Not long ago, FinTech was considered yet another emerging industry, but it has now grown into a revolutionary segment of business and finance services. Although young, modern FinTech is a broad and independent field with its own regulations and trends. Since it has grown so much in such a short period, financial technology is considered the great disruptor. Those who were hesitant to get on board in those early days have by now been overshadowed by competitors.
FinTech often comes with a hefty price tag, but its aim is to optimize banking and financial services. The upfront cost quickly turns into profit. Innovations like blockchain and artificial intelligence are changing the way we do business.
However, it is clear that the coronavirus outbreak and economic downturn it has caused has had an influence on funding for FinTech companies in 2020, although experts agree that we can still expect steady growth.
The global FinTech lending market is projected to reach $291.4bn in transaction value in 2020 – a 9.1% growth from 2019. Before the outbreak, we were expecting $312.6bn value, so 7% more than before the economic shift triggered by the pandemic. By 2024, the market should reach $396.8bn value.
Fintech loans are provided by platforms that connect lenders and borrowers directly, removing banks from the equation. This results in obvious benefits on both sides. The global FinTech lending industry was worth $181.2bn in 2017 and had seen a 47% growth in the following two years, reaching $267.1bn. This is because FinTech used complex computer algorithms to make lending decisions much faster while providing borrowers with lower rates while investors got higher returns.
The industry is in sync with the worldwide shift toward the digitization of services. This trend has had a massive impact on most aspects of our lives, including financial operations. The pandemic has highlighted the benefits of these changes when most of us are restricted in how we communicate and make purchases. For instance, financial technology has given us more possibilities in terms of credit and rent-to-own agreements. Well-established banks have come to recognize online services as a necessity and not just a sign of our times. Since FinTech has gone from a novelty sector to a mature financial sector, key players will need to keep up with trends in the industry. Areas most affected by FinTech include banking, insurance, personal finance, loans, electronic payments, wealth management and venture capital. Major FinTech pioneers include Apple, Amazon, PayPal, Samsung, Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan. In the rest of this article, we will review some of the most important trends in the FinTech market.
The rent-to-own model allows people to purchase real-estate without paying a mortgage. Instead, you sign a lease agreement that gives you the option to buy the property. Buying the property remains an option and not an obligation. Agreements specify if the lease payments can count towards the purchasing price, and you can buy the property within the designated time-frame.
To give a more clear explanation, you can simply look for houses that you would like to rent or buy. Then, the company that provided you with the rent-to-own agreement will buy the house for you. While you’re renting from them, you’re building equity with each payment.
This model is best suited for people who are interested in buying real estate, but they have issues with their credit history. The company will act as a sponsor and provide the cash to guarantee the deal. Essentially, the company promises to cover the loss if you default on the loan you need to buy the property. If you don’t have anyone else to offer such guarantees, this type of service can help you close the deal.
Cryptocurrency has become very popular in recent years because of all the opportunities it opened up. Privacy, security and transparency are important benefits. With that being said, two of the main disadvantages of using cryptocurrency is its instability and the lack of regulatory oversight. For the traditional banking system, the disadvantages outweighed the advantages, so they did not accept cryptocurrencies. Stablecoin is a new type of cryptocurrency that promises to combine the advantages of blockchain with the stability of traditional banking.
Wells Fargo – a traditional banking and insurance company – came up with its own version of stablecoin in 2019 – Wells Fargo Digital Cash – a cryptocurrency backed by the US dollar. For now, they plan on running it only within the bank itself, on their own blockchain platform, but if the initiative gives the expected results, they will shift it to include external operations.
There are, however, some factors that are slowing down the development of stablecoin. One is that it relies on the stability of traditional currency, which means it has to be tied to conventional banking systems. Is this potentially ideal type of cryptocurrency gets hacked, whatever bank is backing it will incur the risk so few banks will be willing to take on this role. We will have to wait and see how things turn out.
In addition, the G7 report set forth new regulations regarding the cryptocurrency market and its operations. Before this report, blockchain was not regulated like a conventional financial institution and had more freedom and flexibility.
Only the latest technologies can satisfy current expectations. Take a moment to think about it. If you were looking for a bank, would you choose one that didn’t provide you with a form of SaaS and had a website, or one that offers multiple services, including an option to compare bank accounts? Companies that put customers’ needs and desires at the top of their list of priorities are those most likely to win prospects and keep them. More than half of CEOs from insurance companies report that they believe IoT is of strategic value to their business.
One of the biggest growth drivers in FinTech is e-commerce, with a compound annual growth rate of 10 to 12%. This is all due to shifts in consumer behaviour. At a global level, 64% of consumers have used one or several FinTech platforms, and it was just 33% in 2017. There is a clear preference for this type of service.
To simplify the concept of artificial intelligence, let’s just think of it as intelligence demonstrated by a machine. This can vary from simple automation to complex tasks performed through machine learning. Artificial intelligence is also used in the financial sector to do menial tasks that would otherwise be performed by workers. This type of technology is expected to lead to a growth in labour productivity of 40% by the year 2035, increasing profitability in all industries.
In the banking system, chatbot interactions are expected to increase by as much as 3,000% by 2023. As AI capabilities improve and based on current customer preference and behaviour, experts speculate that within the next decade, 95% of customers will prefer to interact with machines than with humans when it comes to banking issues.