Amazon Web Services Scales up Fin-tech

Now that online giant Amazon has challenged and practically taken over the online buying and delivering universe, there is talk of Amazon Web Services entering the banking industry. Banking giants are waking to the prospects of “blockchains,” AI-driven stocks, and more advances daily. The name of this emerging industry is “fin-tech,” and from Bitcoin to Etherium, it adds up to big money.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is the biggest provider of cloud computing, which has “massively” lowered barriers to entry for financial startups, according to Antony Jenkins, the former Barclay’s CEO turned fin-tech entrepreneur.

An example is Starling Bank, which is built on Amazon’s cloud service. Bank CEO Anne Boden, previously of the Royal Bank Of Scotland, says the bank has shown that a process once costing in the $30 millions can now be done for $30 thousands. Likewise, a workforce of 140 employees can do the work of what used to take 10 times the number. Mainly, it is being able to add and subtract computing capacity. Also, AWS offers machine learning tools and data storage processes that reduce costs and personnel.

Just by following the example AWS sets could mean greater profits.

“AWS is a crucial money-maker for Amazon, and it has more market share than its next five biggest competitors, including Microsoft and Google, combined, according to Synergy Research Group. The service, which charges customers by the second, raked in $4.6 billion in revenue in the most recent quarter, up 42% from a year earlier.”

“There’s still something a little shocking about seeing a business unit the size of AWS consistently growing its revenues by over 40 percent,” said John Dinsdale, chief analyst and research director at Synergy.

In this June 16, 2014, file photo, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos walks onstage for the launch of the new Amazon Fire Phone, in Seattle. Technology leaders are about to come face-to-face with President-elect Donald Trump after fiercely opposing his candidacy, fearful that he would stifle innovation, curb the hiring of computer-savvy immigrants and infringe on consumers’ digital privacy. On Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2016, Silicon Valley luminaries and other technology leaders are headed to Trump Tower in New York to make their peace, or press their case, with Trump and his advisers. Bezos is one of the CEOs expected to attend.

Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, proposes to enter fin-tech. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

There Is Still Room For You

Even if it looks like Amazon is gobbling up today’s banking innovations, there is plenty of available cloud space for start-ups.  For instance Goldman Sachs recently led a $45 million investment in a company called Skytap, which provides services for that transition. 

This only the beginning of a new universe of possibilities in finance—and Amazon is making it clear we’d better pay attention.