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  • Writer's pictureMukund Hari Nathany

FinTech, MedTech, EdTech, RegTech and all the other terms ending in ‘Tech’

Mukund Hari Nathany explores the new industries emerging from the information revolution.

It is believed that the word FinTech was first used in a written publication in the 1980s. Few decades and one industrial revolution later, today it has become one of the fastest growing sectors in the world. However, financial services is not the only industry being revolutionised by technology. From agriculture to education, medicine to law, and regulation to real estate, the impact of technology can be felt everywhere. And with this, we see a growing trend — portmanteaus of names of existing sectors with the word ‘tech’ attached towards the end. In this article, we look at all such neologisms, which have gained immense popularity in today’s digital age.

FinTech (Financial Technology)

Probably one of the best-known sectors ending in ‘Tech’, FinTech includes everything from payments to cryptocurrency, digital lending, investing, open banking and robo-advisory. According to Corporate Finance Institute, “Fintech can take the form of software, a service, or a business that provides technologically advanced ways to make financial processes more efficient by disrupting traditional methods.”

MedTech (Medical Technology)

MedTech includes various products and solutions used to prevent, diagnose, monitor and treat diseases and other health conditions affecting us. Surgical robots, electronic health data systems, PCR testing kits for COVID-19, and digital health trackers — all of these innovations come under the MedTech umbrella.

EdTech (Education + Technology)

EdTech comprises all the hardware and software tools used to enhance teaching and learning. The transition from chalkboard to smartboard, pens to styluses, slide deck to interactive video, and live to on-demand teaching comes from the rising adoptions of EdTech. Popular examples of EdTech include toys for early education, Massive Online Open Online Courses (MOOCs) on edX and Coursera, videos on Khan Academy and even the technology used by professors while delivering lectures remotely during the pandemic.

RegTech (Regulatory Technology)

In the post-2008 Global Financial Crisis world, an increase in regulation brought a corresponding increase in regulatory technology. Be it facilitating KYC (Know Your Customer/Know Your Client) requirements, checking for fraud, tracking transactions, managing data, or conducting due diligence — RegTech has helped banks and financial institutions save valuable time and money, and made the regulatory process more robust and easy to comply with at the same time.

AgriTech (Agriculture + Technology)

The use of technology in agriculture has helped one of the world’s most-essential industries become more efficient, productive, profitable and environmentally friendly. Today, AgriTech is helping farmers and agriculturists through smart farming methods such as automated irrigation, hydroponics, scanning and surveillance through drones, better weather forecasting as well as logistics and marketing. To learn more about specific innovations AgriTech startups are pioneering, read this Forbes article.

RealTech (Real Estate + Technology)

Technology is also affecting the way we live, work and play – thanks to innovations in the Real Estate industry. According to a KPMG report, RealTech has helped in designing and planning with new software and mapping technology, enhanced construction with smart building platforms and artificial intelligence (AI), and improved lease, management, search and sales through listing websites, back-office solutions, online brokerage and simulation technology.

LegalTech (Legal Technology)

Providing technology solutions for core legal processes, LegalTech has become very important for law firms. LegalTech helps with workflow management, document review through artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), e-discovery for processing documents, legal chatbots, online lawyer marketplaces and even data security.

Honourable Mentions

AdTech – Advertising Technology, which is used for digital marketing, analytics and customer insights

CleanTech – Clean Technology, which is used in reducing harm to the environment and improving sustainability. Examples include recycling and renewable energy

FemTech – Female Technology, which is a category focusing on technology solutions for women’s health

YesterTech, which refers to refer to retro technology from the yesteryears

While we could only cover some of the many terms ending in ‘Tech’, the rise of technology in new and different sectors is certainly nowhere near its end. As more of Generation Z (the world’s first digitally-native generation) enters the workforce, ________Techs are only going to increase. Technology has disrupted industries, revolutionised society, and changed the way we live. A few years back, no one would have imagined how technology could influence industries like real estate or law, yet we see its importance in these lines of work increasing by the day. However, a few productivity-resistant, low-skill services such as hairdressing still persist without much change. The future of these trades and how technology impacts them will be something exciting to look forward to.

Further reading

The UCL Finance and Technology Review (UCL FTR) is the official publication of the UCL FinTech Society. We aim to publish opinions from the student body and industry experts with accuracy and journalistic integrity. While every care is taken to ensure that the information posted on this publication is correct, UCL FTR can accept no liability for any consequential loss or damage arising as a result of using the information printed. Opinions expressed in individual articles do not necessarily represent the views of the editorial team, society, Students’ Union UCL or University College London. This applies to all content posted on the UCL FTR website and related social media pages.

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