From ‘Access economy’ to ‘Shrinkflation’

From ‘Access economy’ to ‘Shrinkflation’

Updated around four times a year, The Oxford English Dictionary has seen some rather interesting additions of late. From ‘bling’ and ‘bromance’ to ‘textspeak’ and ‘Twitterati’, modern language is evolving all the time.

The same can be said for fintech terminology; ‘contactless’ made it onto the Collins Dictionary’s ‘Words of the Year 2015’, and there are new innovations and pockets of the economy popping up all the time. For this reason, we’ve created our very own ‘fintechtionary’ as a guide to some of the most popular fintech industry terms (including a few of our own) to have at your fingertips.

Access economy an economy allowing for the sharing of goods.

Services like Airbnb and Uber now offer a no-strings-attached way for people to share car rides or escape for a weekend getaway - all with just a few taps of their smartphone.

Biometric identification

automatic identification using human characteristics.

It may sound complicated, but unlocking your phone with your fingerprint is actually a form of biometrics, along with voice recognition and the more far flung iris and retina scanning.

Cashless society

an economic state where transactions are made using a digital transfer of money.

Your wallet could soon be a thing of the past; with the rise of contactless and mobile payments, we could be losing the loose change altogether.

Connected cars

a car that can control key functions via a smart device.

Not only can it track your vehicle if it’s stolen (or remind you where you parked if you lose it), but a connected car can also transform into a 4G hotspot

Digital detox

a period where a person refrains from using their smart devices.

Basically, giving your thumb a rest from ‘scroll ache’ by doing things as simple as charging your phone in another room, or limiting screen time after a chosen hour.


a retailer selling goods exclusively online via digital transactions.

From everything and anything on Amazon to your Instagram photos printed on marshmallows – e-tailers are exclusively-online retailers.

Experience economy

a focus on paying for experiences.

When consumers decide to splash out on Glasto tickets or a trip to Thorpe Park, rather than their weekly Waitrose shop.


a mash-up of ‘financial’ and ‘technology’.

It’s the technology behind your transfers – when you owe your friend a fiver or want to book that exercise class, fintech is what makes it so easy.

Internet of Things

everyday objects that can ‘talk’ to each other.

Like the Fitbit app on your phone that speaks to your wristband, the Internet of Things is made up of devices that can be used together.


buying and selling of goods by mobile phone.

Barbeques to bookcases, flowers to fitness gear – we can now buy pretty much everything from our pockets with our trusty smartphones.


the new policy for third-party access to bank accounts.

This policy means you may no longer have to painstakingly add your card details to every website when you use it for the first time. Win!


the process of items shrinking in size or quantity while their prices remain the same.

We all swear that those 20p chocolate bars were bigger back in the day… Shrinkflation occurs when the cost of goods remains the same or increases, but the product gets smaller.

Silver spenders

a generation of over-50s spenders.

Out with the rule book of retirement and in with the fun, the ‘silver spender’ generation have earned good pensions and enjoy spending their savings on experiences, travel and treats.

Slashie generation

18-35 year-olds taking on more work outside of their regular job.

Millennials are going beyond the traditional 9-5 to pursue creative hobbies and in turn, are making a pretty penny out of it.


a commerce strategy optimised for smart TVs and tablet devices.

Fashion brand Ted Baker took on the hustle of Christmas shopping last year with a shoppable video, allowing viewers to discover more about each item and hit the ‘Shop Now’ button for an instant purchase.

Vampire economy

people who spend more online, particularly in the small hours.

The long, dark evenings in winter have created a nation of impulse buyers as many people spend more time browsing and spending online at night-time.


an item of fintech that you wear.

Make a purchase but with a stylish accessory – Barclaycard’s own bPay wearable range includes a wristband, fob and sticker.