Delve into the archives and the fintech timeline can be traced – in some instances – as far back as the early 1900s with other reports saying it began in the ‘60s.
In short though, regardless of where the term first originated, fintech has a long future ahead of it because modern-day companies are always exploring ways in which they can work smarter, not harder, with the assistance of technology.
Mass adoption of fintech has resulted in the formation of new, vibrant companies, and challengers and disrupters to the ‘old guard’ financial services firms – with each and every one attempting to shake up the status quo.
Fintech has generated billions on a global scale and armed accounting and finance professionals with the tools – not only to complete tasks quicker but to transform their way of thinking – encouraging a digital-first mindset, and a hunger to explore new ways to streamline operations.
In addition, customers today expect nothing less than a speedy service that feels personalized and easy-to-navigate. They don’t want clunky systems that they can’t use, they want innovation that makes their lives easier. So, for the companies willing to evolve with agility and challenge ‘what has always been done’, how will fintech assist them in the future?
Forward-thinking organizations will prioritize automation
The truth is automation isn’t a new thing. Like fintech, it’s been around for decades and yet people are still unsure as to what it can do for their business, or whether they can fully trust it to do a good job.
Smart technology should enable organizations to prioritize projects, help enhance productivity and efficiency as well as alleviate overwhelming workloads.
And when they plug in automated solutions? They should be programmed to complete the mundane, day-to-day tasks in the background, 24/7.
That’s where automated payment runs will truly come into their own throughout the next 10 years. Designed to automatically identify due and overdue invoices, as well as pay vendors, there’s no doubt that companies will cease to spend another minute chasing payments, rather automation will become their best friend – reducing the mundane tasks and leaving time to focus on strengthening customer relationships and prioritizing innovative projects.
Increase of on-the-move technology
No matter where someone is based, the boundaries between what mobile devices can currently do and what a desktop achieves will disappear altogether. And as businesses continue to embrace hybrid working, along with flexible and remote patterns, people will expect to have solutions firmly at their fingertips – regardless of time-zone or location – so they can continue to do their jobs and utilize technology in a way that enhances their lives.
The expansion of voice tools
Audio-first technology has already transformed the ways in which many people now communicate in the home and from the office. Devices such as Google Nest and Amazon Echo are not only recognizing simple commands but they’re helping users to organize everything from their diaries to their shopping lists.
And alongside the accessibility and inclusivity benefits they present, it’s expected that these tools will only continue to evolve. What this means from a company’s point of view is that they can ensure they stay ahead of the curve — because it won’t be long before placing orders and everyday reminders such as ‘Alexa, send out remittance advice’, ‘send my monthly rent invoices’, ‘how much have we spent on this project to date’, and ‘do payment run’ will all be commonplace.
Legacy desktop software will be shelved
Just like floppy disks and blu-ray DVDs, clunky systems with servers based in the corner of the room will be a distant memory. That’s because people want technology to offer them flexibility and efficiency.
For accounting professionals in particular, they no longer want to be shackled by unagile, on-premise or ‘fake cloud’ software that’s not only costly to upgrade but complex to manage.
As nimble workforces crave even more efficiency and a way to address overwhelming workloads to remain relevant in a fast-paced world, organizations will soon outgrow legacy tools – if they haven’t already – and begin to favor true cloud solutions that are forward-thinking, intuitive, and fit-for-purpose.
The popularity of Open Banking will increase
Creating greater financial transparency isn’t anything new for fintech firms, however, the signs are pointing to the fact that Open Banking usage will continue to rise in popularity.
That’s because people want an uncomplicated, seamless configuration between their software and the organizations they bank with. They need to feel in charge and take advantage of better deals that are tailored to them, all in one place, and without the requirement of traveling to a physical premise.
Blockchain’s bubble won’t burst
Despite it being around for years, there’s been a recent surge in blockchain and smart contracts which are continuing to disrupt the fintech market.
While there are many skeptics out there who simply don’t trust investing in something they can’t see, they are picking up momentum and expected to become the bedrock of major economies.
And finally, the separation of organizational and Government data will blur, so when it comes to sending an invoice, for example, the VAT return will be automatically updated on Government’s systems.
As well as closer links, the fintech space will experience more evolutions. Some will come and go, but others will continue to revolutionize the way in which people personally manage their money and organizations handle cashflow. Fintech is all about disruption. When smoother processes, greater inoperability, and security-rich functionality are constantly rolled out, the question for businesses leaders is, what will they invest in next?
Paul Sparkes, Commercial director, iplicit