Fintech is a fast-growing industry. Grab, a Singapore based food delivery and ride-hailing service, raised US$200 million last year to expand its fintech offerings and became one of the biggest players in this sector in Southeast Asia.

So what does Fintech means and why is it so appealing?

Simply put Fintech means financial technologies. The advancement in technology in the financial sector has helped businesses tap in a wider market. They are now able to reach customers without a physical banking branch, lowering the overall cost and therefore low surcharge for customers. Hence the appeal.

Alibaba’s Ant Financial is highly focused on the use of artificial intelligence (AI) and data mining. By data mining through fintech, businesses are getting a better understanding of their customers. They are using insights to ideate new products as well as improve the existing ones.

  1. ‘Digital first’ and ‘digital only’ banks
    Digital only banks are thriving. Mainly because they offer everything that a traditional bank does. While there are many startups which are emerging in the digital-only banking sector, the big players are also not far behind. The traditional banks are also moving to a ‘digital first’ approach. Paytm payments bank, which got its banking licence in 2017, is one of the biggest examples of a digital-only bank in India.

  2. Mobile payments and wallets
    Payments are now online and are fast in line to replace hard-cash. Amazon, Google, Apple, PayPal and PayTM – the options are many. This is especially working well for the fast-paced millennials. Boom in ecommerce has led to the advent of mobile payments.
  3. Blockchain technology
    Use of blockchain in Fintech is fast disrupting the financial industry. Blockchain technology will make it easy to apply anti-money laundering regulations as well as self-regulation of the financial system. Thus providing the best environment for a secure and transparent financial system.

  4. Artificial intelligence and chatbots
    A big part of fintech is collecting customer data. With the use of AI, the banking sector is trying to know their customers better and act on their needs fast. New technology products with built-in chatbots are revolutionizing the customer service in every industry but it is especially true for Fintech.

  5. Voice banking
    Consumers rely on their relationship managers at the bank for most of their banking needs and enquiries. However, the trend will shift to voice-first devices in the next few years. Banks will move from regular account inquiries to doing transactions using voice commands. This can include being able to execute payments using voice commands, as well as doing account transfers and establishing account alerts using voice commands.