This finance-related term was just added to the dictionary — did you know what it meant?

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“Fintech” has made it to the mainstream.

Publisher Merriam-Webster has added fintech to the online version of its dictionary, along with 839 other new words and terms, the company announced Tuesday.

Many of the newly added words come from the world of technology, said Peter Sokolowski, Merriam-Webster’s editor at large.

“In this age of fast communication, and technological and scientific advances, we continuously encounter new ways of describing the world around us,” he said in a statement announcing the new words.

One such term: “fintech,” a combination of the words “financial” and “technology.”

Merriam-Webster defines “fintech” as “products and companies that employ newly developed digital and online technologies in the banking and financial services industries.”

It can also be used before another noun, as in the term “fintech sector,” or apply to a business that creates financial technology, such as in the sentence, “Traditional banks are eager to court fintechs as clients,” Merriam-Webster says.

Though the word may be unfamiliar to those outside the world of finance, chances are that you’ve encountered a fintech product as a consumer. Companies including the payment company Stripe, the student-loan refinancing company SoFi and the trading platform Robinhood are all known as “fintechs.” Even banks’ apps are considered to be fintech, despite not being stand-alone companies.

Merriam-Webster editors noticed usage of the word “fintech” becoming more common between 2004 and 2006, Sokolowski said. Prior to then it was known almost exclusively within the finance community.

“Every word has its own pace,” he said. “When a word’s use spreads to the rest of us, to a broader group, that’s when the word goes into the dictionary.”

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More recently, fintech has become more widespread, as mainstream financial companies either have debuted fintech projects themselves or have forged partnerships with other companies to add new features in such areas as mobile payments, mobile banking or peer-to-peer payments, said Michelle Evans, head of digital consumer research at Euromonitor International, a research firm.

Investment in fintech has fallen slightly from its peak in 2014 and 2015, but it still hit $31 billion in 2017, according to research from research firm Forrester. “Fintech is no longer niche,” the firm wrote in March.

Words warrant their own entry and definition in Merriam-Webster’s dictionary when they stop “being used with the linguistic kid gloves you see with new words,” such as quotation marks, italics and parenthetical information describing the word, Sokolowski said.

Fintech “deserves a Merriam-Webster definition,” said Brendan Miller, a principal analyst at Forrester. “It has ingrained itself into the tapestry of broader business terminology.”

A few other words from the worlds of business and technology also made the Merriam-Webster cut this week.

Citizens of the Internet will likely recognize some of them, including “GOAT,” the abbreviation for “greatest of all time,” and “TL;DR,” which stands for “too long; didn’t read.”

“Biohacking” is another addition, defined as “biological experimentation (as in gene editing or the use of drugs or implants) done to improve the qualities or capabilities of living organisms.”

“Medical marijuana” and “CBD,” both terms related to the use of marijuana, are new Merriam-Webster additions.

And “bingeable,” meaning “having multiple episodes or parts that can be watched in rapid succession,” made it in, too, a sign of the growing popularity of viewing shows on streaming services including Netflix NFLX, -6.17%  .

Another term you might be tempted to use if you’ve seen these kinds of schemes on Facebook: “multilevel marketing,” meaning “a business structure or practice in which an individual seller earns commissions both from direct sales and from the sales of the seller’s recruits, of those recruited by the seller’s recruits, and so on.”

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Source: https://www.marketwatch.com/story/this-finance-related-term-was-just-added-to-the-dictionary-do-you-know-what-it-means-2018-09-05

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