Despite financial technology (fintech) solutions having existed since the 1960s, the fintech market is an emerging one around the globe. Technological advancements have enabled fintech companies to pioneer new products and interventions, bringing a niche market to the foreground and spurring significant interest from investors in the process. But, for the uninitiated, what are the developments that have inspired such interest?
A Customer Service Revolution
One of the most visible arms of the emerging fintech sector to the retail market exists in the form of alternative banking solutions. App-based banking was revolutionised by small tech-led start-ups, which themselves paved a path for institutional giants to follow.
The result has been intense competition and development in consumer-led products, enabling more accessibility to finances and financial tools than ever before. These efforts have also greatly diversified choices for consumers, enabling them to make informed decisions about their banking.
On a commercial front, the fintech revolution has also had a diversifying effect – but this time, with relation to fundraising. Start-ups and small enterprises had relatively few options when it came to financing: approach a bank, or find a willing angel investor. But the emergence of new fintech solutions has allowed crowdfunding platforms to flourish.
Crowdfunding platforms had gained commercial popularity already, as a way for businesses and artists to publicly fund endeavours directly through their customers and audience. Contemporary fintech-led crowdfunding solutions allow investors to pool funds and grow businesses in a similar fashion.
Cryptocurrencies and the Blockchain
Another arm of fintech which has been receiving significant press in recent years is that of cryptocurrency. Cryptocurrencies are decentralised digital currencies, built on an immutable ledger called the blockchain. Blockchain technology allows for secure peer-to-peer transacting, with built-in smart contracts that record transactions permanently.
Blockchain has myriad applications beyond being the basis for new currencies; they are revolutionary for the prevention of fraud. In tandem with a fintech law firm, a robust policy that centres blockchain technology can form an impenetrable barrier to funds and transactions, and enshrine deals immutably.
The development of software automation and AI technology has enabled breakneck advancement in a number of industries – and existing automation technology already has a range of applications within private investment companies and hedge funds. Robotic process automation (RPA) sees human-emulating software navigating digital transactions, forming a powerful investment tool. The continued development of such technology will soon see a roll-out to retail investors, giving consumers more power in the markets than ever before.