Digital transformation is roiling the banking and finance sector as scrappy fintech upstarts challenge traditional models of doing business. Sit tight, because things are going to get interesting during the next few years. Here are some of the top fintech trends to keep your eye on, from blockchain to open banking and beyond.
Voice banking will simplify the customer experience
Figuring out your finances can be tricky, but a digital helper could make the task easier. As CNBC reports, some banks are already deploying AI-powered voice assistants to help customers calculate mortgage loan payments, create savings plans, and quickly locate nearby branches or ATMs. With a simple voice query, customers could soon have real-time answers to their financial questions as naturally as if they’d asked a friend.
Voice banking may sound futuristic, but it’ll be here before you know it. Although this tech is still new, you can soon expect to get some advice on how to stash away extra cash for a dream purchase by simply chatting with the closest voice-activated digital assistant. Voice banking could be especially beneficial for people with disabilities, as it would grant them greater access to the information and services they need to reach their financial goals.
Blockchain transactions will create greater trust
As finance experts know, confidence and trust are critical to the success of any financial venture. With anxiety over the security of our digital lives at a fever pitch, it’s not surprising that banks have turned to blockchain as a solution to reassure customers about the integrity of their digital financial transactions. Blockchain, a technology most commonly associated with bitcoin, is a secure digital ledger that provides full transparency to all parties involved in a transaction as well as a tamper-proof audit trail of events that have taken place.
Banks anticipate using blockchain in a number of creative ways. According to the Financial Times, clearing and settlement—while not exactly glamorous use cases—could be major applications. Payment, particularly cross-border payment, is another. With its secure framework, blockchain could also make it possible for customers to access cheaper loans and credit. We could even see securities like stocks and bonds tokenized and traded on blockchains as well.
Open banking will enable an ecosystem of financial insights
One of the hottest fintech trends is open banking, a practice in which banks securely share customer data with third-party services and apps using APIs to enable a more satisfying customer experience. This helps banking customers enjoy greater flexibility with the tools and services they use to understand and plan their finances. In turn, this creates conditions where users can consider their banks as an authoritative source for their financial data and access that data as needed using other apps and services. By offering such enhanced interoperability and giving younger consumers the digital experiences they crave, traditional banks can better compete with digital-first banks and fintech startups.
Gen Z will demand better financial products and advice
Gen Z’s impact on finance and banking is already being felt. As American Banker points out, 48 percent of Gen Z consumers already have a finance or payment app on their phone. Forty-two percent of them report being excited about using payment solutions from Apple, Google, and PayPal, which raises questions about their loyalty to traditional financial institutions.
Members of Gen Z, having grown up in the shadow of the 2008 financial crisis, also have a strong aversion to debt. As a result, the generational cohort values financial products that help users save money and build a stronger financial foundation rather than those which enable runaway lending and borrowing. Banks will need to provide Gen Z with relevant, tailored financial advice via engaging apps and services in order to win their business.
Stay secure in a digitally enhanced financial world
As these fintech trends take hold, it will be important for each financial institution to maintain customer trust by ensuring that it has a smart endpoint security strategy in place—particularly one that includes overlooked devices like printers.
While unsecured printers can seem innocuous, they’re a tempting target for hackers. After gaining access to a company’s network through a vulnerable printer, attackers can rummage around for juicy bits of data, including sensitive customer information and confidential corporate financial records. You can reduce their chances of success by opting for secure printers that automatically detect an attack in progress and self-heal, for example. By ramping up your endpoint security now, your organization will be better positioned to leverage the most exciting trends in fintech well into the future.