2016 was a whirlwind year for the FinTech world and it’s about to get even better. According to the annual FinTech Report, cumulative investment globally will exceed $150 billion in 2017. As the next industrial revolution matures, many areas in banking and finance are being transformed.So, we have this pleasure to feature a study series speaking exclusively on Fintech developments across the globe.

Here is our 1st part of Fintech series where we update ourselves with the latest trends in Fintech ecosystem. Here we go!

  1. Open banking

The scourge of innovation in the financial sector has long been the legacy technology on which banking systems are built. Whether back, middle or front office, inefficient and uncompromising systems have hindered improvements to customer service and expectations.

Open banking platforms have the potential to eradicate (or lessen) many of these problems. They support development through collaboration and growth through competition. Greater adoption by the incumbents will dramatically increase the impact that Fintech can have, and the speed at which they can do so. For the consumer, this will manifest in more enjoyable customer experiences and greater visibility regarding their financial options and wealth management.

  1. Artificial Intelligence

There’s virtually not a field that Artificial Intelligence hasn’t touched, and the financial industry is no exception. Machine learning algorithms are particularly adept at analyzing huge amounts of data and finding patterns that would go unnoticed to humans.

Already, hedge funds and stock exchanges are making use of AI algorithms to become more efficient in forecasting the stock market and make smarter decisions. AI is also finding its way into banking. An Accenture survey of 600 top bankers found that AI will become the main way banks interact with their customers in the next three years, easing the workload for employees and enhancing the consumer experience.

Artificial Intelligence can also play a pivotal role in preventing fraud in banking and other online payment systems.

  1. Mobile transactions go viral

In recent years, the use of debit and credit cards has gone down significantly with the appearance of mobile wallets and the option of contactless payments for goods and services. With changed shopping habits, shoppers are gradually preferring to have their phone nearby, rather than a physical wallet.

Mobile wallet companies look to be the Fintech trend ahead for online transactions. This inexpensive and easy-to-use alternative to credit cards, with their high interest rates, and debit cards, with their high fees is another Fintech trend that is picking up pace in 2017.

  1. Blockchain

The Blockchain is a public, digital ledger — almost like a global spreadsheet — that can be programmed to record everything of value. It has the potential to store information with unquestionable accuracy, which is why it was initially devised for the digital currency, Bitcoin. However, the Financial Services industry has recently been finding other uses for Blockchain technology.

The benefits of Blockchain technology for use within the Financial Services are plentiful:

  • It allows for fast and secure transactions
  • It reduces costs
  • It improves transparency

According to a survey conducted by TABB Group:

“89% of senior executives believe Blockchain will be in everyday use in the Financial Services industry by 2026.”

However, the biggest challenge for companies set to implement Blockchain is a lack of human resources. 70% of senior-level, global financial services decision makers agree that their organisations currently don’t have enough talent capable of implementing Blockchain technology.

  1. Lending and leasing

Fintech trends are making traditional lending and leasing organizations realize that they need to transform their operations in order to remain preferred lenders. While large corporations are still heavily dependent on traditional lending, SMEs and retail customers are finding it easier to deal with more flexible alternative lenders.

Greater automation, machine learning, data analytics, smart contracts, and enhanced cybersecurity are expected to not only increase operational efficiency but also result in lower costs and a better customer experience.

  1. Levelling up customer service

Effective digital banking rids customers of queues and frustrating phone calls; innovative KYC/AML, biometric authentication and social payments reduce logistical friction; and third-party remittance platforms have stolen market share thanks to their ease of use and the perennial consumer magnet, reduced cost.

For the many end-users that see FinTech only as a front-end, what will determine success in their eyes are speed, cost, and ease of use. And so increasingly, a key FinTech battleground will be UX.

Overall, 2017 is set to be a disruptive year in terms of technology trends for the Financial Services industry wherethelandscape becomes more competitive.