FinTech: trends to watch

Short for financial technology, FinTech is the innovation of technology which aims to help deliver financial services for customers and clients. FinTech is mainly being used to help with bank security, customer service and data analysis. Most FinTech programmes and products also save costs and reduce the time spent on repetitive tasks. 

In 2018, contactless payments, biometric technologies and artificial intelligence were among the major trends to explode in FinTech, making it clear that FinTech has moved on far beyond online banking.

The breakthroughs in new technology and innovations across all industries are influencing how the FinTech world is shaping up. So, what should we be looking out for in 2019/2020? 

Blockchain

Originally designed with cryptocurrency applications in focus, and specifically bitcoin; blockchain was created to solve the “double-spending” problem, being able to provide public transactions, without the need of a trusted authority or central server. Since then it has inspired many other applications. Due to its nature and great capabilities, blockchain applications have shown great opportunities, not limited to banking.

According to the World Bank, over 2 billion adults in the world have no access to banking services but blockchain is putting an end to this.

In some very poor countries, less than 15% of adults have bank accounts. However, many of the individuals in these societies have mobile phones, and companies have sprung up to provide cryptocurrency-based banking services that can be accessed and utilised through mobile phone apps. MPesa, BitPesa, Coins.ph, and Toast are just a few of the cryptocurrencies people are using to send and receive money without the need for a bank account.

In addition to crypto, blockchain services like BlockVerify help reduce fraud by keeping the history of data only on a blockchain system.

Artificial Intelligence

AI is taking the financial services industry by storm. Almost every company in the FinTech sector is already started using AI to save time, reduce costs, and add value.

AI is an area of computer science that emphasizes the creation of intelligent machines that work and react like humans.

By using AI, financial institutes like banks can help prevent fraud with machine learning; deal with customers simultaneously; and to analyse huge amounts of data in an instant. 

Outside of this, AI is being used to carry out instant risk assessments for people who are applying for credit cards and loans.

Robotic Process Automation

RPA is at the forefront of computer science and FinTech. It provides finance professionals, bankers and insurers with a virtual workforce that is rule based. The technology connects with your company’s computer system the same way physical staff would. With RPA, you can automate your front office, back office and support teams.

Bots can perform repetitive, clerical tasks such as processing customer applications and responding to basic customer queries faster and more accurately than human workers.

But RPA's contribution to operational efficiency is just the tip of the iceberg. Financial organisations that venture deeper into the bots’ capabilities will find an endless list of transformational opportunities that can reshape the customer experience. RPA is an enabler of new FinTech that enhances the quality of service and convenience for employees and customers alike.

The Cloud  

Cloud computing plays a crucial part in the innovation of new technology. The Cloud has advanced beyond storage; it now provides the ability to forecast, and the capability to use AI and machine learning.

Cloud computing in FinTech is pushing the boundaries when it comes to data management as it allows companies to store infinite amounts of data securely. Along with this, the Cloud can carry out automatic analysis of the data, working hand in hand with AI to carry out credit checks and fraud protection.

 

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