As of the time of this writing, there are more than 12,000 fintech start-ups from all around the world. While we wait for that to sink in, we should probably chip in the fact that Goldman Sachs itself estimates that the fintech industry is worth about $4.7 trillion globally.
That’s trillion, with a ‘t.’
With stats like this, it becomes important to look deeper into the industry, seeing the trends that have dominated and those to come too.
1 Savings is on the Rise
One thing that fintech has done a lot to improve this year is the savings habits of many users, and that will continue to be one of the things that they are best known for.
On linking bank accounts to the financial apps, you can enter an agreement with them to take a certain amount from your bank balance on a regular basis – daily, weekly, or monthly. This ensures you always keep up with a savings plan you have drawn up for yourself, even when you might have been eyeing that extra cash for something else.
Even better than that are some services that round up your purchases and save the deficit. Say, you bought coffee for $3.4, it takes $4 from your account – saving the extra $0.6. Little drops like this might not make an ocean, but they will ensure your cup runs over one of these days.
2 Voice transactions are coming to the fore
We can already do a lot of things today by just issuing voice commands. Home controls have been greatly improved this way, thanks to companies like Google and Amazon, among others. The same thing has been greatly featured in mobile banking apps too, and they are here to stay.
For the services which offer a convenience like this, it is worthy of note that they don’t have extensive applications yet.
For one, voice commands can only be used to perform basic tasks like checking the last couple of transactions, pulling up balances, etc. However, if there is one thing we know about technology, it is how it’s always evolving.
3 Protection from fraud
It is an open secret that the biggest flaws of fintech lie in the sheer amount of fraud which it opens the doors too. Since this industry leverages the internet and its framework to operate, it becomes almost easier for a motivated hacker to find a backdoor into accounts of users.
Well, the industry itself has risen against this flaw, so to speak. This, they do in a number of ways which could help the account holder block certain merchants so they can never pay to them again, even if they wanted. This is the sort of thing that could help keep senior citizens out of trouble.
In the same way, certain apps are dedicated to flagging accounts with a history of fraudulent activity before you engage with them at all.
While all of these will help protect your accounts better, though, they are not the entire canopy. You still have to say away from phishing attacks, keep your account details safe and secure, and always ensure you encrypt the network through which you access your financial data – which also means not using untrusted networks (public Wi-Fi, unsafe personal networks, etc.)
4 Integration is everywhere
The aim of disruption is to phase out the old systems while ushering in the new, but that does not have to be. In fact, fintech is one of those industries that have found a way to make things work with the old players of the financial and banking game.
That is why it is not difficult to see banks throw their weight behind start-up financial services today, integrating and leveraging the platform of these start-ups to offer even better services to their consumers.
Due to the sensitivity of financial matters, this makes sense in more ways than one:
The start-ups get the kind of recognition and trust they need from the public since they are being supported by trusted banks. On the other hand, the people are ushered into a new wave of technology applications much faster than they would normally be.
5 Customer support is just seamless
Remember a time when you had to physically go to a banking hall and probably join long queues before getting a complaint resolved? Technology has done all in its power to ensure only the most serious of cases will require your physical presence.
Via various social media messaging channels, in-app chat services and live support on financial websites, customers can now get issues handled without having to leave the comfort of their home, workplace or wherever else they might be.
This makes sense in limiting banking all traffic to only the most serious issues, ensuring a faster handling of tasks online and offline.
The year 2019 is not over yet, and we already have a lot more to look forward to with fintech. While the techies are still working on a mound of big data to bring even more customer-centric solutions to the market, we cannot wait to see what this industry brings on next.