What is financial technology (Fintech)?
Fintech (Financial Technology) is employed by different companies, business owners and even consumers to assist them to better manage their financial operations, processes and finance related issues in life. Fintech is composed of special software and algorithms that are used on computers and smartphones.
Financial technology has been used from start of 21st century and it is a term applied to technology employed in backend systems like banks. From 2018 to 2022, there has been a shift to consumer-oriented services. Fintech is used in companies and industries like education, retail banking, non profit organizations and investment management. Examples of Fintech applications are robo advisor, payment apps, investment apps and cryptocurrencies apps.
Fintech applies technology to innovation in processes how people transact business from the invention of digital money to double entry bookkeeping . After the internet revolution, fintech has grown exponentially.
We use fintech on a daily basis, like transferring money from a debit account to a checking account through your iPhone, sending money to a friend through Venmo, or managing investments through an online broker. These startups are designed to take traditionally financial service providers by acting as nimble, serving an underserved segment of population thus providing a fast and reliable service.
Take an example: a financial company called Affirm cuts credit card companies out of the online shopping process by offering a way for consumers to secure immediate short-term loans for purchases. Though rates can be high, Affirm claims to offer a way for consumers with poor or no credit to secure credit and build a credit history. Similarly, Better Mortgage streamlines the home mortgage process with digital offerings that reward users with a verified pre-approval letter within 24 hours of applying. GreenSky links home improvement borrowers with banks by assisting consumers to avoid lenders and save on interest by offering a zero-interest promotional period.
Another example of Fintech company is Tala which offers small loans to consumers in developing world by digging data on their smartphones about their transaction history. Tala can be said as better option than local banks, lenders and microcredit institutions.
Expanding Horizons in Fintech
Fintech, in its basic form, unbundles financial services into financial offerings that are easy to use. Financial services, which were once the realm of branches, salespeople, and desktops, are now more available on mobile devices.. Business loan providers like Kabbage and Accion provide startups and established businesses with easy, fast platforms to secure working capital. Oscar is an online insurance startup that received $165 million in funding in March 2018. Investment bank Goldman Sachs launched consumer lending platform Marcus in 2016 to enter the fintech space.
Fintech and new technologies
Fintech is a keen adapter of automated customer service technology that utilises chatbots and AI interfaces to assist customers with basic tasks and keep down staffing costs.
Since 2010, fintech has exploded, with startups receiving billions in venture funding and big financial firms snatching up new ventures and building their own fintech offerings. Most of the fintech startups are started in North America followed by Asia and Europe. The areas around which fintech innovations revolve are the following:
Cryptocurrency like Bitcoin, Ethereum, etc.; digital tokens like NFTs; and digital cash These rely on blockchain technology, which is a distributed ledger technology that maintains records on a network of computers but does not have a central ledger.
Open banking is a concept that proposes that people should have access to bank data to build applications that create a connected network of financial institutions and third-party providers.
Insurtech seeks to use technology to streamline the insurance industry.
Regtech helps financial firms meet industry compliance rules and know customer protocols that fight fraud.
Robo advisors like Betterment utilise algorithms to automate investment advice to lower its cost and increase accessibility. This is a common usage area for fintech.
Unbanked services have taken advantage of low income individuals who are ignored or undeserved by traditional banks or mainstream banking companies. These apps promote financial inclusion.
Cybersecurity safeguards financial transactions and decentralised storage of data; cybersecurity and fintech are intertwined.
AI chatbots have become popular in year 2022 and therefore set examples of rising presence of fintech in everyday life.
Users of Fintech
B2B for banks,
Clients for B2B
Business to consumer for small businesses
As a consumer, the younger you are, the more likely it will be that you are aware of and can accurately describe fintech. Consumer-oriented fintech is mostly targeted towards Gen Z and millenials, given the huge size and rising earning potentials of these generations.
Regulations for Fintech Companies
Financial services are one of the most heavily regulated sectors in the world. Data privacy and regulatory arbitrage are the main concerns noted by Treasury. Regulations are a problem in the world of cryptocurrencies. Initial coin Offerings are a form of fundraising that allows startups to raise capital directly from investors. In most countries, they have become fertile ground for scams and frauds. For the most part, governments have used existing regulations and, in some cases, customised them to regulate fintech.
Examples of Fintech
Fintech has been applied to many areas of finance.
Robo advisors are apps or online platforms that invest in your money automatically, often with little cost, and are accessible to ordinary individuals.
Investment apps like Robinhood have made it easy to buy and sell stocks, ETFs, and cryptocurrency from a mobile device, often with little or no commission.
Payment apps like PayPal, Venmo, and Square have made it easy to pay instantly to individuals or businesses online and in an instant.
Personal finance apps like Mint, Quicken, and Simplifi allow you to see all of your finances in one place, set budgets, and so on.
Crypto apps like wallets, exchanges, and payment applications allow you to hold and transact in cryptocurrencies and digital tokens like Bitcoin and NFTs.
Insurtech is an application technology that works specifically in the insurance space.
Conclusion- As the financial services are becoming stronger than past years therefore new technologies in finance field have evolved and had made financial services easy. There is an increased use of technology to make instant transactions through use of Internet.
How Fintech Companies Are Simplifying The Financial Services In The World
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