The term ‘fintech’ is tossed around casually in everyday conversations but it’s meaning often gets lost in translation. If someone asked us to define ‘fintech’ in its most simple form we’d probably suggest that financial technology is a technology which enables speedy banking or financial services from various electronic devices.
While we can’t claim to be experts in the field of fintech, we absolutely love it and we read, read, read, READ about this sector! We’ve put together a few reoccurring trends which the experts predict may increase in 2017 and we are so excited to see what surfaces;
Increased Investment in African Fintech
According to the Disrupt Africa 2016 Tech Startups Funding Report, it was another great year for African tech startups and investors. “Of the nine sectors analysed in the report, the fintech sector received the most backing in 2016, with startups in this space raising a combined US$31.4 million, 24 per cent of the overall total”. Disrupt Africa co-founder, Gabriella Mulligan, adds that, “our ecosystem progressed in leaps and bounds over the course of the year, which is evidenced by strong growth in number of startups raising funding, and an encouraging expansion of ecosystem activity across the continent”. We hope that 2017 will bring much needed economic growth for the continent with increased investment in our tech entrepreneurs.
Just A Flick of The Wrist
With our fast-paced lives, we all want to save ourselves time and energy in any way possible so it didn’t surprise us when Bob’s Guide, a leading web source for financial technology, revealed that they foresee an increase in contactless spending. Contactless payment essentially refers to credit cards, debit cards, smart cards and smartphones that use radio frequency to make secure payments. The card holder simply has to tap the card on the vendor payment device to transact. According to the article on ‘five fintech trends for 2017’, from 2015 to 2016 contactless spending increased by 166% globally.
It’s Time To Change Your Password
In the State of the Industry Report 2015 it was predicted that by 2019 the mobile money market would be worth US $78.02 billion and is currently used by more than 411 million people globally available in 85% of the world’s countries. Banks and businesses are expected to adopt a more ‘mobile-friendly-mindset’ in 2017 as they shift their focus to make transactions safer and faster to improve customer experience and shut out online hackers.
The Robots Are Coming For Us
Technology is moving at a rate that’s so speedy most of us can’t even begin to keep up with it. ITProPortal revealed that in 2016 banks in the UK started using robots to answer any queries that their consumers have. No longer do customers have to listen to the mind-numbing ‘we are currently experiencing high call volumes please stay on the line’ for hours and hours on end. The robot promises to answer all the questions! It is predicted that 2017 will see some serious investment into smaller companies manufacturing smart bots and artificial, personal assistants such as Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri.
Bitcoin has rapidly become one of the hottest commodities in the world of fintech and in this article by Michael Kent, the CEO and Founder of Azimo, on ‘How is FinTech shaping up for 2017’, he predicts that this trend will steadily grow throughout 2017. In short, Bitcoin is a digital currency which operates independently of banks and can be used as an online currency between individuals. It isn’t hard to imagine why governments would potentially crack down on Bitcoin due to loss of exchange controls; some would argue that Bitcoin is a currency in the typical sense and should therefore, fall into the category of various metals and ores. However, if we ‘flip the coin’ this could also lead to government endorsement of Bitcoin-related companies involved in mining sectors. The article continues to explore the idea that while Bitcoin is more commonly viewed as a commodity rather than a currency at present this is likely to change as consumers worldwide look to fintech as their number one source for their financial and banking requirements.
The World As We Know It
The fintech space is one that constantly strives to innovate for the future but the harsh reality is that fintech gurus may be forced to adapt literally overnight and so the NOW may be here sooner than predicted. Ben Haywood-Abbott, Innovation and Engagement Consultant at Wazoku, in his article ‘2017 will be to banking what 2016 was to politics,’ got us thinking about the effect that recent pivotal changes, such as Trump being elected into presidency and Brexit, may have on the rest of the globe. While we remain positive and hope for smooth sailing the reality is that such powerful political changes are likely to impact global money markets so we should also keep an eye out for the storm.
With this in mind, technology continues to grow rapidly and is moving finance into a place which is not only more time efficient and convenient but also provides the consumer with an awesome experience. Despite the threat of cyber security, we can now take more charge of our financial lives with a simple click of our fingers. Each and every year we see surmountable technological advances in the financial space and we can’t wait to see what 2017 may bring!