An Introduction to Fintech: Examples, Uses, Benefits
Innovation is everywhere. When we compare the day and age we live in with 40, 30, or even 20 years ago, we cannot fail to recognize significant changes in all of the fields. Technology has really changed the world to unimaginable extents very rapidly, and it seems that the changes never stop. Apart from seeing considerable improvements in the spheres of computer technology, production, and telecommunications, the new, technologically advanced age changed the world of finance as well. The word Fintech, short for financial technology, is not a new one in the dictionary – it has been a part of the English language since 1971. Even so, many people are still unable to grasp the meaning of not only the word but also the concept. So, without further ado, let’s see what exactly Fintech means, what its benefits are, and what you need to have in mind if you want to either use Fintech for your business or pursue a career in it.
Understanding the term
“FinTech” is a word that’s derived from the words finance and technology, and thus it refers to any type of financial technology. According to the Merriam Webster dictionary, FinTech denotes all products and companies that employ newly developed digital and online technologies in the banking and financial services industries. But what does that mean to someone who has never heard the word before? Even though this word is associated mostly with startups and companies that are just now starting to evolve, the FinTech industry has particular examples among the most popular companies of today. According to the PWC, there are four different FinTech ecosystems:
- Category A refers to large and well-established financial institutions (also known as incumbents) including big banks such as the Bank of America or Wells Fargo;
- Category B refers to big technology companies such as Apple, Facebook or Google that are not into the financial industry per se but can be active in the financial services;
- Category C includes companies that provide the infrastructure or technology for facilitating certain financial services. It’s in this category that you will find popular companies such as MasterCard or First Data;
- Category D are the disruptors – companies that are focused on innovative technology or processes such as mobile payments, automated investing, retail banking or insurance.
In other words, FinTech refers to companies that provide financial services through software or other examples of technology, from mobile payment apps to cryptocurrency.
Examples of FinTech
To precisely know what is Fintech, one must know its traditional uses. Apart from the four categories above, let’s focus on some of the most popular examples that will make FinTech easier to understand.
Blockchain and cryptocurrency
Blockchain and cryptocurrency serve as the most important examples of what FinTech exactly is. FinTech companies make it possible for users to buy or sell popular cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin or Litecoin. Another thing that is very important to mention here are blockchain services that keep the provenance data on the actual blockchain to reduce fraud.
The use of mobile phones for payments has never been more excessive. Everyone is always on their smartphones right now, regardless of what they are doing. According to research conducted by E-marketer, 38.4% of smartphone users in 2020 conduct mobile payments, which is 4% more than in 2018. In the same manner, the percentage of smartphone users that will be using their mobile phone to pay for certain services or goods is expected to rise to more than 42% in the following three years. Some of the most popular ways of mobile payments also include E-wallets (such as PayPal and AliPay), credit, debit, and bank transfers.
In addition to the examples mentioned above, it would be quite informative to mention other popular models:
- Crowdfunding platforms such as Kickstarter or Patreon allow users to either send or receive money from others on the same platform. This is how a certain percentage of small businesses or individuals get funding to continue offering their services.
- Stock-trading apps represent one of the biggest innovations in FinTech, and it revolves around the possibility of an investor investing, buying, or selling market stocks with just one click from their computer or mobile device.
- Budgeting apps are somewhat new to the world, and they have been created as a result of FinTech. Consumers used to create their budgets or gather checks in the past. At the same time, everything is much simpler nowadays as the FinTech revolution gave birth to some of the best financial services apps that will help consumers efficiently keep track of all their expenses and income.
Who uses Fintech?
There are three types of conducting business using FinTech:
B2B (Business to Business): B2B is perhaps the most popular way of FinTech, and it has existed ever since Fintech was developed. This is an excellent way for businesses to get loans, financing, or any other financial service from other companies, using mobile technology. However, the customer experience is one of the most important factors to keep in mind whenB2B is concerned. It is essential to give your customers exactly what they want for two businesses to complement each other financially through financial technology.
B2C (Business to Client): The most prominent example of a B2C is the E-wallet mentioned above. B2C applications such as PayPal or ApplePay allow clients to easily transfer money in any direction using the internet and mobile technology.
P2P (Peer to Peer): Lastly, peer-to-peer lending is one way for an individual to gather finances or loans without the help of banks and similar institutions. This has become a very mainstream financial resource that helps plenty of individuals online borrow or lend money, and thus, a great way for individuals to invest in a start-up or an existing company.
The benefits of Fintech
It is not for nothing that Fintech gained so much popularity. Since technology is developing quickly, it is important and recommended to turn to solutions that will make our way of conducting business, and life, more tolerant. So, what are the most important benefits of Fintech?
Customized service: One of the things that FinTech companies do is gather information on the consumers, which they use later to improve the customer experience and offer a more personalized service. Of course, all of the consumers can check the privacy policies of the companies in question. In other words, FinTech companies follow and have insight into the interests of the consumers, thus providing them with offers they would be interested in in the future.
Faster process: Thanks to FinTech, all the processes are completed very quickly. All the procedures for which, otherwise, consumers would have to wait a certain time, can be finished five times faster. Another reason for this speed is flexibility. Since the needs of the consumers are always evolving, banks might have difficulties responding to all of them. FinTech companies are smaller organizations and have leaner structures. On top of that, they use an API (Application Program Interface) system that helps them conduct business with technology providers in the best possible way. This results in all of the processes being completely transparent.
Safety and convenience: Even though technology does not mean safety for some people, this way, a consumer can check the security of the certificate of each Fintech company, giving them 100% certainty that they’re safe. Apart from safety, convenience is a significant benefit as well. Not only can consumers deal with multi-currencies, but Fintech technology is also convenient because everything is mobile. This helps all consumers complete their transactions anywhere, no matter where they are.
Thinking of a career in FinTech?
Fintech is on its way to being one of the most lucrative businesses of today, and it will only be bigger in the years to come. Apart from being huge in big countries like the USA or European countries such as Germany or the Netherlands, Fintech is also slowly but steadily starting to attract plenty of employees and consumers in other European countries. If you have ever thought of being a part of a Fintech company in Serbia, this might be your chance. If you have a wish to be a compliance expert, a data scientist, analyst, product manager, sales representative, or look for any other FinTech jobs in Serbia, you can check our vacancies and apply. Do not underestimate the power of financial technology in the years to come.
After reading this article, it’s safe to say that Fintech is indeed one of the areas of business that will blossom in the future. Dealing with both finance and technology, and having the most successful companies as either clients or partners, Fintech will change jobs and the way we purchase things. There are also predictions that AI (artificial intelligence) will be introduced in the years to come, which makes it a fascinating industry to work in.