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Three Areas of FinTech Innovation For 2016
It's been over 17 years since new financial technology completely changed the game. That being PayPal, an online payments system that helped the fledgling eCommerce concept become a hundred billion dollar industry in the US alone. As we enter 2016 FinTech is once again buzzing with excitement. In the 5 years between 2010 and 2015 around $49.7 billion was spent globally on fintech investment. From 2013 to 2014 it jumped for $3 billion to $12 billion, and is now closer to a staggering $40 billion. Global fintech start-up ecosystems have also emerged with key cities such as New York, San Francisco and London taking the lead.
But why the excitement? Today it's all about mobile technology and financial apps, taking payment processing and financial management and making it more efficient and portable.
People want to be able to send and receive money using a swipe of the their smart phone screen anywhere at any time, tradesmen and their customers want to use digital payments instead of cash in hand, businesses want an all in one eCommerce and brick & mortar point of sale solution, with app support. Investors want to manage their portfolios and monitor the markets, people want to consolidate their bill paying, everyone wants to be charged less fees and have less to do with the big overbearing banking institutions. So lets take a look at the three:
While online payment processing has been around for a long time, with the rise of mobile devices it's apps that are starting to take hold. One of the current battles is at the point-of-sale between traditional card readers and mobile payments. Why carry a credit card, risk fraud and limit yourself to the card only, when you can pay using an app on your phone that contains a variety of different payment methods?
Square Inc. was the top Unicorn of 2015, with a valuation of $6 billion. It's point -of-sale solutions include mobile payments, card reading, and cash registry functions, all of which work through mobile devices like the iPhone or iPad.
Peer To Peer
The Peer to Peer concept is emerging in all areas of fintech. On the lending front companies like Prosper, Lending Club, and Zopa are utilizing modern web and app technology to connect individual borrowers and lenders, completely cutting out the middle-men. Smaller players are also emerging such as EstateGuru and CrowdEstates
Then there's blockchain technology that was popularized by Bitcoin, but is now being implemented for other purposes as well, such as the stock market. While Bitcoin's aim is to take the power of money away from banks and governments, the blockchain is simply an efficient and secure way for all kinds of different transactions to take place. Chain.com has its eyes set on the NASDAQ, while TrasnferWise is using P2P technology to streamline currency exchanges and save the customer money.
Of course fintech is not just about transactions, transfers and trades. One also need to be able to manage their finances and assets. This is where a wide range of new apps are coming in to play. From Call Levels that allows you to manage your portfolio and monitor the markets accordingly, to Smartly that automates the job of the traditional financial advisor, to StockTwits which gathers all the latest social and news information regarding the markets and connects investors together so everyone can make wise decisions.