What is Fintech?
Not everyone enjoys the traditional banking experience that today exists in almost every country, some finance and technology gurus convince us that we are very close to financial technologies revolution, also called the FinTech revolution, which will change our traditional banking experience and how we manage our finances on a daily basis as well.
So, what is this FinTech revolution we are about to face? FinTech, short for financial technology, is the integration of innovative technology in the design and delivery of financial services and it is transforming the banking world as we know it. Through the years the banking industry is evolving alongside with technology, they integrate innovation in order to provide better financial services, but in the era of Facebook, Uber, WhatsApp, YouTube, and others… some kind of gap was formed, between what banks offer and what customers expect from their experience side. FinTech is here to fill that gap.
Surprisingly, firsts to notice this gap were not the financial institutions, but technological companies, that is why today we have products like Facebook Pay, Apple Pay, Google Pay, any crowdfunding platform and so on… Does it mean that traditional banks and financial institutions lost their purpose? Not at all, actually it is the banks standing behind the scenes, controlling interest rates and taking care of regulatory reporting while tech companies offer more user-friendly and quick solutions to the customers, for example, peer to peer lending.
Besides, some banks and financial institutions will choose the winning strategy and start evolving by embedding FinTech into their services, as leading banks did in Georgia. For instance, the Bank of Georgia established a FinTech platform to encourage start-ups to partner up and create innovative products and services. Also, TBC Bank founded the first cloud-based bank, without branches called Space.
To have a more detailed understanding of a FinTech lets shortly discuss what are the most popular applications of FinTech in the real world:
- Crowdfunding platforms: Companies like Kickstarter, GoFundMe, and Patreon made it possible for start-ups to go straight to investors, instead of going to a bank and discussing traditional loans.
- Mobile payments: above mentioned Facebook Pay or Google Pay are the examples of mobile payments.
- Digital banks: Everything into one place is the main principle for digital banks, and usually that one place is the app on your smartphone. There is no need to visit branches or request physical documents.
- Insurance: Thanks to insurance technologies (Insuretech) premium for every type of insurance is calculated automatically.
- Blockchain and cryptocurrency: apps and websites that connect users to buy and sell cryptocurrencies are hallmark examples of Fintech.
- Budgeting apps: In 2019, one of the most common uses of Fintech was budgeting apps. Rather than maintaining and controlling your budget on Excel spreadsheets, budgeting apps keeps track of your finances. You can carefully and comprehensively analyze your income and spending and make effective decisions while making transactions
How Fintech is regulated? In all countries, financial institutions are highly regulated and for today governments are concerned how they should reach Fintech companies as they take off.
Because of the diversity of this field, there is no single regulatory approach to deal with problems that Fintech causes, like data vulnerability, scams and frauds, and others. But eventually, governments will try to develop regulations to protect Fintech users.
So far, FinTech is one of the fastest-growing fields, global investment increased from 930$ million to 22$ billion in 2015 and 141$ billion in 2018 meaning that this field is here to stay.