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Jun042018

Three Fintech Trends for 2018 (And Beyond)

Tech trends by their very nature come and go. However, the latest crop of fintech innovations are really reshaping businesses in 2018. Robo-advisory, artificial intelligence, and peer-to-peer lending are just some of the ways that fintech is changing the way people manage their assets. In short: fintech is red-hot.

Blockchain

Blockchain could have a huge impact on the future of money. It’s an ingenious invention and one of the biggest trends of recent times. The Blockchain is a digital ledger of economic transactions. It allows for fast, secure and transparent peer-to-peer online transfers. Bitcoin is a virtual currency that is made available using the blockchain idea of a public ledger.  Satoshi Nakamoto is the pseudonym of the founder of Bitcoin and the original blockchain database. In 2008, someone used this name and mailed the Bitcoin white paper to a cryptographic mailing list. It is believed that Nakamoto owns 1 million bitcoins or more, but to this day, the true identity of Nakamoto remains unknown. We don’t know if the mystery creator is a singular person or a group of people. There have been many claims to his identity, but little evidence to support them.

Blockchain has greater implications for the financial sector. Due to the fact that no authoritative entity controls the blockchain data and because it isn’t stored in any single location, means it’s almost impossible to hack. Every block of data is verifiable and distributed across millions of personal computers.

There are a number of banks around the world relishing the opportunity to save processing costs through Bitcoin. Santander, a bank in Spain, have put the potential savings of blockchain at $20 billion a year. It has also been reported that London’s Citi Bank has been exploring digital currency for the last few years. The head of Citi Innovations Labs, Ken Moore has revealed that the bank built three internal blockchains and is testing its own cryptocurrency across them.

Blockchain

Automation

We are becoming increasingly reliant on automation to do things more efficiently. The financial sector is ripe for automation. AI is a great way to reduce the time spent doing repetitive tasks, such as tracking compliance and analysing reports. Over the next few years, banks may move completely to automated financial decisions. AI platforms can provide opportunities for the gathering and automating of vast amounts of data. One such platform is an AI software called natural language generation (NLG). It’s an advanced technology that can translate raw data into automated, written information. By mimicking human linguistics, NFG simplifies the data analysis and reporting. There is an increasing need for machines to be able to explain and analyse data more quickly. Garner forecasts that by 2020 about 1.7 megabytes of new information will be created every second for every person on Earth. The fact is, data is being generated so fast that automation has become a necessity to gather all this information.

In a digital-first world, customers expect a service that caters to their interests and requirements. We’re likely to see more banks and financial companies rely on predictive data technology. It provides users pre-filled data based on their banking habits and previous history. There will be more emphasis on automation tools to help users reach their goals.

Near-field communication (NFC)

NFC technology is already changing the way we make payments. The latest smartphones are programmed with NFC chips, that enable wireless data transfer. NFC can even be implanted into a person, allowing them to make payments with a wave of a hand. NFC technology isn’t revolutionary. It has been around for a long time, but it looks to become a key trend in Fintech this year. Contactless payments are increasingly popular and the majority of banks are now using the method. Consumers may eventually ditch their cards, mobiles and wallets, replacing them with wearable devices.

Banks should be prepared for consumers who want to pay for things, without their card or phone. NFC wearable payments will grow in the future. Samsung, Apple and LG have already released their own smartwatches, that enable you to make payments with your wrist. Perhaps 2018 is the year where NFC wearables will break out.

Smartwatch

These trends are becoming a disruptive force in the Fintech market. They have the potential to dramatically modernise traditional practices in business. Of course, banks and other financial services have been “digital” for many years, but fintech innovations could remove certain cumbersome tasks in their organisations. Due to changes in working cultures and market tastes, Fintech has become more prominent in the sector. The impact of Fintech is sure to be felt for years to come.

Leave a comment below on your thoughts on the lastest Fintech trends.

Alternatively, if you are interested in discussing any Banking and Finance roles available or any hiring requirements, please contact your nearest Cobalt office.

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This entry was posted on Monday, June 4th 2018 and is filed under Banking & Financial Services. You can subscribe to our RSS 2.0 news feed here.

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