Since the start of the twenty-first century, technologists and many working in the financial sector have been redefining how financial services are being delivered in today’s digital age. How we save money is changing. How we repay friends and family has gone from writing cheques to firing off digital currency with a single tap on an app.
This transformation is thanks to the leaps and bounds that have been made in financial technology, also known as fintech. 2019 is promising to be one of the most revolutionary years in this industry. Below are the top five trends to watch out for over the upcoming year:
- Blockchain Will Continue to Flourish
Accenture estimates that 90 percent of North American and European banks are considering using blockchain for their payments, and IBM expects that 65 percent of banks will be introducing this technology in 2019.
One by one, traditional banking systems are being taken over by blockchain technology. The reason for this is simple: blockchain is more efficient than traditional methods. Both consumers and financial institutions stand to benefit, with information being sent and stored in real time to an institution’s digital ledger, while giving users instant access to funds.
- Voice Banking Will Become Commonplace
With the introduction of technologies like Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa, it shouldn’t be too surprising that voice banking will become an integral part of the financial industry in 2019.
Some banks like Capital One already offer voice-enabled banking services. Next year expect to see it go several steps further with digital Voice Assistants.
These AI bots are being developed to go beyond simply reading out last month’s transactions. These bots will tackle more complicated tasks, like helping consumers plan future savings, calculate interest payments on loans, and receive the latest financial market updates.
- More Automation, Less Human Interference
McKinsey estimates that over the next few years machines will perform as much as 25 percent of banking related tasks. This means less human-related errors, better customer service, and greater efficiency for consumers and institutions alike.
- Bolstered Protection through Biometric Technology
The financial industry has been fraught with cyber crime and attacks. Fintech companies are addressing this issue once and for all by harnessing the security that comes with biometric technology.
Some banks have already adopted authentication systems that use biometric technology, like using the fingerprint scanner or the camera built into your smartphone to confirm your identity. This same technology also saves users time and frustration since we’ll no longer need to remember and type in passwords for the many different sites and apps we access.
- The Rise of Exclusively Digital Banks and Currency
Brick and mortar financial institutions are on the way out. Nothing beats the convenience of a digital-only bank where each and every transaction can be conducted from anywhere and at any time.
It should also come as no surprise that as we progress through 2019, we’ll become an increasingly “cashless” society. No longer will we need to haul around wallets thick with coins and dollar bills to carry out transactions.
There’s no question that the technology fuelling the financial sector will continue to evolve and grow, creating a more secure, efficient, and convenient system for everyone. Only time will tell just how far fintech will grow over the next twelve months, but it’s fair to remain optimistic that technology will continue to transform the financial industry for the better.