FinTech — Financial Technology Industry ecosystem is without a doubt the most emerging and disruptive force in the financial world. The worldwide industry earned a stunning $45 billion in investment in 2020, indicating the sector’s resiliency. Here are top trends that will affect FinTech across the globe in 2021 and beyond.
A digital bank is one that exclusively works online. Everything is done through a mobile app or internet, from creating an account to making transactions. This is in stark contrast to traditional banks going digital, which have physical locations in addition to online choices. Aside from the lack of physical premises, the most distinguishing feature of a digital bank is innovation to address consumer demands that traditional banks cannot. The COVID-19 pandemic’s lockdowns and quarantines also prompted more individuals to use online services for their daily requirements, increasing the rise of digital banking in general. JP Morgan and Chase noticed a 6% and 10% gain in digital banking and mobile-active consumers, respectively, in 2020 alone. Experts predict that digital banking use will reach 2.5 billion by 2025.
Mobile Wallets for convenience
A mobile wallet stores payment information such as credit cards, gift cards, and coupons allowing customers then pay quickly online or at participating retail shops. A vital component of the digital payment revolution, mobile wallets grew in popularity drastically during the COVID-19 epidemic.
Mobile wallets are a huge deal in FinTech because of the market potential. Apple and Google, for example, have their own e-wallet systems. However, by 2025, the Chinees market is expected to account for about 50% of global mobile payments.
Biometrics is the process of authenticating users by physical traits like a person’s face or fingerprints, virtually hard to circumvent since it is based on data points that are unique to each person. A biometric authentication mechanism is already widely adopted, nearly 82% of of customers own a biometric-enabled smartphones. However, the COVID-19 epidemic has increased the usage of biometrics and contactless payments.
A biometric authentication mechanism will eventually replace PIN and passwords. It already extends beyond cellphones to real cards.
Decentralised Finance and Blockchain
Since, Bitcoin has introduced blockchain in the early 2010s, decentralised finance has been a widespread issue. Simply described, it is a system that allows anybody to obtain financial goods without the need of middlemen such as banks or brokers. While digital money is the most visible use of decentralised finance, it is still a small portion of the whole. Decentralised finance is a financial revolution that can affect every aspect of the industry, from stock trading to insurance. Decentralisation will have a huge influence on digital banking platforms. Currently, every financial system in the world has a centralised method. Banks operate as a trusted mediator between two parties for borrowing and lending, and they enforce contracts when necessary.
While this approach works, the transaction’s integrity is only as robust as the bank itself. Banks are frequently the subject of hackers and financial crimes, therefore fraudulent actions do occur. And the 2008 global financial crisis demonstrated that even large institutions might fail. Decentralisation overcomes this problem by allowing two parties to deal with each other directly. Once a transaction or contract is registered onto the blockchain, it cannot be changed or removed, assuring both parties’ transparency and security.
Furthermore, all data entered into the public blockchain is anonymous, ensuring privacy. People can also benefit from cheaper fees and better interest rates if there is no intermediary. For example, anyone may open a bank account without requiring any credentials. Indeed, with $40 billion in assets presently locked up in Decentralised finance, it’s a trend that’s destined to affect every part of finance.
Open banking is a rising movement that allows banks to exchange data with FinTech companies and other financial institutions and new opportunities to their clients that would not be available with a centralised approach. This is accomplished through the use of an application programming interface (API), which connects a mobile app or website to the bank’s database.
Account aggregation enables customers to examine all of their accounts from numerous institutions in a single app, removing the need to log in to each one individually. Users may better manage their accounts by centralising their financial data in one place. For example, the app can offer a budget based on the user’s bank balance, income level, and financial objectives.
Lenders can rapidly analyse a person’s credit risk with open banking by examining their financial information. This enables lenders to provide competitive interest rates on their loans. On the other hand, Borrowers can rapidly compare loan and credit card companies to determine their chances of acceptance.
Microservice architecture is a method of developing software that divides an application into separate components. Each component, referred to as a microservice, is a self-contained entity that can be created, executed, and updated independently of the others. They then connect with other microservices via application programming interfaces (APIs), making them seem like a single, unified application to the end-user. Essential advantages of microservice architecture are agility and scalability. Traditional monolithic programmes are composed of discrete yet tightly connected pieces, making them difficult to upgrade and alter. This is precisely the issue that Amazon encountered early in its expansion. Using a microservice design, software development teams may add new features and adjust old ones without disrupting the rest of the programme. This shortens testing time, accelerates the deployment of new services, and decreases development costs.
Microservices are also critical to overcoming many of the obstacles associated with digitising the banking sector. They add a feeling of security and resilience to digital banking by ensuring that the remainder of the system is unaffected if one function fails. This can fuel innovation and inspire financial organisations to implement more daring features. Smaller institutions that may not have the luxury of huge development teams may also benefit from this method. Developers may design reusable, off-the-shelf microservices that smaller banks and credit unions can mix and blend as they see appropriate.
FaaS and BaaS Platforms
Fintech-as-a-Service (FaaS) and Banking-as-a-Service (BaaS) are business models in which enterprises and banks make their services and products available to others. This is accomplished using application programming interfaces (APIs), smart contracts, and blockchain technology.
FaaS and BaaS are analogous to the previously described Open Banking project. Banks, on the other hand, provide their services in addition to disclosing their data. For example, payment processing, KYC verification, lending, and account administration are just some of the available services.
The primary benefit of FaaS and BaaS is cost savings due to the absence of the need to construct and maintain the infrastructure. This also translates into a quicker time to market for FinTech applications. However, the true value comes from the combination of BaaS and FaaS services from various enterprises and institutions. This enables FinTech applications to bundle a slew of incredible features into a single simple package at a reduced cost.
It’s an Exciting Time!
The financial world will never be the same again following the changes that are certain to occur in the next years. We’ve discussed many of the most significant and intriguing themes in the FinTech realm. And the amazing thing is that this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what this sector has to offer.