Personal Finance

Fintech trends to look out for in 2018

The expansion into cryptocurrencies

Given the introduction of blockchain, the rise of bitcoin and also the myriad cryptocurrencies that followed suit, this has given both the business user and the personal spender more than one option, finally, to how they can manage their wealth. With new ways of looking at costs, fintech bank accounts such as Cambr Financial Services are steering fee-free banking away from the traditional banks then cryptocurrency could well see a huge shift in how we buy, sell and save.

Blockchain

The technology that cryptocurrency runs on is going to have much wider implications and uses moving forward into the coming year. Anywhere that stores large sets of records could be looking at the benefits of a distributed ledger system, for example; healthcare records, estate agency and the housing market, education records, how we vote, leasing agencies, ride sharing, insurance companies – the list goes on and on – banking and finance are just the tip of the iceberg.

Artificial intelligence

AI is unstoppable. It’s infiltrated the way we behave on so many levels today and as time advances it will only become further implemented into our everyday systems. In the finance sector it’s already depicting patterns in financial transactions depicting customer behaviour and what are the relevant products to sell them, how to increase their ROI, suggest investment opportunities, to detect fraud, laundering and risk management, but it’s also featuring heavily now in how we communicate; voice recognition based services, smart messaging and back office tasks are all being moved forward by the implementation of this robot response automation.

Regulation

In an industry that seems to be growing at an unstoppable pace there has to be somebody somewhere making sure everything involved in its operation is fair and lawful. The regulation of the fintech market needs to be governed fairly and effectively, as our wealth is such an important personal area of our livelihood. Those who will lay out the rules in this application need a great understanding of both technology and finance markets, and need to foresee all the opportunities of abuse in the system and where it can fail to the detriment of the investor.

Larger organisations

So far the fintech entry into the financial market has been primarily smaller start-up businesses with the ability to specialise in a unique corner of the industry and innovate quickly to develop products to go straight to market. Although there is absolutely no reason why smaller start-ups shouldn’t continue to flourish, the global giants, banks and major finance players are now having to sit up and follow suit; either that or get left behind. These larger organisations and businesses already have a pool of resources on tap and the capital to invest in developing new technologies to keep them current and competitive in today’s market. This could also mean large organisations and the smaller start-ups combining to utilise those existing pools of resources and skillsets to move the tech forward even faster.

Data partnerships

The idea that data driven research and analysis is leading to a heightened awareness of how better a business can operate, it makes sense that the more data they have access to the more efficiently they can function. One consumer may be involved with various financial institutions – by sharing the information each partner has something to gain. These partnerships are only going to grow as time progresses.

Regional variations in how we pay

The way we can spend our money has changed dramatically over the past ten years. Cash and cheque have been replaced by credit and debit cards, contactless payments, wire transfers, online services, mobile pay, QR code transactions, payments via email address and phone number, bitcoin wallets, and a host of additional methods that are introduced almost daily using new technologies. The way we pay is already showing differences in certain areas of the world. QR codes are very popular in China and currently flowing through into the rest of the world and in Europe the European Payments Council are looking for advanced ways for countries to trade with greater ease through its Single Euro Payments Area by harmonising their payment products.

Mobile experience growth

Our phones are becoming the most popular way we interact with our financial services. Making payments and transfers, applying for loans, overdrafts or mortgages are all simplified by the use of an app or website. Innovations in this area are going to keep growing and growing. They are going to become even more beneficial to users living or working in areas of the world with no or few physical banking facilities where the mobile connection is the only option to access these services.

Data protection; privacy and security

The new regulations introduced by GDPR are going to dictate how our data is handled and what the companies holding it can and can’t use it for, and who they can and can’t share it with. With data being so valuable to so many now cybersecurity is ever important and protecting your information is premium for any business if they stand any chance in holding your trust in them.

Further finance tech products

Fintech businesses operating in big data analytics will no doubt already have a base of key customers, or a predetermined outline of who their key customer will be, which would suggest they’re likely to tailor their products to them for ease of sale and profit – this opens up even more big data to be added to the pool, which is furthering the scope of advanced analytics even further.

E-mandates

E-mandates will replace the physical Electronic Clearing System and will completely change the current system of direct debit payments. Becoming totally digital will improve the payment speed by up to 80% and the impact will be vast on our Internet powered economy. The flexibility and management of these actions will be far superior and give the user greater control of the service.

Peer-2-Peer lending

Any operatives using a P2P lending system will now be regulated as a non-banking financial company. They will be recognised by the banking regulators and given access to valid credit reports to allow better decision making when considering loans. This system with its high efficiency led ROI allows much lower lending rates, which can only be a good thing for the borrower.

And finally…

As much as this list gives insight into a few ways technology is changing the face of how we control our finances there are many more coming into play every day. The world in which we buy and sell is evolving, as too are the ways we can do it. It’s an exciting time in the financial sector with so much movement and opportunity so it should also be a very exciting time for the consumer.