Fintech Disruption: Landscaping the Danish Fintech Sector

Mohamed Said Eleish

Student thesis: Master thesis


Purpose – The purpose of this study was twofold. Firstly, to landscape the Danish Fintech sector in order to develop an extensive database (appendix 5) about the Danish Fintech companies, including identifying and classifying their idiosyncratic operating models as well as describing the taxonomy of the Danish Fintech sector. Secondly, the objective was to develop an integrated model predicated on Clayton Christensen’s theory of Disruptive Innovation (cf. chapter 3) in order to analyze disruptive innovation in Fintech and thus tackle the seemingly popular and often misconceived use of the term “disruption” in relation to Fintech.
Design/methodology/approach – Theoretically, the study adopted Clayton Christensen et al.’s (1997; 2003; 2006; 2015) conceptualization of Disruptive Innovation in order to both respond to the misuse of the concept as well as to gain a sufficient understanding of disruption and develop and integrated model in the context of Fintech. Empirically, the study was thus based on an extensive and self-created database using secondary data in order to classify all the identified Fintech companies in Denmark – both domestic and foreign-based companies operating in Denmark – into distinct categories and variables.
Findings – Following extensive secondary research, the study created an extensive database of Danish Fintech companies (see appendix 5), which resulted in 107 identified Fintech companies across 6 main categories, 15 sectors, 30 different types of solutions as well as 5 core problem types and 6 value propositions. While the definition of disruptive innovation remains rather relative, it is argued that four elements in particular are important in order to better understand and recognize disruptive elements, including 1) the solution, 2) target market (customers), 3) business model (performance and price attributes), and 4) the enabling technology. The study suggests that there is indeed potentially disruptive elements within Fintech areas, including Crowdfunding, P2P Lending, Neo-Banking, Accounting platforms, Retail Investment, and E-learning, however, with the majority of the Fintech solutions being sustaining innovations and improvements to existing financial services.
Research limitations/implications – While the integrated model developed and applied in this study provides an original framework that could help to bridge the gap and existing discrepancies between the concept’s theoretical definition and often-misapplied practical usage, there is nevertheless room for further research in order to validate the key aspects in the model. Particularly, qualitative research with both customers and Fintechs will be a valuable addition to this study in order to understand the performance attributes in relation to different financial services.

EducationsMSc in Management of Innovation and Business Development, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2017
Number of pages103
SupervisorsJonas Hedman