There is no doubt that the Fintech industry is looking at a great year in 2017. Aside from some new products being made available and the increasing demand for smarter, more technological financial services, the regulations that govern the industry and other supporting factors are more suitable for rapid growth this year.
There have been some interesting trends shaping up on the market too. These new trends will pave the way for more growth and new Fintech startups creating headlines on the market. In this article, we are going to take a closer look at some of the top Fintech trends you need to follow in 2017.
The Rise of Branchless Banking
Branchless banking, also known as alternative banking, will be a big business to get into in 2017. We already have some new players exploring this growing market. Atom Bank in the UK, for example, offers all banking services that traditional banks offer, but only through their mobile apps. Customers can do anything from open a new bank account to make wire transfers and everyday purchases just as easily.
Branchless banking is also a big business in other parts of the world. In Asia, even conventional banks such as Maybank and DBS are venturing into the world of branchless banking by launching their own sister brands and offering branchless banking services to customers. In Indonesia, BTPN – one of the oldest banks in the country – surprised everyone when they launched Jenius, an app-based banking service for young customers.
The demand for this new type of banking is on the rise too. Younger customers are looking for better banking services that allow them to enjoy all of the conveniences and services offered by a conventional bank, but without the extra hassle of having to visit a branch. App-based banking will continue to be a big trend to watch this year.
Digital Retirement & Investment Management
We live in an era where almost everyone owns a mobile device, so targeting mobile users is a logical step to make. While there are many financial apps focusing on payments and services, a growing number of new startups – and existing financial institutions – are bringing retirement planning and investment management to the mobile landscape.
This trend, paired with the increasing awareness for better retirement planning and the importance of good investments, is transforming the market in its own way. Established companies such as the Alliance Financial Group are making their retirement savings plans more accessible to young customers through the use of mobile apps and other technologies.
The retirement savings plans in particular are an interesting business in today’s Fintech landscape. The use of mobile apps means customers can be more actively involved in dictating the direction of their investments. There are still regulations to follow in most markets, but Fintech companies are innovating with new products that allow customers to enter the financial market and utilize other investment instruments to further develop their retirement plans.
Social Media and IoT
The two additional elements that will make Fintech even more exciting this year are social media and IoT. The recent concept video by Amazon – describing Amazon Go, a retail concept where customers can shop for everyday items without having to worry about making payments thanks to IoT and a mobile payment app – revealed just how amazing the possibilities are.
IoT will soon be everywhere. We already have a massive new array of wearables and devices capable of handling payments and other transactions, which means it won’t be long before these devices are part of the Fintech landscape. Top names such as Samsung and Apple are making their wearables ready for financial usage too.
Social media websites, on the other hand, are providing the perfect platforms for transactions. People no longer have to remember bank account numbers or other details just to be able to send money to friends. It is easy to split transactions using social media handles as identifiers. Messaging apps such as BlackBerry Messengers, LINE and Telegram already have payment solutions integrated into their workflows.
These new trends are shaping the future of Fintech massively. That brings us to the initial goal behind the whole technological revolution of financial services: convenience. New technologies, better services and smart integrations are just the mediums. The main goal of today’s Fintech advancements and new services offered by different companies is to make the financial world more accessible to many.
We’re still a few weeks away from the 2017 London Fintech Week, but we’re already seeing a number of exciting new developments from various Fintech leaders. It will be interesting to see even more developments during the event.