Financial technology – or ‘FinTech’ – has grown from a relatively obscure contraction into a near-household name over the past few years. While it may once have been associated with complex international transactions, governments and private banks have championed new ways of dealing with money all via the power of technology.
As digital challenger banks and mobile-only investment platforms continue to grow, what’s clear is that managing money will never be the same again. It’s not only banking that’s set to change through FinTech, though. With new solutions and platforms entering the market every single day, our lives seem to be becoming ever more entwined with digital cash concerns and new ways to spend, save, and leverage our assets.
Here, we summarise just three of the key areas of innovation driving the UK’s FinTech revolution, and explain how you can reap the benefits.
Although FinTech started out as a somewhat disjointed set of software and banking algorithms, it has since blossomed into a user-friendly sphere of helpful apps and platforms.
Rather than opting for different apps for their banking, investing, borrowing and saving, UK consumers can now choose from a range of aggregated services and interconnected systems. This is best displayed through the decision of some banks to offer 1-to-1 support via social media, with current account holders able to address basic banking issues by simply opening Facebook messenger.
The digitisation of previously in-person services serves as a stark reminder of how far the UK has come since the advent of FinTech, and it’s clear to see why physical branches of banks are struggling to remain relevant in modern Britain.
It isn’t just consumers who can use FinTech to their advantage, either. Lenders and other financial institutions have benefited from significantly faster payments than before, and borrowers can now receive money into their bank account within minutes after being approved for a loan.
By applying for a loan via a reputable online credit broker, borrowers can even avoid having to make multiple applications in the hope of striking it lucky with a single company. Some credit brokers are able to provide an indication of eligibility for loans prior to an application even being made. Borrowers can also be matched more easily with lenders for whom they meet the necessary criteria, making it easier to get approved overall.
With quick, short-term personal loans becoming more accessible than ever before, traditional high street lenders really do have their work cut out.
One of the core aims of the FinTech movement is to provide financial services to a wider cross-section of the population than ever before. The field of investments shows that technology has made good on this goal, and it’s now easier and cheaper to invest in the stock market than at any point in the past.
New technologies have completely democratised investing by giving rise to robo-advisers, easily accessible trading platforms, and ad hoc advice that costs a fraction of a stockbroker’s hourly fee.
Nowadays anyone can invest on their own, and that’s only likely to drive new trends in the markets as time goes on.
The future of FinTech is arguably limitless, and all that stands in its way is our ability to dream up new ways of using technology to expand the horizons of our existing banking industry. Of course, there are likely to be regulatory and technological barriers along the way, but the UK has already undergone a period of remarkable change since the mid-2000s financial crisis.
Nobody knows what the next decade will bring, but it’s certain that FinTech will be a significant feature of our lives for many years to come.
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