau of financial technology was one of 840 new entries recently added to the online dictionary.
Merriam-Webster defines fintech as “products and companies that employ newly developed digital and online technologies in the banking and financial services industries”.
The word is far from new: the dictionary pinpoints its first known use to 1971, while it has been gracing the pages of Finextra since the early 2000s.
However, in recent years the term has taken off thanks to a burgeoning fintech scene in places such as Silicon Valley and London and the rise of mobile banking, cryptocurrencies and the like.
As Merriam-Webster states: “It’s important to remember that new words are added to the dictionary only when they have already been used by many people—often initially by specialists or subcultures.
“Then, gradually, a word’s use spreads to the rest of us. Every word moves at its own pace; there is no average speed for a word’s acceptance into the language, the culture, and the dictionary. The dictionary’s job is to report that usage as it enters the general vocabulary.”
Apparently, fintech has now entered the general vocabulary, although according to Merriam-Webster’s popularity ranking, it languishes in the bottom 10% of words.