Carl Johnson, UK Sales Director at Anglo Scottish Asset Finance
If you’re an SME or a startup, maximising your company’s efficiency can be the difference between surviving and thriving. Amongst the crowded commercial landscape, the latest technology can serve as a USP, help explore new markets and horizons or simply help boost your bottom line.
Fintech – a portmanteau of “financial technology” – is currently helping businesses and individuals to take greater control of their finances. Carl Johnson, UK Sales Director at Anglo Scottish Asset Finance, explores some of the common ways in which the latest technology is benefitting businesses across the UK, and how it could benefit yours.
How has fintech affected the market?
One of the primary impacts of fintech is the extent to which it has helped democratise the world of finance, taking money management out of the hands of businesses and increasing user agency. People’s banking habits were very different in the world before online or phone-based banking apps.
For marginalised people and communities, fintech has helped increase inclusion. People with disabilities can now manage their money from their own homes; customisable banking experiences have reduced the need for difficult in-person visits to the bank.
In most cases, both the business – which is able to access a wider, more inclusive market – and the user – who enjoys greater control over their money – can benefit from the implementation of the latest financial technology.
Many business’s cybersecurity measures can benefit from the introduction of new technology. For example, AI-powered fraud detection algorithms have the ability to detect when a fraudulent transaction is taking place in real time, helping weed out the fraudsters.
Meanwhile, improved authentication features like biometrics and multi-factor processes have helped increase security practices. Again, both the business and its customers can enjoy the increased peace of mind that comes with knowing your money is protected.
Diversified revenue streams
Whether your business operates online or in-person, you could benefit from increasing the number of accepted payment forms. For example, businesses which accept cryptocurrency can set themselves apart from competitors by circumventing exchange rates and alleviating cash flow issues.
Financial tech has also made it easier for startups and small businesses to grow by democratising card payments. The flat rate processing fees offered by companies like Square have made it possible for the smallest businesses to accept card payments without crippling subscription or account maintenance fees. As the number of people carrying cash continues to wane, card payment capabilities can be huge for a new business.
Streamlining the customer experience
Advancements in AI have also allowed businesses to gain a better understanding of their audience and streamline the customer experience accordingly. Smaller businesses may struggle to provide dedicated customer service at all times, meaning that AI-powered Chatbots can help bridge the gap.
There’s also growing potential for automation of other manual business facilities like manual invoicing and payment processing, freeing up your team’s time to deal with more complex requests and saving your business time and money.
Finally, if you’re an entrepreneur with a new business idea or concept, crowdfunding is another form of fintech at your disposal. It’s become increasingly easy for would-be business owners to get funding for their ideas, without the connections or backing that would be required to bring their product to market in previous years.
The future of fintech
The fintech industry is booming. But, given the rate at which technology is advancing, and the accelerating number of businesses adopting new tech every year, the possibilities are endless. In the coming years, expect new innovation in personal and commercial forms of financial technology to give individuals more financial agency than ever.
For businesses, particularly those in the early stages of their life, staying on top of the latest tech – and knowing how to properly utilise it – is vital. Fail to do so, and you risk being left behind.