You might not notice, but it’s everywhere.

It’s on your phone, in your wallet, and even at the grocery store. You interact with it (almost) every day. Did you know that?

I’m talking about FinTech.

Financial technology. It’s the magic that makes our money more accessible than ever. I already told you, it’s everywhere.

The only issue is… that not everyone knows about it.

Michael Scott says When people hear the word, they think of some super serious startup. But in reality, some of the world’s largest and most established businesses are fully taking advantage of the stunning capabilities. The stuff we never thought was possible.

It’s incredible.

And you’re about to get all you need to know.

What is FinTech?

It sounds like a mix of two words (and it is), but it’s truly much more.

To fully understand the broad scope that is financial technology, we can take a look at its history. Before the dawn of smartphones and handheld computers, fintech was mostly running on the back end of banks and financial institutions.

But then came the explosion of technology.

Tommy Toskonaut MindblownNow, we have all sorts of services like roboadvisors, peer-to-peer lending platforms, and cryptocurrency wallets. Financial technology essentially attempts to simplify and increase the efficiency of a business.

It helps companies better manage their processes as opposed to traditional banking systems. 

With computerized algorithms and simplified software, FinTech typically lives on the standard computer, but more so smartphones these days. That’s right. With FinTech, you can practically run an internet empire all from your phone.

For example, a company by the name of Stripe allows you to accept payments and facilitate financial transactions with a custom invoicing system. Seriously, what more could you ask for? Financial Technology makes it so that the average person can become a super seller of anything they please.

 

It’s insane considering just a few years ago you had to use pen and paper.

What types of Fintech services are there?

If you had to name them all, you’d be sitting there for a while.

Hey Arnold: Helga waiting patientlyThere are all kinds of services! And new ones are being born each day. To name a few:

  • Crowdfunding
  • Mobile Payments
  • Peer-to-peer money transfers
  • Blockchain and Cryptocurrency
  • Robo-Advisors and Stock trading

The more popular ones over the recent time frame have been applications like Cash App and Venmo. The software lets you transfer funds between parties, and it has become super useful on the go in a pinch.

There are even services like accounting software that can handle your bookkeeping needs.

In all honesty, if you can think of it, it probably exists. Otherwise, you might have a pretty profitable business idea on your hands. The biggest innovation (recently) has come from the blockchain and cryptocurrency space.

It's revolutionizing finance.

Not only that, but the world. Blockchain has the potential to bank the unbanked, which could open emerging markets and push them toward development. Specifically, a project called Cardano is striving to bank all of Africa.

Quite a bold mission indeed. 

Is traditional banking over?

If anything, FinTech makes it better!

It’s important to realize that most of the world continues to operate on traditional banking and legacy firms. But that’s not to say that FinTech isn’t disrupting the market. It’s actually taking the industry by storm.

But as of now, it doesn’t look like cash will be going anywhere anytime soon.

DollarsAfter all, you can’t just deposit cash into your smartphone. But what you can do is go to an automated teller machine (ATM). Technically, that’s financial technology. And depositing a check with your phone camera? 

Yup, you got it. Financial technology.

Traditional banking still utilizes paper money because it’s nationally (and internationally) recognized as an acceptable form of currency. That’s what cash is (currency). Before paper money, people used metals, shells, or anything that was accepted and backed by faith.

I’m sure you can see how the financial world has developed over the years.

FinTech is just adding fuel to the fire, but traditional banking will stick around for the foreseeable future. It’s the evolution of technology that either absorbs or abolishes the norms.

How safe are FinTech companies?

It depends on the company.

Something from the blockchain industry might be more susceptible to theft and cyber-attacks because of the newness of it all. A more established company like Visa or Mastercard, which invests millions of dollars in security and protection, might provide more safety.

With that said, any company has the potential to be hacked and attacked.

Hacking Security Breach

It’s important to put time into creating (and protecting) strong passwords. Additionally, things like two-factor authentication are heavily used to further protect people's assets. Verification is a very serious process that most companies use.

Security is a concern for anyone let alone the financial technology industry, so be aware of what you do with your personal information and funds.

Cyber security

Final thoughts

Without a doubt, financial technology is here to stay.

And even if you haven’t noticed, you probably use it daily! Give it a Google. Even your credit card is an example of financial technology!

Constance Wu using a credit card The number of services that you can take advantage of is almost endless.

 

Some of them are free! The way they make money is mostly through fees and interest. That’s why they are so readily available to the public, and it’s truly a creative way to do business.

 

The digital landscape for business is changing. Will you be taking part?

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