In the last decade, fintech has grown at an astronomical rate. Not only is it changing payments and investing, but also how businesses work.
It's no surprise, then, that there are many predictions about what the future of the financial technology industry may hold.
Considering the rapid changes already taking place, the following ten predictions for the future of fintech may seem conservative.
"The future of fintech is increasingly specialised and is dependent on technological progress and innovation. Its reliance on these two factors will continue to drive disruptive business models in financial services. Therefore, I believe that software-as-a-service (SaaS) is the must-have for any technology player and any traditional financial institutions launching new fintech businesses." - Peter MacKay, CEO at Euro Asia Pay.
9) Hybrid cloud solutions
"The necessity of a well-thought-out ecosystem plan is crucial, as is effective orchestration. Customers can share their financial data with other apps and vice versa via open banking. Real-time intelligent data integration is also possible with hybrid cloud (cloud/server) solutions." - Dileep Jacob, Senior Vice President of Global Operations at Fingent.
8) Convergence of cybersecurity teams
"Anti-fraud and cybersecurity teams have traditionally been separate departments within financial services institutions (FSIs) – each focused on different threats from different actors. As cyber fraud increasingly allows criminals to exploit this division, however, soon banks will rethink the organisation of these teams. Crimes like synthetic identity fraud are, unlike traditional approaches to fraudulent theft, aided by automation, artificial intelligence and other technology. These separate teams will combine as banks realise the joint expertise of fraud investigators and cybersecurity managers is needed to combat this threat. Alternately, the CISOs – who will have the largest cyber security budgets of ANY industry by 2023, will simply take on the anti-fraud team's responsibilities and shutter this department." - Greg Woolf, CEO and Founder of FiVerity.
7) Decentralised finance (DeFi)
"DeFi stands for 'Decentralised Finance.' Otherwise known as the Open Finance movement, at its foundation is a blockchain-based form of finance that focuses on removing the legacy reliance on CeFi, 'Centralised Finance.' Think of removing the need for intermediaries such as brokers, exchanges, or banks to manage settlements of transactions and move that into a smart contract on the blockchain. The objective is to revolutionise finance as we know it and give the power back to the investors and funds. I believe we are already heading in this direction, and expect DeFi to become a consistent part of the financial ecosystem by 2050." - Anthony Caiafa, CTO, SS&C Technologies.
6) AI-powered finance assistants
"AI-enabled financial advisors will put the majority of human financial advisers out of work. The ones who remain human will focus on the more personal, philosophical, and psychological elements of finance. For example, they will help people better understand their own spending habits and how to save money. Whereas an AI system will only be able to recommend a specific assortment of products to invest in." - Lissele Pratt, Co-Founder and Director at Capitalixe.
5) Hyperfocus on customer experience
"Over the last few years, the financial services industry has shifted to put consumers first. Today's consumers are liberated with a broad range of services and products and a newfound sense of power over their spending habits. With a rise in card-linked rewards, personalised loyalty programs, buy now, pay later solutions and more, consumers have more choice over how and when their money is spent. Banks and fintechs are needing to constantly evolve their offerings in order to meet customers' demands, and this trend will continue well into the future of banking — making end-users the real winners. The power has shifted to consumers, and it isn't going away anytime soon." - Farrell Hudzik, EVP Financial Institutions at Cardlytics.
4) Invisible forms of identification
"Significantly, fintech will enable communities to create bank accounts without the need for KYC verification using identification documents that either may not exist or be accessible. By providing individuals with financial services, it's possible to generate far greater access to remittances, borrowing services and even the investment tools that could pave the way for the creation of businesses, better debt management, and significantly, financial security." - Maxim Manturov, Head of Investment Research at Freedom Finance Europe.
3) Exponential computing power
"By the year 2050, with computing power and network speeds able to handle volumes of data that are unimaginable today, business and finance, in particular, will become even more real-time and automated. Large volumes of data will flow rapidly within and between enterprises, and cognitive computing will enable financial systems to mimic and exceed human intelligence. With this potential, Finance teams will no longer have to spend days or weeks collecting and consolidating financial and operational results for delivery to stakeholders. Summarised financial and operational data will be available to executives and managers on a real-time basis, at their fingertips, to support "right-time" decision-making." - Tom Shea, CEO of OneStream Software.
2) Embedded finance
"Embedded fintech will dominate the industry by 2030. This means financial services won't necessarily be offered as a stand-alone product. Instead, it will be a part of the user interface of other products. Facebook Pay and Apple Card are examples of embedded fintech that have already birthed the change. By 2030, similar services will be central to the scene." - Scott Spivack, Marketing Director at United Medical Credit.
1) Sustainable fintech
"Sustainability is a rising tide reflected in fintech - whether in product design, tracking carbon footprints, or providing accessibility and financial inclusion. We see strong interest in that both among established banks and early fintechs being built from scratch." - Paweł Stężycki, Senior Innovation Consultant at Netguru.