Fintech has been grabbing news headlines for a while now, due to its promise of revolutionising the finance sector. And while fintech firms have given rise to a host of new ideas that have the potential to revolutionise the financial sector, the fintech ecosystem has yet to become a mainstream player in consumer consciousness. Here are our predictions of how fintech will evolve and mature in 2017 as it fights for critical mass.
The consumer will come back in focus
In its early years, fintech was defined by the freedom to use cutting-edge technologies to build the most user-friendly interfaces and technologies. This imperative became diluted as the sector focused instead on gaining scale, legitimacy and access to larger audiences. In 2017, expect the customer experience to once again take center-stage and drive fintech’s competitive advantage.
Collaborations will continue apace
While the customer experience will once again take pride of place, expect fintech to continue its collaboration with the conventional financial value chain. While fintech has proved adroit at innovating and is better able to mine big data for insights, conventional banks and money transfer brands have competitive advantage of their own – like regulatory clearances, strong customer relationships, geographical reach, and deep insight into the global financial infrastructure. We expect fintech firms to continue collaborating with banks and money transfer houses to further the reach of their services.
Truly mobile-first services will become the norm
While the mobile experience has become increasingly important in recent years, expect 2017 to be the year where truly native, mobile-first experiences are in focus. This means that online platforms won’t just be made mobile-friendly, but that user experience for the consumption of financial services will be designed primarily with the smaller screen in mind.
Trust will remain key
While fintech firms have a natural advantage in agility and innovation, they have had a harder time establishing consumer trust. Customers are picky when choosing financial partners, and tend to opt for long-established names with physical presences they can see and touch. For fintech firms, trust will remain a key battleground in the quest for mainstream acceptance through 2017.
Customers will demand instant services
Customers are becoming used to instant responses in most walks of life – from paying bills to requesting groceries to their door. This is placing an increasing burden on financial service providers to follow suit. To date, banks and other financial institutions have become adept at creating almost real-time services – or services that seem to occur instantaneously but are still batch processed over hours. In 2017, the fintech sector will lead the way in pushing for instant gratification for customers in the financial sphere.
Artificial intelligence will grow
Fintech companies already draw competitive advantage from their ability to manipulate big data to gain customer insights. In 2017, expect the sector to bolster data mining abilities by taking advantage of machine learning, and investing in artificial intelligence. AI growth will reverberate across the financial value chain as conventional financial providers turn to the fintech sector for help in making better sense of their own data pools.
So there you have it. There’s plenty to come from the exciting fintech space through 2017, so watch this space!