Introducing The Innovators 2021

Global Finance recognizes outstanding financial innovations and the innovating companies that devised them.

The past year demonstrated conclusively the value of innovation. Covid-19 upended the rules of human contact oversight, requiring change—innovation—in all spheres of life.

Ensuring that funds continued to flow was critical for economic stability and human survival. Banks and fintechs played a central role in getting cash—or equivalents—to people and businesses to stave off the worst. Necessity turbo-charged the shift to digital, with upgrades, updates and entirely new services coming online in days or weeks. It was a glimpse of the future.

Yet innovation cannot be limited to crisis response.  Even in “ordinary” times, to innovate is to lead, so more and more companies are seeking to foster it, with a range of approaches. Many banks and fintechs innovate via programs such as at Seoul Fintech Lab (image this page; story p. 46). Others, like Bank of America (opposite), this year’s top global innovator, seek to seed an entrepreneurial spirit across the company. 

We proudly recognize the innovation leaders in the following pages, who demonstrated ingenuity, agility and foresight over the past year. These are the entities that are forging the future of finance.