PayPal and SagePay are only two examples of how finance industry is trying to go hand-in-hand with time and participate in the digital revolution. My name is Jeremy Powers and this post covers financial technology and the ways it still has to go to achieve its maximum potential.
A few years ago, fintech wasn’t really a thing – people knew what PayPal and electronic money transfers were, but that was about it. As the recession hit, however, financial institutions realised that they needed to do something in order to increase their transparency and stay afloat. The demands began to change as people and businesses relied more and more on technology and invested in software packages that allowed them to, for example, move money from domestic to foreign bank accounts in a matter of minutes for low costs. The software is also usually known as “intelligent software” and it is indeed ingenious.
The solutions intelligent software offers are available in relation to all the aspects of high-tech financial transactions. For example, given the large amount of sensitive personal and financial data resting in the digital space, sophisticated software is definitely a requirement if you want your data transmissions to be as secure as possible. You would also want to keep all the data stored and organised in the same place so that it’s not lost or leaked. Intelligent software can help you prevent any leaks of your clients’ financial information.
Accounting Software Packages
Technology has also been kind to accountants. There are many software packages that facilitate record-keeping and calculate tax deductions. These solutions are available on both B2B and B2C basis, in forms of software packages, as well as mobile and desktop apps. For a business, accounting technology, if employed correctly, allows for a higher level of efficiency and lower risks of unexplained cash flow losses.
Financial analysts can also take advantage of the technological innovations available to them. While nothing can replace the human brain and the work it does, technology does allow businesses to save money on outsourcing financial analysts. There are many applications available for financial data analysis, ranging from simple day-to-day analysis of business performance to advanced forecasts of where your business is going to be in a few years if you employ A, B and C strategies. Some applications might even device a strategy template for you that you would be able to use inside your company.
Contactless payment is another thing that seems to be evolving more and more and doesn’t appear to be going anywhere anytime soon. Some people might be vary of digital money transfers, Apple Pay, Points-based payments and even chip and pin cards, but financial technology is quite well-developed to ensure that contactless payment methods are as secure as they can be.
Any business that doesn’t accept credit or debit cards is unlikely to last another year, in my opinion. I’d also advise you to look into other contactless payment methods and attempt to incorporate them into your strategy. One way you can make a decision as to which method would work best for your company is by market research – for instance, if you’re running a coffee shop frequented by a relatively young, millennial crowd who seem to be constantly on their phones, consider using Apple Pay. If you’re running an online company, you probably already know about PayPal and if you don’t, you should definitely look into it.
Online Business Services
If you don’t want to use any of the solutions I offered above because you feel “unqualified” and “intimidated”, that’s completely understandable. Technology has an answer for you too – and that’s outsourcing. One of the responses to the 2008 crash was, as I said above, expansion and increased transparency of financial services. Financial consultancies and even banks now offer digital accounting services, data management, financial performance and compliance analyses, and many other services your company needs. If your goal is to save on human capital and you can’t afford to hire well-paid in-house financial analysts full-time, outsourcing might just be the solution that you need.
One of the most important aspects of running a business today that technology makes easier is global outreach. Nowadays, many banks allow you to transfer money abroad in just a few minutes and with lesser fees than before. The banks’ attempts to reach higher levels of transparency result in facilitated transfer processes and immediately available bank statements. They also allow you to instantly access real-time currency exchange rates and operate, using them with ease.
In general, the underlying purpose of financial technology (or as I referred to it above – fintech) is to help you save money and time and adapt to the ever-changing markets in most industries. Finance industry might have started its innovation and digitization processes a little later than other industries, but it’s going a considerably good job of catching up. New solutions are being created every day, and while not all of them are good or suitable for your company, it wouldn’t do to just dismiss technological innovations of financing completely and not at least consider any of them.