If 2020 was the year of disruption, 2021 must be the year of adaptation.
The merging of finance and technology to become what is termed now as fintech was put to the test upon the coming of the COVID-19 pandemic last year. And sure enough, it did not disappoint.
Fintech Saved the Day
Finance, along with healthcare, can be pinpointed as the first sectors in society to benefit from the technological innovations that abound. It was meant to upgrade obsolete processes, improve business services, avoid wastage, eliminate overspending, save precious time, optimize client experience, better management of finances, reduce risks, streamline redundancies, and modernize the whole industry itself.
When the pandemic struck, there came an unexpected reversal of fortunes that hurt many brick-and-mortar businesses with the strict stoppage of people’s movement to curb the spread of the deadly coronavirus. Because of this, the gradual trending of fintech innovation suddenly shifted to high gear when people began turning to the Internet en masse so as not to disrupt their current flow of life and living, and the entailing services needed to maintain lifestyles, social interactions, and business transactions.
Fintech became a positive and relieving revolutionary solutions befitting the times with the adaptive and transformational use of blockchains and cryptocurrencies, including AIs, algorithms, biometrics, eCommerce, mobile applications, and the Internet of Things. Fintech is serving as a catalyst for banks to turn fast, smart, and digital. Relationships between customers, employees, and suppliers are being redefined as fragmented and redundant processes can now be streamlined and consolidated into efficient software applications.
Work-from-home schemes are developing new revenues for businesses that are adaptive to the current challenges. Online selling, shopping, and digital borrowing are unprecedented to the point that the new normal standards have already come about ably supported by fintech solutions.
The Future of Fintech
The future of fintech can be predicted by identifying the sum of its parts that play crucial roles in overcoming flaws that long stymied the economic growth of individuals and nations. By them alone, we can already see at the rate where the many what’s and why’s are going.
The shift from conventional banking to digital banking was the convenience that clients saw in a flawless shift due to the pandemic. They discovered that they do not need to physically visit their bank for their financial tasks with all the inconveniences that go along with it. Because of technological advancements incorporated in banking like AIs, cybersecurity, biometrics, and open banking, clients can efficiently connect and access other financial instruments through their mobile phones wherever they are. With this kind of experience, clients will not miss going back to paper-based transactions anymore.
Whatever it is called, the age of digital currencies is finally gaining a lot of traction as institutional investors started hedging substantial amounts of their wealth into Bitcoin and other high-value cryptocurrencies for the long term. Not only that, many governments of the world are exploring possibilities to create their own central bank digital currencies to cope with the growing demand of technological times. Moreover, fiat interest rates are dropping from zero to below, leaving investors no choice but to look for greener pastures in the digital field. Cryptocurrencies are indeed threatening the life existence of the inflatable fiat.
A cashless, contactless society opposed by the majority before is looking to be in place sooner than expected due to restrictions required under health protocols. With people avoiding holding and exchanging cash, there is seen a drastic decline in the use of physical cash and the obvious rise in contactless digital payments via smartphones, computers, and laptops. Digital mode of payment is becoming a clear departure from what it used to be only an option of money exchange. Digitally-driven financial businesses will only flourish in the coming years.
Along with the COVID-19 explosion was the sonic boom in online shopping. Desperate times call for desperate measures. Needs and wants drive people to be creative; that’s why the online shopping frenzy took over. The online movement of revenue, products, and services contributes much to the recovery of economies around the world. These opportunities should be taken advantaged of to the fullest by economies hard-hit by the pandemic. Governments should be able to support the growth of businesses by maximizing the digitalization of their own turfs, adopting eCommerce structures for an expanded consumer base, and raising the quality of products and services offered.
The age of fintech is here and now. It is clearly defining what the new normal will be, and it would be harder to imagine if we are ever going back to how things used to be before the outbreak. There is now the collective need to look forward to the future without, of course, abandoning the principles that shaped our societies and economies to what they are today. They will serve as launching pads to take us into the future equipped with the tools provided and continue to deliver by fintech.