In the digital age, we’ve seen technology continually evolve and impact positively on a host of markets and industries. Nowhere is this more relevant than in the financial services sector, where even simple processes such as saving and spending money have been transformed beyond recognition.
Fintech has played a pivotal role in this evolution, with this niche sector having benefited from huge investment in recent times. This is reflected by the figures, as while the total value of global fintech investments was approximately $10 billion in 2014, this figures is expected to peak at $46 billion by the end of 2020.
So whether or not the city of London retains its status as the world’s fintech capital post-Brexit, there’s no doubt that British citizens will continue to benefit from the level of innovation in this market. Below, we’ll consider the very latest technologies for managing money, and ask how they continue to influence our everyday lives.
1. Mobile Apps
Perhaps the biggest innovation within this space has been the emergence of mobile money management apps, which tend to focus heavily on issues such as budgeting, debt repayment and achieving long-term savings goals.
This type of innovative technology is embodied by the Intuit Inc. app Mint, which is essentially an all-in-one money management tool that offers benefits to a potentially global audience. Whether you want to establish an accurate budget to track your short-term spending, this and similar apps can help to bridge the considerable gap between debt and solvency.
One of the main benefits of this type of app is that it connects all of your bank, credit and store accounts within a single resource, making a wealth of data accessible from a single interface. This helps the technology to achieve its primary aim, which is to make money management easier and more convenient for those without a financial background.
In addition to these comprehensive and universally applicable apps, there are also tools that have been designed with a singular, more specific purpose. These may be dedicated to debt management and savings, and, while they target a relatively niche audience, provide actionable assistance that is extremely valuable.
2. Online Lending Hubs
In the wake of the Great Recession, people found it exceptionally difficult to open new lines of credit.
This is because the economic downturn left many with poor credit scores, while banks and traditional lenders also made it far more difficult for borrowers to successfully apply for loans.
Since then, however, we have seen the emergence of online lending hubs, which often specialise in the extension of unsecured, personal loans with minimal barriers to entry. Usually, applications for these products can be completed within a matter of hours, with the money transferred online into your bank account.
What’s more, reputable lenders have also evolved this technology further by diversifying their available range of products and building in a number of helpful tools. These include interactive budget planners, which help you to determine precisely how much you can afford in monthly repayments in relation to your loan.
3. Online Banking
We finish with one of the oldest fintech innovations, but one that continues to evolve with every passing year.
Online banking is also becoming increasingly popular in the UK, with participation having more than doubled from just 30% in 2007 to 63% at the end of last year.
This innovation enables you to access all of your accounts online and from a single interface, of course, while it also lets you complete payments (both domestic and overseas), execute transfers and interactive with customer service agents. In short, it provides a one-stop resource for the management of your finances, all in a secure and real-time setting.
In more recent times, we’ve also seen mobile banking apps overtake PCs and laptops as the customers’ device of choice. This makes it easier for you to effectively manage your finances while on the move, while it has also introduced a raft of new features that make withdrawing funds possible even in instances where you’ve lost or misplaced your bank card.