The Story of Fintech Seems to Have Only Really Begun
The first time I reported on “fintech,” I was a junior writer for Money® magazine.
It was the early 2000s, and for the most part, digital banking websites dominated the category. Fintech was still formally called “financial technology,” or as my editor would simply say, “the best and new in personal finance.”
There were no disruptors providing creative alternatives to the traditional ways consumers and investors engaged with their money. Opening a digital savings account that allowed you to earn a higher yield than a brick-and-mortar bank was as cool as it got at the time. But I still made sure to carry a checkbook in my purse, and a fresh ATM receipt remained my favorite way to review my bank balance.
From saving to investing, budgeting and lending, the best of fintech has helped to improve upon and democratize the financial services industry into a space that’s more accessible, affordable and convenient.
Fast-forward nearly 20 years and fintech has completely transformed the way we engage with money. From saving to investing, budgeting and lending, the best of fintech has helped to improve upon and democratize the financial services industry into a space that’s more accessible, affordable and convenient. It’s been a period of seismic, tech-driven innovation with new solutions that uniquely address the many facets of a person’s financial journey.
Personally, I can’t remember the last time I needed to walk into a bank branch or visit an ATM, thanks to a host of tech tools and apps that allow me to make virtual deposits and transactions in real time through my phone or laptop.
As I’ve increasingly leveraged fintech in my personal life, I can say with confidence that I feel more in control of my financial goals. It’s even helped my marriage. As we know, money can be a source of arguments in many relationships, but thanks to an app that displays all of our current accounts on one screen, my husband and I can see our financial balances in real time – together. This provides us with constant financial transparency in our house and a springboard for bigger conversations around where to invest our money.
At its finest, fintech has the ability to promote financial inclusion, foster and promote healthier money choices, streamline and connect all the facets of our financial lives and let us sleep better at night, knowing that our wealth is secure and protected. It will be fascinating to witness where the industry travels next, as consumer sentiment and values shift and evolve.
Questions that remain: How can fintech play a more critical role in supporting those that are unbanked and need more financial literacy and access? Where will fintech go as artificial intelligence evolves? How will it continue to combat cyberthreats and risks? Will we ever need to use cash again?
Fintech2030 is not only a home for content that addresses those questions, but also a forum for discussion and a content hub for journalists, influencers and futurists to contribute and keep coming back to and use as a catalyst for their own writing and thinking.
As we look to the next decade, it’s an exciting time to be a financial journalist, but it’s also an exciting time to be a futurist, a technologist and an innovator, helping to shape what the future of fintech will be with ideas, vision and innovation.
As the evolution of technology accelerates exponentially across all sectors, whether its retail, e-sports, social media or healthcare, financial services has the ability to learn, apply and share innovations for the betterment of societies and economies around the world.
And this is only the beginning.
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