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Fintech Trends in 2021

According to research done by PricewaterhouseCoopers and CB Insights, venture capital funding for fintech startups increased by 40% to $47.7 billion in the second quarter of 2020, and this growth continues. Even a global pandemic could not hinder the development of the market. We have identified the main directions of fintech technological development in the coming years and invited Igor Panyushkin, CTO of Australian fintech company Deferit, to share his expertise.

Fintech Trends in 2021

Big Data

It is not only about collecting huge amounts of information that financial companies generate, but also about technologies that allow you to more accurately analyze this data and identify patterns in it. Financial companies that do not have time to integrate Big Data into their business processes run the risk of eventually being caught up. After all, according to the study by IDC, global revenue from big data analysis will reach $260 billion by 2022. 

Our customers understand that Data Science is the future. For one of the financial regulators in the UK we are developing a system that performs auditing of the banks on their key performance indicators. Together with the Czech company OGResearch, our engineers have created a software platform for collecting and analyzing data on money markets in developing countries. Today, this tool is successfully used by major European banks.

"Fintech companies are increasingly using big data in their software solutions. Banks, for example, can make decisions about issuing loans based on transaction analysis. You can significantly improve the UX of applications by studying user behavior, or even build a more effective marketing strategy. However, it's important to note here that big data processing goes hand in hand with machine learning. It is difficult for a person to work with such volumes of information," said Igor Panyushkin, Deferit CTO. Neobanking

According to surveys, in 2020 people consider digital banks without traditional physical branches to be the most effective in terms of banking services. This is not at all surprising, given their advantages:

  • Access to your accounts whenever and from anywhere.
  • Social distancing in a pandemic.
  • Saving time in interaction with the bank.
  • Small commission or no commission at all.

This approach is beneficial not only to customers, because banks save on renting and maintaining numerous branches. For one of the neobanks, we designed a "virtual office" where call center operators, loan and insurance managers, and debt collection experts can communicate with clients in the comfort of their homes.

"In the world of modern technology, people are not ready to wait long. In a regular bank you need to wait several days or even more to get a plastic card. In neobank, getting an e-card takes a few minutes, and immediately after that you can do whatever you want with your finances. Gradually, digital banks will take an increasing share of the market from traditional financial institutions. After all, people go where they are offered the best service, the best UX and less overpayment for services," said Igor Panyushkin, Deferit CTO.

Automation

In 2020 financial institutions have been particularly active in automating routine business processes that were previously performed by full-time employees. Today, you can entrust the work of entire departments to robot programs that do not get tired, do not go on vacation, and make far fewer mistakes than people. Here are four of the most promising areas of automation:

  • Personnel management.
  • Customer support service.
  • Accounting.
  • Billing and invoicing.

Fintech companies are increasingly asking us to help them automate their business. For Hazeltree, we created a tool for automatic processing of payment orders, and for another American company, we created a system for processing credit applications. This allowed our clients to significantly speed up their work with documents and reduce costs.

"The trend is global. Fintech companies try to reduce costs and improve the quality of customer service. Many people resort to automating customer support using robots. First, it is a significant saving of money. Secondly, this way customers get the information they need much faster, which improves their good impression of the service. If the company has the opportunity and the necessary technical knowledge, then most of the work is transferred to robots, and people are left with creative tasks, and other things that machines are not so successful at yet," said Igor Panyushkin, Deferit CTO.

Security

Introduction of new security technologies minimizes the risks of financial institutions and greatly complicates the life of fraudsters. In fintech smart contracts based on blockchain are becoming increasingly popular, the advantages of which experts include: 

  • Absence of intermediaries between financial institutions.
  • High degree of cryptographic protection of documents.
  • Reducing the likelihood of losing important information.
  • Saving time and money when making transactions.

Special mention should be made of the Know Your Customer (KYC) customer identification technology. Sibedge experts participated in the creation of a decentralized distributed ledger based on blockchain, which eliminates the possibility of substitution or forgery of bank customer data in the course of transactions. 

"Security is one of the cornerstones of fintech. Today we are seeing a transition from real plastic cards to virtual or so-called One-time Cards, which can only be used for a specific transaction. People don't like waiting for codes in two-factor authentication SMS messages, so an increasing number of fintech companies are abandoning this approach in favor of biometrics. Voice, fingerprint, and face shape recognition is a much faster and safer solution," said Igor Panyushkin, Deferit CTO.

Payment Systems

Almost everyone uses mobile wallets and digital contactless cards today. It is important not only how you pay, but also when. A striking example is the software platform that we have developed together with the Australian company Deferit. It works on the Buy Now — Pay Later principle and allows users to pay their bills with multiple deferred payments without hidden interest or overpayments.

Another technology that is gaining popularity is Scan to Pay. It is a new mobile payment software solution that allows you to transfer money from a debit or credit card using only a phone with a built-in camera. To pay you need to scan the corresponding QR code. All transactions are securely encrypted, and to complete them, you need to go through the identification and confirmation process on the part of the buyer and seller.

"Integration of bank and merchant applications, as well as increasing transaction speed—these are the main trends in the near future. The most important thing for the user is the speed of service. Users do not want to wait. Fintech companies are actively investing in new software solutions, payment systems, and working on UX improvements to speed up processes. After all, the more time it takes to purchase, the less likely it is to be successful. The fewer actions a person needs to take to purchase a product or service, the better their impressions of the product will be," said Igor Panyushkin, Deferit CTO.

Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence is expected to reduce banks' operating expenses by 22% by 2030. According to rough estimates, the savings will be about $1 trillion. 

One of the most important implementations of artificial intelligence in fintech is risk factors calculation. AI carefully examines all available data and minimizes risks when it comes to providing loans, investing, trading on the stock exchange and other financial transactions. Previously, specially trained people performed these calculations, but now these calculations can be trusted with artificial intelligence.

Another promising area of development of this technology is customer research. AI can effectively interact with many social networks, study people's behavior, and generate reports based on the information received to improve services. This allows you to increase customer satisfaction and increase the company's profit.

Open Banking

The concept of Open Banking implies that a fintech company receives information from the bank about the client's transaction history, analyzes it, and provides a particular service based on the analysis. This can be a loan, mortgage, or anything else. This approach significantly speeds up the service process, because now information about transactions, income and any transactions of the client will belong to him, and not to the bank. And any company with his permission can instantly get this data.

Third-party access to banking data is carried out using an open and secure API in accordance with the PSD2 directives of the European Parliament and the European Commission for the European market, as well as similar directives in other countries. The process of technology implementation is slow, as banks are not eager to share their information with anyone. But it is Open Banking that may one day change the fintech industry of the future for the last time.

"People want to own their own information. After all, today it is quite difficult to transfer data from a bank to a company or another bank. In 99% of cases, this is not possible at all. And if possible, you'll have to fill out a lot of paperwork. Information monopolists like credit bureaus that store your transaction history have appeared in the market. With Open Banking, the transition from one bank to another or from one credit company to another will be seamless. Many operations can be transferred to a digital format, bypassing bureaucracy and improving the quality of service," said Igor Panyushkin, Deferit CTO.

We hope this guide was useful for you. If you still have a question, Sibedge Head of partnership Andrey Podlesnykh will be happy to answer them.

Contacts

Andrey Podlesnykh LinkedIn
email: contacts@sibedge.com