The largest FinTech startups are repeating the history of institutional banking – the history of centralization[1] – whether they want/realize it or not. The global consumer market is extremely limited for ~11K FinTech startups[2] to have a sustainable future altogether. In the years ahead, the keys to survival will be scale and diversification, with both being reached through beneficial cross-industry partnerships. Only the ones able to score powerful partners will step into the next phase of development – institutionalization, which is a short track to becoming another financial institution and the very same type of organization tech entrepreneurs are now so passionate to call obsolete.

“Competition has been shown to be useful up to a certain point and no further, but cooperation, which is the thing we must strive for today, begins where competition leaves off.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt

Xero + Curve, Stripe + Alipay, Stripe + WeChat Pay, Mastercard + PayPal, Citi + Apple Pay, Qbera + Droom, and many more alliances will create an increasingly competitive environment, where the matter of forging the right business partnership will be able to break or make the future of a financial venture.

Pick #1. American Express Closer to Breaking into Elusive Chinese Market

American Express could become the first US card network to offer services in China.

“We have received indication from the [People’s Bank of China] that they will formally accept our application.” – Marina Norville, spokeswoman for American Express.

State-controlled UnionPay dominates the Chinese card market. American Express is working with Chinese mobile payments company Lianlian through a joint venture. The move follows a 2012 announcement that the

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