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Disintermediation is a process in finance where a company or an individual decides to invest directly into the market rather than through an intermediary, such as a bank or broker. This can often result in lower fees and higher return rates for the investor. Advanced technology and online platforms have made disintermediation more accessible and prevalent.


The phonetic spelling of Disintermediation is: /ˌdɪsɪntərˌmiːdiˈeɪʃən/

Key Takeaways

  1. Disintermediation involves the removal or reduction of intermediaries in supply chains, often resulting from direct transactions between buyers and sellers. This process allows for cost reductions, increased efficiency, and more direct communication.
  2. Technology plays a central role in driving disintermediation. The rise of the digital economy and ecommerce platforms have eliminated the need for physical intermediaries. Online platforms provide direct access to products and services without the need for brick-and-mortar stores or traditional middlemen.
  3. However, disintermediation also presents challenges. It can potentially increase risk by minimizing regulatory oversight. Further, it often requires companies to take on roles (like customer service) that were previously handled by intermediaries. Therefore, while disintermediation can decrease costs and improve efficiency, it also requires strategic planning and careful management.


Disintermediation, the removal of intermediaries in a supply chain or the “cutting out of middlemen” , is a significant concept in business and finance due to its potential to reduce costs, improve efficiency and speed up processes. It often occurs when a company decides to directly connect with consumers, bypassing any intermediaries like wholesalers, retailers, or brokers. The rise of the internet and e-commerce platforms has contributed greatly to enabling disintermediation, allowing businesses to effectively reach their customers directly. Understanding disintermediation is crucial as it can lead to competitive advantages, such as enhanced profit margins, as well as challenges such as increased consumer service demands. Businesses need to carefully consider the pros and cons of disintermediation in their strategic planning, to ensure their long-term sustainability and growth.


Disintermediation in finance or business primarily serves the purpose of removing the intermediary entities in a supply chain or transaction process, facilitating direct interaction between producers or service providers and consumers. This process is often used for improving efficiency and reducing the costs involved in the transaction. It can result in cost savings to the end consumers, as they do not have to bear the costs of intermediaries, and can also lead to improved profit margins for the producer or service provider because they retain a larger portion of the purchase price.

From another perspective, disintermediation can also be used to provide consumers with greater control and choice during their purchasing journey. By eliminating the middlemen, companies can interact with their customers directly, offering personalized service and treatments. This is particularly evident in the digital world, where the trend of disintermediation has led to direct relationships between app developers and consumers, or authors and readers, and so forth. The advantages of such direct relationships can include increased speed of transaction, better understandings of consumer behavior and preferences, and greater agility in modifying products or services in response to consumer feedback.


1. Online Shopping: With the advent of ecommerce, online platforms like Amazon or eBay have allowed producers or manufacturers to sell their goods directly to consumers. This has caused disintermediation by eliminating the need for middlemen or retailers. These platforms connect buyers and sellers from across the world, allowing for a wider scope of business.

2. Peer-to-Peer Lending: Financial platforms such as Prosper and Lending Club serve as examples of disintermediation in the finance industry. These platforms directly connect borrowers with lenders, eliminating the need for traditional banking systems or credit institutions as intermediaries. This has made the borrowing process more efficient and often affordable, benefiting both lenders and borrowers.

3. Digital Media Streaming: In the entertainment industry, digital streaming platforms like Netflix, Hulu or Spotify act as disintermediaries by allowing consumers to directly stream movies, TV shows and music. This eliminates the need for physical distribution channels like DVD retailers or music CD shops. Consumers can now directly consume content from these platforms without any intermediaries.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is Disintermediation in finance and business?

Disintermediation is the process of removing intermediaries from a supply chain or transaction process. In finance, it means that funds are invested directly in the market rather than through intermediaries like brokers, banks, or insurance companies.

How does Disintermediation work?

Disintermediation works by decreasing the number of intermediaries between producers and consumers. For example, manufacturers selling their products directly to the public or investors using online platforms to trade securities without using a broker.

Why does Disintermediation happen?

Disintermediation usually happens when some elements of a transaction process become unnecessary or redundant. It is often driven by technology advancements that allow direct communication or interaction between parties, or when intermediaries become too expensive.

What is an example of Disintermediation in business?

A common example of Disintermediation in business is the e-commerce industry. Brands often have their own online stores where consumers can purchase products directly, eliminating the need for retailers.

What are the effects of Disintermediation in finance?

Disintermediation in finance may lower the cost of financial services by bypassing intermediaries who may collect fees for their services. It may also promote efficiency and speed in transactions.

What’s the difference between Disintermediation and Reintermediation?

Disintermediation involves the removal of intermediaries, whereas Reintermediation refers to the reintroduction or addition of intermediaries in the distribution channel or transaction process.

Is Disintermediation a risk to traditional businesses and finance models?

Yes, Disintermediation can pose a risk to traditional businesses and finance models, primarily if they rely heavily on intermediaries to conduct transactions. However, it can also present opportunities for businesses to innovate and adapt to the new market environment.

How does technology impact Disintermediation?

Technology plays a significant role in Disintermediation. Innovations such as the internet, digital payments, and blockchain technology often enhance direct interaction between parties, facilitating Disintermediation. Remember, this information is purely explanatory. Always consult with a financial advisor for any financial decisions or if you have more complex questions.

Related Finance Terms

  • Direct investing
  • Peer-to-peer lending
  • Blockchain technology
  • Financial intermediaries
  • Online brokerages

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