W.T.H. is Fintech
Pretty sure you've been hearing a bunch of peers utter the term 'Fintech' every now and then. Perhaps some of you know what it is, but for the others no need to be ashamed about not knowing the popular but often confusing biz world jargon, cause we gotchu boo!
Financial services refer to professional services involving the investment, lending, and management of money and assets. The use of technology to help companies manage the financial aspects of their business, including new software and applications, processes and business models is what FinTech is all about.
Some of the most path breaking and must know FinTechs are discussed below:
Cryptocurrency: Cryptocurrencies are encrypted digital currencies that are issued and traded independent of a central bank or government. Accordingly, these currencies are decentralised. Some of the most common cryptocurrencies are Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ripple and Dash.
Blockchain: No introduction needed to Blockchain. If you’re wondering why?, we’d recommend you to move the rock under which you’re living and check out our post on Blockchain.
- ICO: Initial Coin Offerings are the FinTech equivalent of an IPO. ICO’s involve selling of a start-up’s cryptocurrency units for cash for the first time.The ICO is conducted through the medium of a crowdfunding platform. This translates to dealing with supporters of a project rather an investors, as is the case with IPOs.
- IoT: The Internet of Things (IoT) is the interface of the real, physical and virtual world. It is represented by a network of physical devices connected through the internet to send and receive data. This creates opportunities for seamless integration of the physical world into computer-based systems, resulting in efficiency and improvement in lives, economic benefits including reduced costs, and reduced human exertions. In the financial sector, the IoT is believed to be the next big thing. The migration to mobile based platforms is the best example of FinTech that dominates our lives even today.
- Robo-advisors / AI platforms: Just like Siri and OK Google, Robo-advisors are intelligent programs that provide investment advice using financial algorithms. They disrupt the need for human investment and customer relationship managers, thereby reducing the cost of maintaining a portfolio.
The ultimate aim of FinTech is to improve customer experience. Earlier, if a person needed capital for a business, the options available were traditional investors or bank loans. However, today, that is not the case, as discussed in our entrepreneurship funding series. Further, FinTech options like crowdfunding and mobile services are revolutionizing the way business is done! Ease of doing business is one of the biggest advantages of FinTech.
Another benefit is the increased competition in the traditional financial sector which exerts a downward force on prices and accordingly ensures competitive prices, while also aiming at wider access to financial services among the population.
Although, FinTech unarguably and sensibly so, represents the future, the only concerns regarding the same are data privacy and data security risks. With cyber laws still very abstract and non-conclusive these risks are stumbling blocks to be converted to stepping stones.
IN SERVICE OF SISTERHOOD, BY Tvesha SIPPY