• Sagar Acharjee

Introduction to Financial Technology and Its Importance

Financial technology is an industry that employs technology to ensure that financial services are delivered efficiently. In most cases, the companies that belong to this industry are start-ups that take on established corporations that frequently rely on traditional tools for their operations. Financial technology refers to new processes, applications, business models, or products that are made available by the financial services industry to its customers. Innovation in financial services, according to the National Digital Research Center, is what it is. Financial technology has a broader range of applications in terms of technology. In the field of financial technology, there are five main areas: insurance industry solutions; applications for supported business processes such as payments, financing and cross-process support; solutions for private, retail, and corporate banking; business-to-business, consumer-to-consumer, and business-to-business solutions; and solutions for complementary services such as peer-to-peer lending and personal finance management systems. For the year 2008, only $930 million was spent on investments in financial technology. Global investment, on the other hand, increased to $12 billion in 2014. In London, the financial technology industry employs roughly 40% of the total workforce, according to official figures. In 2014, Europe invested $1.5 billion in financial technology companies, with London receiving approximately $539 million of that total. In the same year, financial technology companies in Stockholm received $266 million in funding.

The opening of a financial technology hub in Sydney, Australia, took place in April 2015. Another financial technology innovation lab, this one in Hong Kong, has also been established. The formation of the Financial Data Science Association paved the way for the development of a research community centred on investment statistics and computer science research. The Wharton School established its financial technology department in October 2014 to foster collaboration among innovators, academics, investors, and other thought leaders. Financial technology is a new service industry that is just getting started. originally applied to back-end applications for trade and consumer financial institutions, it has expanded to include innovations in the financial sector, financial literacy, investment and educational opportunities, cryptocurrencies and consumer financial institutions as well as retail banking services. Innovations in the financial services industry are covered by the term "financial technology." With the advent of the internet and mobile technology, it has grown significantly into an extensive collection of technological innovations in commercial and personal finance.

The Future of Financial Technology

In recent years, there has been a steady increase in the use of financial technology. Because it is now focusing on wealth management and payments, it has the potential to grow even more in the coming years. In recent months, new platforms with algorithmic investment allocations enabled users to make decisions about their investment allocations. Large financial institutions have begun to use blockchain technology for payment processing. They also launched mobile applications to make it easier for their customers to do business with them. Several entrepreneurs took advantage of the economic downturn and implemented revolutionary approaches to everything from payments to lending and financing. This group of financial technology startups and entrepreneurs was funded by venture capitalists in order to transform the financial services industry. In the near future, crowdfunding may overtake venture capital funding as a source of capital. Due to the fact that crowdfunding is a component of the financial technology sector, this is an interesting development. Traditional financial institutions are not threatened by financial technology in any way. However, it has the potential to disrupt the industry by cutting costs and improving the quality of financial services. There are new methods and tools for assessing risk that have been developed. Individual investors and small businesses will be able to conduct due diligence at a lower cost and in less time as a result of this. The popularity of financial technology will grow even more as a result of this transparency. Its massive expansion will be aided by increased funding. At the moment, consumers in urban areas use financial technology applications at a higher rate than those in rural areas. Customers in Hong Kong are the most reliant on financial technology solutions. The application of such solutions has a great deal of potential. The potential, on the other hand, varies depending on the product. Payment services are the most popular, with a 17.6 percent adoption rate, followed by savings and investment applications, which account for 16.7 percent of all usage.

Financial Technology Has a Vital Role to Play

As a result of globalisation, each individual is required to make quick, intelligent, and sound decisions based on the information that is available to him or her. It is difficult to manage cash in a proactive manner without the aid of technology. Furthermore, software applications and the current state of the financial markets would not exist if it were not for technological advances in recent years. Economic volatility and government regulation have an impact on a company's performance. Technology adds more value to a company's overall business strategy. Environment variables, data storage and capture elements, redistribution and reporting, configuration details, and data elements processing are all components of a technology platform. Knowledge of the environment is important because it helps to determine the resources that will be required to achieve the goal in question. In a similar vein, in order to effectively address risk in the workplace, an individual must first understand the risk environment. Data collection and storage are important because the quality of the output is dependent on the quality of the input. Incorrect data elements render the output completely ineffective.

The use of technology can help an organisation increase its visibility while also improving its operations. It reduces the amount of effort and time required for information dissemination. It is also critical to ensure that the configuration is correct. Certain situations necessitate the submission of reports in order to meet reporting requirements. Exemptions that are specific to a particular transaction may be available in some cases. If a transaction needs to be reported, the technology configurations determine whether or not this is necessary. For this reason, it is critical for technology to morph data elements, configuration, and business requirements and rules into a single cohesive whole, rather than processing all of the data. A specific piece of information might be required for a graph, a report, or an accounting entry.. Economic volatility and a constantly changing market necessitate the development of technology systems and platforms that can adapt to changes while maintaining organisational stability. Software and technology are merely tools to achieve a goal. They are not the be-all and end-all. Information is required for the development of strategies, the support of decision-making processes, and the identification of risks. Everyone requires tools in order to manage risks, optimise processes, and strategize business operations.

How Technology is Transforming the Finance Industry

In the past, insurers and financial institutions relied on highly profitable but relatively static business models. At the moment, innovators are disrupting businesses by introducing high-value and diverse products to the market. Disruptors did exist in the 1990s, to be honest with you. However, they were unable to have a significant impact because the financial services industry possessed the necessary scale, regulatory expertise, and consumer trust to do so. The World Economic Forum recently conducted an investigation into the financial services industry to determine what the future holds for it. To address the issue, it conducted interviews with at least 100 industry experts and held a series of workshops. Established financial services companies are being forced to rethink how they conduct their business in a traditional manner as a result of innovation, according to the study.

Innovators have certain characteristics.

First and foremost, innovators are concerned with the deployment of specific products and services. In the past, they attempted to replicate the financial institutions to the greatest extent possible; as a result, their business models attracted only the most price conscious or technologically savvy customers. The most valuable products and services are being provided by these innovators today, and they are aggressive in focusing on customers who are highly profitable but also highly frustrated. Banks, for example, have traditionally charged high remittance fees to customers. While this may be true, they also provide a poor customer experience. In order to make money transfers cheaper, easier, and faster, some innovators have created a user-friendly web interface and utilised a cutting-edge network to accomplish this.

Second, innovators use technical skills to automate and commoditize high-margin processes, thereby increasing their profits. Traditional players are unable to compete with innovators because these automation initiatives require a significant investment of time and resources on their part. Innovators can provide services such as wealth management services to a new breed of customers by developing new business models. Customers will be able to take advantage of services at a lower price level. Investing in assets does not necessitate the expenditure of $100,000 by the investor. They can now receive support and advice on wealth management services as a result of technological advancements. Third, financial institutions frequently base their decision-making on information gathered from customers. To determine whether or not to lend money to a customer, lenders look at the customer's credit score. When considering whether or not to issue a policy to an applicant, insurers look at his or her driving record and medical history. However, because of the interconnection of individuals and their gadgets, innovators can make financial decisions based on real-time data collected by their devices.

For example, a company may conduct analyses of consumers' social networking patterns in order to provide this information to lenders for the purpose of determining the creditworthiness of borrowers. Insurance companies may be able to make better pricing decisions by utilising a variety of data streams. Some insurers may provide their policyholders with a fitness tracking device to wear, which will allow them to see who among their clients goes to the gym to exercise and who does not. Fourth, some businesses are able to grow their revenues at an exponential rate without increasing their costs. Because they are providing a platform for lenders and borrowers to meet online, these market disruptors are not taking on any additional risks. Crowdfunding platforms also connected people who wanted to make small investments in startup companies with those who wanted to make large investments in them. Fifth, disruptors work in partnership with traditional businesses. It is possible for them to compete with the established firms by employing different strategies. In addition, they benefit from the infrastructure and scale of their competitors. However, traditional financial services companies collaborate with these innovators because they want to gain a new perspective on the financial services industry as a whole. They wish to gain a better understanding of their advantages as well as externalise aspects of research and development.