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High-Speed Fiber Networks – An Important Component of Pittsburgh’s Fintech Sector

Pittsburgh is home to a promising Fintech sector. Anchored by major banks and finance companies, it makes sense that there is keen interest from the tech scene in supporting, growing, and innovating the industry.

What is Fintech?

Fintech Weekly states, “Fintech (financial technology) refers to software and other modern technologies used by businesses that provide automated and improved financial services.” With the rise of mobile payments, crowdfunding, blockchain, and cryptocurrency, it’s a field with tremendous growth potential and variety.

Exploding Topics shares that as of 2022, the fintech space is worth $179 billion, and there are approximately 30,000 fintech startups. Deloitte’s 2020 fintech report, On the Brink of Further Disruption, indicates “the fast-growing space is projected to reach $179 billion in 2022. And is predicted to reach $213 billion by 2024.”

Fintech in Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh is at the tip of the iceberg with companies dedicated to fintech. A quick search for “fintech companies + Pittsburgh” returns a relatively small field. For example, Awesome Fintech returns 28 Pittsburgh-based companies, and Builtin conveys 14 and includes both large and local banks.

However, a few of the companies leading the Pittsburgh fintech industry include:

  • Honeycomb Credit allows small businesses to crowdfund loans. Current campaigns are focused on food and beverage businesses yet include opportunities to fund a compounding pharmacy, a candle company and a barbershop.
  • In July, it was announced Honeycomb Credit would expand beyond Pittsburgh to Seattle, as it is one of four winners of the annual BECU Fintech Incubator Competition.
  • Pineapple Payments is “a Pittsburgh-based payments technology company that provides payment processing, proprietary technology and omnichannel payment acceptance solutions for merchants of all shapes and sizes.” Although just founded in 2016, in 2021, Pineapple Payments joined Fiserv’s Global Business Solutions division as part of the Partner Solutions business unit.
  • iraLogix’s technology allows financial institutions to customize their IRA offerings. They recently made news for their $22 million series C success, with plans to significantly grow their employee base.

Fiber-Optic Network Connectivity to Support Fintech

The Fintech sector requires connectivity that consists of several things: speed, security and reliability. The solution for the fintech industry results in obtaining a high-speed fiber-optic network provider that is well poised to support these needs.


“Time is money” could not be more accurate regarding fintech. Lightning-fast data speeds are vital when a difference of just a few seconds can result in money gained or lost. With fiber-optic networks approaching the speed of light, they can transmit extraordinary amounts of mission-critical information in just seconds, utilizing the highest committed bandwidth speeds. Fiber-optic networks deliver speeds much faster than traditional cable networks.

For companies operating in the fintech sector, symmetrical upload and download speeds can also be a vital need. Providers of fiber-optic business internet solutions offer flexible options. One attractive option can be dedicated internet access (DIA), which frequently guarantees symmetrical upload/download speeds and the ability to scalable bandwidth to incredibly fast rates.


When it comes to people’s money, there quite literally cannot be enough security. A dedicated fiber-optic connection can offer a layer of security superior to that provided by traditional copper cables or a shared internet connection. Fiber-optic communication offers greater physical security than other networking options because of the way it transmits data. Fiber-optic communication is made possible by sending data as light pulses across very thin glass fiber strands. Not only does this allow data to move at lightning-fast speeds, but it also makes data signals less vulnerable to hacking. Fiber-optic cable networks provide access to additional, unique security solutions that benefit the fintech sector, including cloud computing and SD-WAN.

The use of cloud computing networks is growing exponentially yearly. Benefits provided by high-speed fiber networks can include direct connection to top-tier cloud service providers, enhancing network security, preventing loss and improving computing capabilities.

SD-WAN is another solution that financial and fintech clients are increasingly adopting to meet their needs. DQE Communications describes SD-WAN as “an overlay architecture that pulls all the pieces of the network puzzle together in a turnkey solution that can be easily managed on a centralized platform that controls traffic flows and connectivity services.” One of SD-WAN’s key differentiators is it’s not a one-trick solution that always looks the same. It’s scalable as companies add new locations to their existing footprint, and it’s unique in its ability to adapt to a wide variety of specific network problems.”


Financial systems must have extraordinarily reliable real-time connectivity, so network resiliency and reliability are vital. Ensuring internet service providers can deliver the high expectations of the fintech sector is critical. Most service providers provide service level agreements (SLA), which outline guaranteed uptime and performance for expected service reliability.

Within the telecommunications industry, there is talk about the five 9s or 99.999% availability; according to TechTarget, this translates to just over 5 minutes of downtime per year. In comparison, a provider that offers 99.9% availability (three 9s) can expect over 8 hours of downtime in a year — which translates to one full day of lost productivity. These stats should be available in your provider’s SLA. Finding a network provider with an SLA assures the reliability required by the fintech sector.

The opportunity for growth of fintech in Pittsburgh is exponential. Our region has built a solid foundation for the rising sector with many necessary supports, including universities preparing future employees, a collaborative and supportive business environment and innovative tech and communications providers.

To learn more about how DQE’s full suite of fiber-based solutions can support the Fintech industry, contact us today.