What is “fintech” and how is it changing financial products?
The word “fintech” is simply a combination of the words “financial” and “technology”. It describes the use of technology to deliver financial services and products to consumers. This could be in the areas of banking, insurance, investing – anything that relates to finance. Although it’s a relatively new word, fintech is actually nothing new. Technology has always changed the financial industry. However the internet, combined with the widespread use of devices like smartphones and tablets, means the speed of this change has accelerated greatly in recent years.
Examples of fintech Fintech is changing the world of finance for consumers in a myriad of ways. For example, you can now open a bank account over the internet, without physically visiting a bank. You can link the account to your smartphone and use it to monitor your transactions. You can even turn your smartphone into a “digital wallet” and use it to pay for things using money in your account.
Fintech is also rapidly changing the insurance and investment industries. Car insurance providers now sell “telematics-based” insurance where your driving is monitored using data collected via your smartphone or a “black box” fitted in your car. This data can then be used to determine how much you pay for your insurance policy. In the future, it may be possible to buy insurance on a short-term or “pay as you go” basis
Advances in technology means consumers can also invest over the internet on an “execution only” basis without any face-to-face interaction. In time, you may be able to get automated financial advice or “robo advice” with little or no human interaction.
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