Being hailed as a true game changer, FinTech is the revolution that will transform the face of the financial services in infinite possibilities. Yet, it has been many decades ago since there has been a real shake-up in the realm of the financial world. With the arrival of FinTech, new and young players alike will experience its awe-inspiring sweeping changes.
What is FinTech and Why It Matters to You?
Time and time again, you always see it to be appearing on various articles or social media posts but what exactly is FinTech? Despite this, it is definitely not a buzzword because it is a broad field which is dynamically transforming how we live as a society and how we manage finance and run business professionally.
Basically, FinTech can be best defined as the technology startup scene which imparts disruptive elements (in a good way) to areas such as money transfers, mobile payments, fundraising, loans, asset management and even investment.
In layman’s term, FinTech is the thing that enables you to have access to various financial services from your own smartphone, tablet, laptop and other electronic devices.
Furthermore, it is one of the “hottest” areas that receives massive investment from around the world and this accelerates its exponential growth. Whether you like it or not, FinTech really matters because it is about to drop a bomb on everyone. Therefore, it will be very important for everyone to know how FinTech can change everything that we think we know.
To Business Owners : Is It A Threat or An Opportunity of a Lifetime?
Far from being just a piecemeal development, the march of FinTech represents a complete transformation or overhaul the already bloated financial world. It evokes a real dynamic changes and challenges alike to the stubborn and stagnant financial market and services out there. The next question on everyone’s mind is whether FinTech is a threat or an opportunity of lifetime. While one may argue that FinTech is just a change of paces and phases, the truth is that it will not be that beneficial if one choose to tackle half-heartedly. From simple business owners to big corporations, all of them will be wondering what FinTech means for their businesses.
As it turns out, FinTech will transform how we run and manage our businesses. In the past, anyone would tell you to look for bank or investor in order to get the funding to establish your business and company. The emergence of FinTech simply means that you will be able to get your funding beyond your own town or country. The power of crowdfunding is self-evident when people with big, bright and bold ideas are able to acquire much-needed funding quickly and easily from the people they have never met. In terms of speed, one does not spend months of negotiating and talking with the investors when it is possible to secure the funding in a matter of weeks. At the same time, this can be achieved with greater efficiency while eliminating the annoying or time-consuming bureaucratic red tapes that are just unfavorable in a rapid-growth market.
One of the drawbacks of FinTech to all business owners is more on its uncertain risks and future that it brings. Since FinTech has been expanding rapidly, there will be a problem of regulation in matching with its pace. In other words, it emerges as the potential “Wild West” area that attracts criminal activities as well as malpractices. As the history has shown, regulation tends to be one step behind the march of innovation. Moreover, there will be some forms of legal loopholes which the current regulations and traditional protocols are unable to reach.
However, the other drawback is not so bad because it actually lies more with the mindset, strategy and execution rather than FinTech itself. If you embrace the change just for the sake of changing without a clear strategy and backup plan, the chances are that you will not be able to reap much benefits from FinTech as expected. As a result, your business will be suffering from the usual problems of poor adaptation to all-new digital environment. Not just that, you are burdening your business with unnecessary technical complications.
Yet, it will be a worthwhile risk when you adapt to this digital revolution. Otherwise, you will risk losing everything when doing nothing. This includes everything from your customers to your profit pool as you are being regarded as obsolete. Like many great adventures before, there will be a lot of risks involved in such undertaking. When you are looking at FinTech, you are, in fact, looking at the face of the future that makes your business to be simpler and cheaper at the same time.
What About the Consumers?
Despite the so-called disruptive effect, this spells good news to all of us as consumers. For the first time ever in history, we have been offered with a great number of options, not to mention about the fact that we are being more informed. With the rise of mobile, on-demand economy, the readiness of people to get engaged in managing money and business online is also a positive factor that encourages the growth of FinTech. Most importantly, our long-standing frustration with the old-fashioned banking practices has been the festering wound which cause us to lose faith and trust in these ancient financial institutions. The arrival of FinTech has made various financial services and tools to be seamless, efficient and personalized at the same time.
Needless to say, the high rate of mobile penetration in the growing numbers of smartphone users also means that FinTech will be getting a huge opportunity to further revolutionize the financial ecosystem.
When it comes to transferring money across the borders, FinTech makes it possible for us to send money quicker and cheaper. Traditionally, transferring money from one country to another can be very expensive and slow.
From peer-to-peer money transfer which crosses different borders and currencies with minimal cost to automated investment service advisor, these are some of the great stuff that FinTech comes out with for us. In short, we will be having a quick access to various financial services with some magical touches on our smartphones, tablets, laptops and others.
As mentioned earlier, the FinTech will present the same problem to us in the form of cyber security and its regulation. Since it is relatively new and fresh, it will be some amount of time before the law can catch up with FinTech to regulate it successfully. Until then, it will remain an equally exciting area for criminals to take advantage. At the same time, it also opens potentially new problems that can be hard to detect when it comes to tracking and tracing money trails. Moreover, it also makes issues such as identity thefts and stolen credit card details to be more dangerous than ever before.
The untapped potential of FinTech encourages non-financial players from tech backgrounds such as Facebook, Google, Apple and Microsoft to make further inroads in it. Therefore, FinTech will be presenting a brighter future for everyone who choose to embrace it.
This post was written by Aaron Tam from iPrice Group.