Technical issues: our top 5 Fintech trends
This week we have been working hard on our new favourite topic: Fintech. For those of you new to the area, Fintech is short for Financial Technologies. It might sound dull, but here at Fyxen, we’ve discovered the top 5 exciting things happening in this buzziest of sectors.
1. Fintech grew out of the 2008 financial crash with a desire to democratise banking and making it cheaper, more accessible and more transparent. Those pesky bankers who brought the system to its knees took trust in the system to an all time low. Hence the rise in countless startups looking to cut out the clerks and let you bank straight from your smartphone. Banks like Atom have been founded out of this trend, and are completely digital. With no branches, they are cheaper to run and pass on these savings to the customer. They even now offer online-only mortgages. Buy a house at the click of a button.
2. London is at the centre of it all. We’ve all heard of Silicon Valley, but did you know that London’s Silicon Roundabout in Old Street is now at the heart of Fintech developments. Challenges lie ahead as Brexit looms, with many European cities like Berlin, Amsterdam, Stockholm and Dublin looking to attract anyone who decides to up sticks after London leaves the EU.
3. The future is all about Blockchain. Blockchain is a globally distributed ledger, relying on a peer-to-peer network to keep a record of all transactions in cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin. Sound like techy jargon? Blockchain is here to stay, and is now competing with the huge tech giants like Google for talent. Banks are starting to realise its potential and it’s entering the mainstream. What does this all mean? We’ll be going cashless before you know it.
4. Investment is being democratised. With digital investment managers like Nutmeg offering portfolios from as little as £100, anyone can now get in on stocks and shares. With a smartphone app, you can be trading from your sofa while you juggle the kids and Love Island. You just tell Nutmeg what you’re saving for, how big a risk you’re willing to take, and their expert brokers do the rest for you. The beautifully designed app then lets you watch as your fortunes rise (or fall).
5. The robots are coming. Technology is now developing at so fast a pace, that it won’t be long before the banks are able to automate decisions for you. Cognitive technology, artificial intelligence, machine learning and robotic process automation all sound like scary techy buzzwords, but they all boil down to one thing: machines are getting better at knowing your finances than you are. Soon they’ll be able to suggest that you’ve got enough money to start a savings account, or that you’re going to go overdrawn when next week’s big purchase happens. And it’ll all be communicated to you through a chatbot on your phone.
So there you have it: our quick guide to Fintech. Any apps or websites you’re loving at the moment as you juggle your money? How do you feel about the decline of the personal banker? Comment below!