Ready for the future of finance Here are the top FinTech trends for 2022

Ready for the future of finance? Here are the top FinTech trends for 2022

With the global pandemic, the FinTech industry surged. Businesses needed to move more of their operations to the digital world, and FinTech was there to help.

You can see it everywhere around you now: from online banking to the blockchain to a broad array of online payment methods and much more.

In 2022, many FinTech startups and industry veterans alike will continue to innovate in these and other areas — so financial services firms should be keeping their eyes on new FinTech developments.

This article will cover some of the top FinTech trends for 2022 before concluding with a few tips on preparing for these trends.

 

Every year, more people are doing their banking online. About 65.3% of banking customers are expected to do so in 2022 — continuing a slow but steady trend.

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However, this includes both traditional brick-and-mortar banks and disruptive online-only banks, or neo-banks.

It’s reasonable to expect more neo-banks as time goes on for a few reasons.

They don’t have the overhead costs associated with physical branches. They can pass these savings onto customers with higher savings account APYs and lower or no fees.

Online banks can invest capital and time into optimizing the online experience, too. They can create fast, intuitive, and secure web portals customers love to use. Plus, they can implement personal finance management features, AI chatbots, and other tech to serve customers better.

All that said, brick-and-mortar won’t necessarily disappear anytime soon. Some still prefer the intimacy and flexibility of in-person banking as well as easy ATM access.

But neo-banks will offer more diversity in terms of banking options to serve all types of banking customers — and they’ll force traditional banks to hone their online offerings.

۲. Open banking

Open banking involves banks providing APIs to allow third-party financial service companies to access user data with the user’s permission.

The primary benefit to consumers is more flexibility when it comes to sharing financial information with other relevant companies.

For instance, imagine a customer is looking for a mortgage. Without open banking, the customer would have to send the lender a significant amount of documentation via email, fax, or mail.

However, open banking would let them authorize the lender to electronically access their information, such as bank statements, to provide proof of income and assets.

Another big open banking use case is personal financial management. Customers can connect all their financial accounts to one app and see everything in a single dashboard. Mint.com is a prime example:

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Similarly, open banking allows for more personalized financial product recommendations. This could increase competition among banks, so banks might have to invest in improving their offerings.

Plus, open banking could improve financial inclusion, especially among borrowers with poor credit. Lenders could use open banking to analyze data beyond credit score — such as rent payment history or proof of income — before making loans.

This gives more people access to credit while expanding the market for bank products.

۳. Blockchain and tokenization

The blockchain is a decentralized and digitally distributed ledger that is publicly available. Entries within the blockchain are immutable, meaning nobody can go back and alter or delete an entry once it’s been made.

The most obvious benefit here is recordkeeping, which virtually all financial firms can benefit from.

For example, an investment brokerage might find a way to use blockchain to verify a client’s stock purchases and sales.

Another big benefit here is security — of vital importance within financial services since you’re dealing with people’s money.

Blockchain’s decentralized nature and use of cryptography make it much harder for cybercriminals to do anything. They must control more than half of all computers on a specific blockchain, meaning more people on a blockchain could actually increase security.

Blockchain’s decentralization and security also help slash costs by cutting out intermediaries.

Nowhere is this clearer than real estate.

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Real estate transactions traditionally require agents, lawyers, appraisers, tax advisors, and more to ensure the transaction is fair on both sides.

Blockchain can help buyers and sellers eliminate or reduce reliance on these intermediaries, thanks to smart contracts — computer programs that run automatically when certain conditions are met.

This can ultimately save money on closing costs and accelerate the buying and selling process. It can also increase the ability of regular people to engage in passive real estate investing without obstacles.

Another trend within the blockchain world is tokenization. Tokenization involves creating a virtual token that represents an asset in the physical world, increasing liquidity for traditionally illiquid assets like real estate or art.

For instance, investors who traditionally wouldn’t have the capital to buy an entire investment property could get fractional ownership in a property by buying these tokens. They could do the same thing for valuable artwork.

Tokens could also allow homeowners or real estate investors to tap into equity more easily by selling it off as a token. This could make debt-free financing more accessible.

Of course, investment brokerages that want to offer cryptocurrency trading will have to make use of blockchain as well. Trading involves buying and selling cryptocurrencies https://www.Lavozdelsur.es/empresas/revolucion-criptografica-en-colombia_305979_102.html.

You must be aware that gains made via crypto trading are taxable. Consider consulting crypto tax experts to know more about the taxation on crypto gains.

As more countries adopt cryptocurrencies, understanding and finding ways to implement the blockchain will become more important for financial services. There is even blockchain marketing concept and a blockchain marketing agency that helps businesses grow.

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۴. Robotic process automation

Robotic process automation involves handing off simple manual tasks to rules-based software robots. This technology can save financial institutions of all kinds a lot of time and resources on these lower-level items.

This frees up time for staff across the organization to work on more creative and human-focused tasks, increasing job satisfaction for employees.

Financial services marketing, especially email marketing, is among the biggest RPA use cases.

Banks, financial advisors, insurance agents, real estate agents, and more can create automated email sequences that nurture and sell more leads on their products and services.

But RPA isn’t limited to marketing. It’s a great tool for back-end work as well. It can handle data-heavy manual tasks, like data entry and accounting reconciliations. It can even assist with some aspects of payroll.

RPA is also helpful for business operations within specific financial services sectors.

For example, insurance companies can use RPA to streamline the claims process. It can gather and process claims data faster and with less human error to minimize compliance risk and save insurers time.

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Overall, RPA can optimize a company’s resources, helping them cut costs and stay competitive in their product and service offerings.

۵. Artificial intelligence and machine learning

AI and ML take RPA to the next level, although they’re an increased investment as well. AI can “think like a human” to a larger degree to solve more complex tasks, while ML is a type of AI tech that allows algorithms to improve and “learn” on their own.

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Chatbots are the most prominent example of these technologies.

As alluded to earlier, chatbots can help customers with a lot of common tasks, such as checking account balances, scheduling transfers, and even opening new accounts.

This will allow for faster financial transactions and higher customer satisfaction while helping institutions cut their customer service budgets.

These days, some institutions have been able to make their chatbots feel more human. Here’s Capital One’s Eno bot as an example:

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Although it says “I’m not a human,” it types more like a human than a robot.

Over time, ML could help these chatbots pick up on individual customers’ behaviors when they handle their banking online. From there, they could provide personalized services based on the customer’s needs — saving time and improving customer satisfaction.

For instance, if the bot notices the customer was browsing credit cards, it could automatically message them to see if they have any questions about the card or ask if they need assistance applying.

Another prime area for AI and ML is dealing with the growing threat of fraud and cybercrime. AI models can be used to quickly and accurately flag suspicious activity for further investigation, potentially catching cybercriminals before it’s too late.

۶. Payment innovation and expansion

The pandemic accelerated many payment innovations — one of the biggest being mobile payments, contactless payments, and digital wallets.

Total mobile payments reached $1.3 trillion in 2020, with that number expected to grow every year.

Now, mobile payments are only possible with digital wallets. Digital wallets allow customers to “carry” digital versions of their credit cards on their smartphones. A good example of this are crypto payments. To make a payment using cryptocurrency, you’ll also need to have a crypto wallet application. Wallets can be installed on your computer or mobile devices, and act as an interface for accessing your crypto.

As a result, they don’t have to lug around a wallet full of cards. Then, using near-field communication technology, like NuovoTeam PTT, businesses can offer customers a safer and more sanitary way to pay with contactless payments. The customer simply holds their phone near the payment terminal to charge their card.

But, of course, many stayed home and lifekun.com shopped online out of safety and convenience alike. This pushed online shopping to new levels — E-retail sales grew beyond $4.2 trillion in 2022.

Obviously, retail and eCommerce will see the most impact from payment innovation and expansion. However, financial services firms should take note as well.

This trend overlaps with blockchain,  thanks to the increasing acceptance of cryptocurrency payments. Here’s a chart demonstrating the willingness of industries to adopt crypto payments as of 2021:

 

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Companies inside and outside of financial services may need to expand how they accept payment. If you and a competitor are similar, they could get the edge if paying for their services is easier.

۷. Growth in embedded finance

As of 2018, about 80% of customers were more likely to purchase if a brand provided a personalized experience.

As that figure grows, so will the popularity of embedded finance — financial services offered by non-financial firms.

The Buy Now, Pay Later trend is a great example of this. In this case, companies can go through a third party or develop and offer their own BNPL programs.

For instance, home gym equipment can be expensive. A company selling this equipment might provide customers with low-interest financing options upon checking out in their online store. They could develop it themselves or work with a third-party company.

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Insurance is another area with significant embedded finance potential. Amazon already offers insurance on all sorts of items. For example, if you buy a couch on Amazon, it’ll likely ask you if you’d like to buy an insurance policy to cover it.

As you can see, embedded finance empowers personalization. It offers customers more financing and payment flexibility, helping them pay for things on their terms while potentially increasing revenues for businesses.

۸. Tighter fintech regulations and reg-tech

Fintech has brought wonderful changes to financial services, from expanding banking access to making home transactions easier. One of the major developments in fintech is the rise of crypto exchange, which allow people to buy, sell, and store digital assets such as Bitcoin and Ethereum.

But we’re also in new territory with new challenges, and we can expect new regulations to meet these challenges.

Stock trading apps that democratized investing are a good example.

The downside to accessible investing is that many inexperienced investors might try their hand at the market with more money than they can afford to lose, then lose it all.

Robinhood, an online investment platform was embroiled in controversy for this in 2020 and the “meme stock” craze in 2021, and these issues could lead to stricter regulatory measures for investment brokerages.

Cybercrime is another significant concern. We’ve seen several high-profile data breaches over the years, both within and outside of the financial sphere, such as at Facebook.

New financial technologies could be especially vulnerable given that they deal with peoples’ money, so it’s not hard to see increased compliance requirements around security.

Digital advances in finance could also increase the occurrence of fraud, money laundering, and similar crimes.

A similar concern is data privacy. Financial data is an especially sensitive area for consumers. Regulators (who passed laws like Corporate Transparency Act) will have to look closely at the question of data ownership as more finance is done online.

More financial services firms should consider investing in top-notch regulatory technology — RegTech — solutions. These are software programs that help firms comply with regulations, and they’ll be of great use as regulatory scrutiny tightens in the financial services sector.

۹. Collaboration between traditional institutions and FinTech firms

The digital world has allowed finance to become more connected. We’ve already discussed some examples, such as payment innovations and embedded finance.

This could facilitate more cooperation and collaboration between financial services firms and other industries. For instance, a FinTech banking company might partner with a retailer to offer embedded finance solutions, like zero-interest payment plans on high-ticket items. Or when a FinTech company develops a digital product such as web app or a mobile app, then they might need a tech help in holding all tech operations, and then it’s time to get another collaboration partner, so find a tech co-founder.

Additionally, traditional financial institutions will need to adopt the technological innovations brought about by nimble new startups, such as neo-banks. Yet, at the same time, these traditional institutions have significant capital, infrastructure, and brand recognition that neo-banks might want access to.

This could facilitate collaboration between traditional financial institutions and FinTech firms, as each one brings something to the table.

For instance, an established financial firm with tons of capital could invest in an innovative digital-only bank.

The established firm gets instant access to the power of neo-banking. Meanwhile, the digital bank becomes flush with capital to grow and improve. Plus, it now has access to its partner’s existing customer base.

۱۰. Increased financial inclusion

In 2018, the World Bank pointed out that nearly 1.7 billion people globally — around 1/5 of the world’s population — didn’t have a bank.

However, that same World Bank report showed that 69% of adults did have a bank account, up from 62% in 2014 and only 51% in 2011.

Fintech firms definitely play a part in this increasing financial inclusion, mostly thanks to many of the trends and technologies we laid out earlier.

For instance, online-only banking can expand banking accessibility to areas without easy access to physical banking facilities. Online banks that can optimize their customer experience can offer a similar, if not better, level of service to these customers.

Similarly, FinTech innovations like neo-banking can help cut financial transaction fees and offer better rates on savings accounts and other bank products, making financial services more affordable to people with lower incomes.

One big hurdle financial services firms will have to overcome is a lack of trust. Money and finance can be complex, which can put off customers, especially those who traditionally haven’t had access to financial services.

To alleviate this, the industry could focus on supporting financial literacy and education efforts. When a customer understands how their money works and what firms can do to help, they’ll feel more confident using the financial system.

All that said, it’s worth noting that increasing financial inclusion depends on ensuring underserved areas have reliable access to the Internet and a device that can connect to it.

How to prepare for these trends

Thanks to FinTech, a lot of changes are coming to finance — many of them great for the consumer.

That means you’ll need to make a significant effort to prepare for these trends to win over more clients and customers.

Here are some tips to get ready for the biggest FinTech trends.

Update and invest in your tech stack

The key to adapting to these trends is to prioritize investments in your web tech stack.

A great example would be RegTech. Putting money into RegTech upfront could make it far easier to keep up with a changing regulatory and compliance environment. You save money on monitoring for compliance while reducing the chances of facing costly penalties for violating new regulations.

In a similar vein, beef up your security wherever possible. A single data breach can cost millions of dollars and potentially cause long-lasting damage to your reputation. Both traditional security tech and blockchain are worth a look.

Hire for trend-related skills

Since FinTech is heavy on, well, tech, hiring professionals with the proper technical skills can go a long way in adapting to FinTech trends.

That means hiring tech-savvy financial professionals who know how to use new technologies, but also technologists themselves who can help you implement these technologies.

For example, AI and ML knowledge and skills could be some of the most valuable skills to look for. As of 2019, job openings requiring AI and ML skills had sharply increased.

However, tech isn’t the only skill to look for, especially in AI. Marketing is also a good functional area to focus on.

Marketing professionals who understand new FinTech developments can help turn these technical aspects into selling points that connect with leads and convert them to customers.

However, it gets more specific than that. For instance, even after you implement the chatbots, you may need to hire a copywriter to write chatbot scripts so the bots sound human and reflect your brand voice.

Monitor your competitors

You can “spy” on what your competitors are doing in terms of FinTech trends by visiting their website, looking for news about them, and so on. You could identify excellent ways to adapt to these trends and incorporate new FinTech solutions into your firm.

That said, just because a competitor is doing something doesn’t mean they’re doing things right. Take the information you learn from competitor analysis with a grain of salt — combine it with your understanding of your own business and where you can make improvements.

Identify firms you can collaborate with

As mentioned, FinTech will lead to increased collaboration among competitors and non-competitors alike.

Keep an eye on firms within your industry not just to outdo them but to see if you can strike partnerships with them. Look for firms that have something you need, then figure out what they’re missing that you can offer them.

Like in our previous example, say you’re a bank that wants to offer a personal finance management tool to customers. You could find a startup that created such a tool and strike a deal with them.

They gain access to your customer base and capital, while you get to provide a helpful tool to your customers.

Fintech: Building the future of finance

FinTech is pushing the boundaries in how people and institutions alike save, spend, and manage their money. It’s helping more people access financial services, reducing transaction costs, expanding how people and businesses pay for things, and facilitating collaboration among competitors.

At the same time, highly-digitized finance creates new challenges. Regulators will increase scrutiny of financial companies to protect customers from cybercrime and from making costly mistakes with their own money. One way that regulators are doing this is by requiring financial companies to conduct a Data Protection Impact Assessment (DPIA) to identify and mitigate privacy risks associated with their use of personal data.
What is dipa? A DPIA is a process for assessing the potential impact of a data processing activity on the privacy rights of individuals.

To prepare, financial institutions should make sure they understand and invest in new technologies driving these trends. Doing so will help them attract top talent and maintain a competitive edge as finance goes digital.

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