Guest post by Fred Schebesta
Technology has fundamentally changed our relationship with banking and financial services. There are an abundance of trends, from disruptor brands to new innovations, set to shake up the way we deal with our money. In a world where competition is fierce, providers have realised that consumer is king and, in response, are delivering a more personalised, aesthetically pleasing and convenient experience for users.
Here are the Top 3 Fintech trends in payments and what they mean for you.
AI, Smartbots & Chatbots
The benefits of artificial intelligence within the payments industry are finally starting to be realised. We’re all too familiar with unintelligent automation (lengthy phone wait-line queues, anyone?), but with the implementation and improvement of smartbots and chatbots, utilising AI in finance is sure to become something far greater than something we simply tolerate.
It takes time for consumers to feel comfortable integrating something new into their day-to-day, especially when money is concerned. Building up that trust takes time. However, already we are seeing customers warming up to the idea of AI. Queries are being answered by bots, with humans only needing to intervene when the tricky questions come into play.
As soon as customers open their minds to the potential of such modern tech and their apprehension eases, a more convenient, ‘always on’ service will result. As there are so many players in the payments market, from traditional banks and even social media giants, companies that don’t go down the digital path won’t be around for much longer.
It’s a mobile world
It cannot be denied that mobile devices have become pivotal to our day-to-day activities, personally and professionally. It therefore makes sense that consumers want their banking and financial services to follow suit. People want to be able to complete payments on any device, at any time, and they want it to be a straightforward process.
Going mobile within this industry has become a priority for traditional providers, who understand the need to adapt in order to avoid redundancy. Soon, mobile devices are to be the commonplace finance tool. This means that we’ll be able to turn to our phones instead of reaching for our wallets, with services becoming quicker and offering next-level convenience.
With providers answering our every call, power is being shifted back to the customer. We can expect to see a heightened sense of personalisation in the payments industry, as providers battle it out for customer loyalty. As they will be mobile-focused, ensuring a positive user experience is paramount. In fact, in our inaugural money transfer awards research, the average score for the user experience category was 70.6%. This was acclaimed higher than speed (68.2%), exchange rates (62.4%), convenience (59.2%), and trust (53.0%). Without a sophisticated user experience, it will be all too easy to exit the tab or close the app, and switching to another provider.
Unprecedented global transactions
Sending money mobile-to-mobile around the world is the way forward in the payments industry. While traditional providers are enhancing their services, blockchain and bitcoin are also providing competitive edge. While at the present stage blockchain lacks liquidity, time has shown that Fintech developments can take off in a heartbeat. For providers looking to get ahead of the curve-ball, a bitcoin or blockchain strategy should be priority.
Out of each of these Fintech trends, this is most likely to take the longest to take off. Although it is predicted to benefit businesses more than consumers in initial stages, blockchain and bitcoin adoption will translate into customer benefits, meaning quicker payments, cheaper services, and a boost in global transactions.
Advancements in cross-border transactions is the way forward. Azimo’s new in-app feature allows customers to transfer money simply by using a mobile number. No longer do customers need to memorise account details, IBAN numbers, or bank routing numbers as a requirement before being able to complete a transaction. As this feature is available domestically and internationally, it is leading the pack in the global money transfer market.
Fred Schebesta is CEO and co-founder of personal finance comparison website finder.com. Fred is is intrigued by digital currencies and is a leading Australian-born entrepreneur based in New York City. He is also an award-winning digital marketer, author, blogger, and keynote speaker.