The way we shop and live has been changing for some time now, and the Covid-19 pandemic made those changes even more rapid as the new normal took the world by storm. How has managing finances, shopping and transacting changed since? And how do we stay up to date with trends to ensure that we manage our money properly? In this article, we will take a look at some of the trends in the fintech industry that are taking over and how you can get the most out of them.
The Industry In A Nutshell
The start of fintech can be traced back to the 1800s.
The next early stages of fintech were when the United States Federal Reserve Banks created a system that was aimed at moving funds electronically. This system, first known as the Federal Reserve Wire Network and now Fedwire, had a Morse code-based system that was used as a real-time gross settlement funds transfer system until the 1970s. This decade saw the transition from telegraphy to telex and finally to computer operations and proprietary communication networks.
Then came the turn of the century, which introduced even more exciting financial technologies, such as 2009’s dawn of Bitcoin. Considered the first type of cryptocurrency, Bitcoin opened doors to an entirely different type of trading.
In 2011, Google Wallet/Google Pay Send was launched, which allowed smartphone users with near-field communication (NFC) crisps in their devices to pay by tapping a reader or cash register with their phone. Today, Google Pay lets you pay other people or businesses and shop your credit cards and accounts in one easy-to-use app on your phone.
Better Banking Is Here
The banking sector is probably one of the industries that experienced rapid change at the height of the pandemic. More than 50% of customers used to go to branches at least 1.5 times a month for certain services. Now, the number has decreased to just a little under 30%. Many people have opted for online banking and transacting, as the phenomenon proved to be efficient.
Even though some people may feel slightly nervous about using banking apps and online transacting, there are verification and security processes that protect you from potential harm and hacking.
Contactless Customer Experiences
The fintech industry has been hard at work to promote contactless transactions in order to help curb the spread of Covid-19. Many businesses have adopted cashless services with payment options such as swiping a bank card, tapping, or scanning to pay. This helps manage contact between providers and customers and helps keep track of finances for both parties.
Mobile money is also gaining traction in sub-Saharan countries as it has become an easier way for people and businesses to transact. Mobile money is a digital payment platform that allows for the transfer of money between cellphone devices. The technology is installed in the SIM card of the device and can be used on regular and smartphone devices. Users can receive, withdraw, and send money without being connected to the formal banking system.
Apps Are Where It’s At
When it comes to managing your money and transacting, the fintech industry has done a great job in introducing the type of apps that make it easy for each type of financial service you may need. For managing your money and transacting, you can use banking apps. If you want to apply for vehicle finance, for example, there are apps such as the WesBank App, which helps you keep track of your application, your premiums and all other information regarding your application. There are also apps for insurance companies, property searches, job searches, and so much more, and all of them have a link to the fintech industry. Ensure that you arm yourself with enough research on which apps and websites you need in order to manage your money and financial obligations.
Buy Now, Pay Later
One of the not-so-new inventions by fintech is the ‘buy now, pay later’ concept. This is where third-party financial services providers offer access to customers for them to buy products and services they want and pay the service providers instead of the shop afterwards. Amazon is one such network that offers a “Buy Now, Pay Later” option, which converts the cost of a purchase into an automatic loan from the online store itself instead of a third-party lending institution.
Remember To Protect Yourself
We understand that when managing finances, it may seem like you are compromising your profile if you manage everything online or digitally. There are ways to protect yourself from such by using two-step verifications, fingerprint access, facial recognition, and more. You can also keep track of your credit score and see which of your financial commitments need more attention.
It is easy to make the most out of your credit and finances when you are equipped with the right information and applications. Ensure that you invest in research and familiarise yourself with all the tools you need to manage your money and transactions. Evolving with the fintech industry is easy when you have the right tools. Remember that.