Fintech: The Year in Review

Cardinal Financial December 7, 2018 | 4 min read
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At the end of 2017, the fintech industry seemed poised to make a big splash in the coming years. Here’s who made waves in 2018.

Earlier this year we talked about the rise of several different fintech hubs around the country and how the industry was poised to become one of the largest not only in the United States, but the world. Well, I’m checking back in to tell you that the rest of 2018 did not disappoint. From the increase in mobile technology to artificial intelligence and blockchain, the fintech trends of 2018 made a major impact on the industry, all the while setting the stage for better things to come in 2019.

The #fintech trends of 2018 set the stage for better things to come in 2019.

1. Digital banks

To the relief and dismay of many, the days of waiting in long lines at the bank are numbered. The trend toward digital-only banks with no physical branches made quite the surge in 2018. And it’s likely only going to get stronger. Consequently, the competition from these digital challengers will force the more traditional banks to step up their game to keep their customers. Which is good for you, but could expose some of these older banks to newer threats. As the population gets more and more tech savvy, expect many people to make the move over to digital banks like Revolut and N26 for their money management services.

2. Mobile technology

As the number of people who use smartphones continues to increase, we can continue to expect a constant rise in the amount of financial businesses taking their services to mobile platforms. From banking to mortgage lending, almost any financial service you can think of can be done through an app. In fact, you’re probably already using a few of them yourselves. Mint, Venmo, and Acorns are all apps that make saving, spending, and investing super easy. Convenience sells, and that won’t change anytime soon. So look out for clean, streamlined apps designed to make typically long financial processes quick and easy.

3. Blockchain technology

What’s blockchain? Good question. Blockchain keeps verifiable records of transactions between parties in a way that can’t be copied or corrupted. Basically, it creates a shared system of record among business network members that reduces risk and optimizes processes and transactions. Blockchain was originally devised for Bitcoin and other digital currencies. However, the fintech community has been hard at work finding other uses for the technology due to its transparency. As a result, you can expect to continue to hear about blockchain-based applications in 2019.

4. Robo-advisors

Financial advice is a process that usually involves a level of personal communication and a relationship between a client and their consultant. However, the “robo-advisor” is looking to add a little competition to the mix. These automated advising systems provide algorithm-driven financial planning services to clients with very little, if any, human interaction. For example, Betterment and Wealthsimple are among the leaders on this front with many more waiting in the wings. A little too futuristic for your taste? I don’t blame you—just know the robot uprising is coming.

5. Artificial intelligence

AI has been on the frontlines of technological innovation for decades now, and 2018 hasn’t been any different. The fintech industry has been looking for ways to leverage artificial intelligence technology for years. This kind of advancement will provide better customer service to clients and streamline processes by automating tasks that don’t need to be done by humans. In addition, AI creates a more personal experience for customers by capturing customer-related information and offering personalized plans based on their findings. Speed and ease of use becoming priority in the financial services industry, AI applications are becoming a must-have for fintech startups and established businesses across the country.

What fintech trends are you expecting to see in 2019? Let us know on social media!

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