Fintech software developments come together in piecemeal like grenades reforming in slow-motion. If you look closely, you can dissect these pieces, follow their trajectory. Each of the current trends: blockchain & crypto, high-frequency algorithmic trading, artificial intelligence, mobile technologies & in-home smart devices, IoT, cloud computing they all boil down to code – software. Without software, modern hardware is an array of paperweights.
Traditionally, the financial industry has been slower to adopt new technologies than others.
Today, new technologies are becoming ever more accessible, which
Blockchain & Cryptocurrency
It wouldn’t be the crypto-verse without a catchy new anagram and nothing cries “we’re still alive!” than a cleverly misspelled hashtag. There is now even a blockchain conference titled BUIDL. Eye-rolling aside, big players like Coinbase have taken up the term and dubbed it official.
This is a strong indication that the mentality of the cryptocurrency market is turning away from the HODL mentality, where traders held coins out of loyalty rather than faith in the technology, and turning their attention towards the software behind the projects they choose. Instead of the trend of “which coins adhere to my moral philosophy”, fintech players are moving into the more rational mentality of “what works.”
In the arena of software development, this indicates a shift toward emphasis being placed on blockchain scalability and wide-spread usability for smart contracts and other DApp models.
With the introduction of 5G downloading speeds, cloud computing is looking at a brand-new world ahead. For software engineers, this means there will be developments in how these systems are developed as well as maintaining and updating their processes. These processes will become faster, easier to scale and be able to offer more customized solutions. With 5G, cloud computing achieves lower latency and increased reliability. This means that we will soon see the goliaths of the industry moving to the cloud and not just progressive startups and first movers, leading to further adoption in the Fintech industry.
The Army of Acronyms: ML, AI, NLP
The amount of real-time and historical data that has been collected by financial institutions is staggering. A combination of machine learning, artificial intelligence, and neurolinguistic programming, when applied to the aggregated data of these institutions will lead to solid actionable business insights. Further still, these will aim to improve technology in areas where security is essential and KYC processes can sometimes be a time-consuming hassle.
VUI – Voice User Interfaces
Wearables and in-home devices are quickly becoming the norm, especially in America and Asia. The Fintech industry is only just now scratching the surface of the capabilities of this rising technology which has the potential to drastically cut costs for businesses. Chatbots will soon be used to do more than check balances and regurgitate numbers—they will become the modern-day trader’s assistant; being able to provide financial coaching, transact on a user’s behalf, and offer a hands-free option to the tasks that are currently done via desktop and mobile. The cultural mistrust of robots is waning and as long as the Terminator Franchise continues to deliver sub-par sequels, we will see VUIs and AI taking a more prominent role in the lives of everyday people and everyday traders.
Internet of Things
This technology is not the robot army to fear, but to celebrate. Through wearable devices, IoT can offer new biometric authentication methods to provide more secure and efficient methods of accessing their financial data. Numerous start-ups within fintech are either developing or looking to implement IoT solutions. For software developers this offers solution designs, integration into existing hardware and software as well as prolonged improvements and support since the on-going upkeep of technology in Fintech is particularly essential.
Mixed Realities – The Trendiest of Trends
The dynamic duo of augmented reality and virtual reality have fascinated and engaged people throughout the 20th century until today. And in the past five years, these technologies have become a very applicable and accessible reality. In recent years, AR, in particular, has taken the spotlight as a disruptive technology capable or revolutionizing whole industries. Within fintech these technologies offer a whole new world of user interfaces and analytic platforms to explore. The future trader’s desk won’t be made up of a wall of monitors but instead a simple headset with interactive motion and voice-controlled features through VUIs and HoloLens technologies. As well, with the advancement of mobile phone technology, every-day users are going to start expecting AR and VR to start taking an active role in all aspects of their lives, including trade processes.
RPA (Robotic Process Automation Software)
“Death to all jobs!” might be what people will think when their boss comes in to tell them about Robotic Process Automation Software. RPA programs are those that automate repetitive human tasks. This technology drastically cuts costs for companies and eliminates human error. They finish tasks faster, conserve energy and are limited only by whatever application they may be working with. While initially, this type of automation seems like a job-killer it actually opens up resources for humans to tackle critical thinking tasks and essential customer service processes. With companies currently seeing massive savings after implementing these technologies, there will inevitably be a demand for their development and further improvement as time goes on. Especially in Fintech where repetitive processes are ubiquitous; cold calls, routine customer services, updates, gathering information, etc.
The Cashless Economy
Countries like Japan and China are leading the pack in their efforts to create a cashless society. Cash is difficult to track, offers endless possibilities for laundering criminal profits (only a slight fraction of which is caught) and it burns. Becoming a cashless world-economy is about more than technology—it is about public opinion. Projects like Bitcoin set out initially to solve this problem through blockchain technology but has yet been able to live up to the standards of the security and accessibility of cash. In the modern day, anyone with a mobile phone can become a part of the financial community, Millennials are set to become the wealthiest generation in history. Fintech is looking at a new wave of mobile wealth—controlled by people addicted to new trends, to gamification, to innovation and to the gentle swoosh of money being digitally sucked out of their phones.
The obstacles facing the cashless economy are trust and security and remaining compliant. Through the technologies discussed in this article such as AI, VUI, wearables, IoT, etc., development is already underway to offer the security, compliance, and trust needed to carry the world into a cashless future.