We can see that the changes that COVID-19 brought to our lives in 2020 have not stopped and as it seems will continue in 2021. Companies and people around the world have now understood the importance of agility and responsiveness, tools that acquired only through new technologies. So the question now is how we can seize this unique opportunity to create the future we desire.
In 2020 we learned that with great challenges come great opportunities, which in the coming years are expected to increase and within the next 10 to 20 years FinTech (Financial Technology) will undoubtedly be the driving force for the development of the global digital economy. More specifically, for FinTech, the main emerging trends that will play a leading role are the following.
In today's market, there is an imbalance between supply and demand. Many FinTech companies want to work with banks - but few banks are well equipped to work with these companies. A popular term (and service), Banking-as-a-Service, refers to the ability of a company, usually a platform, to integrate banking services into its offering.
Despite this possibility, the mentioned cooperation can be characterized as difficult to fulfill, as the resources for the development of collaborations are limited and the integration of a large volume of banking data in the core of the platform is a rather time consuming process.
However, several emerging companies allow banks to provide a range of services (ACH processing, transaction processing, etc) to FinTech companies in a more modular way, thus taking small but valuable steps towards the cooperation that the market desires.
In the coming years, FinTech applications will continue to use artificial intelligence (AI) more broadly than is observed to date.
Whether it's chatbots that address customer queries, fraud prevention tools that verify the authenticity of documents, or analysis algorithms that analyze large volumes of data, the use of artificial intelligence in the FinTech industry will continue to grow significantly.
In combination with the flourishing of artificial intelligence and digital media, financial institutions have the ability to provide their users with over-personalized services such as robotic investment advisers, etc.
Analyzing the current financial situation of the user and forecasting, FinTech companies will be able to plan and suggest the next best financial options that the user can follow, so that his future financial situation can be set safe.
The next 5 years, this kind of services will definitely become commonplace.
Traditional banks have a very important role to play in safeguarding people's money. With the growing awareness of financial education, more and more people want to invest their money instead of keeping it in the bank.
Third-party financial institutions provide traditional banks with high-income investment services through open banking.
Embedded finance is a new and emerging industry that merges the services of a non-financial provider with a financial service providing the user with a comprehensive experience.
It is very likely that there will be a strong increase in embedded finance (buy now, pay later programs, etc) and banking as a service.
Autonomous finance is one of the first on the list of new innovations. A service that can untie the hands of consumers and automate financial decision making using artificial intelligence and machine learning will become an essential tool for any business.
Convenience is something that FinTech technology wants to bring to the world and the creators of the industry want to give consumers the best services available. Generation Z is at the forefront of technological trends and the products that this generation finds attractive are becoming direct successes. FinTech leverages this trend to make solutions more attractive with the introduction of voice technology.
Young people, having a tendency to chat, are attracted to voice-based tools during their online interactions. Voice assistants that use artificial intelligence offer comfort and simplicity in handling operations related to financial services. Voice technology also promotes secure payments by using biometric data to approve a payment. The opportunities in this industry are endless as innovation is constantly thriving.
Mobile banking and other financial services are becoming widely available - literally at the fingertips of millions of users. This in itself is an incredible achievement, but at the same time it raises many questions about safety. Meanwhile, cybercrime is increasing day by day.
Biometrics is the best way to achieve a fairly high level of security, giving users confidence that their data is protected. At present, however, there are significant shifts in the biometric industry under the pressure of conditions.
Despite the widespread use of reading Contactless fingerprinting solutions, such as face recognition or iris reading, will outperform those involving physical contact, further enhancing the user experience and at the same time serving to shield their health.
Given the successful IPO's of a large number of technology giants in 2020, IPO's will be the first target for many mature FinTech startups in 2021.
In fact, several local trading systems are trying to become more attractive to emerging technology companies and thus compete with NASDAQ.
While the US and China will continue to dominate FinTech investments around the world, several financial technology centers will evolve and grow, especially in Central and North Asia but also in South America.
Catalysts for this development are the new opening to innovation by the regulators of these regions, the advent of virtual banks, the development of the API (Application Programming Interface) and finally, the entry of new competitors in the Asian market supported by financial and technology giants of China.
*Greek version of this article is available on Naftemporiki.