Despite the uncertainty that marked 2020, the fintech (financial technology) industry saw demand for services and solutions rise sharply. In North America, for example, a survey by The Harris Poll and Plaid (a fintech firm) found that close to 60 percent of Americans turned to fintech apps to manage money during the pandemic. In comparison, fintech was a ‘financial lifeline’ for 69 percent of those surveyed. As such, start-ups and established players in this industry have had to work harder to deliver against dynamic customer needs.
Against this backdrop, fintech looks to be an even bigger force in 2021, given its increasing use among consumers worldwide. Razi Salih, a businessman with experience of establishing fintech projects and solutions, knows that with each passing day fintech gains more ground – creating newer solutions that help people and businesses.
Some of the fintech trends viewed as crucial in 2021 include:
New Consumer Markets
For the most part, the discussion about disruptive concepts and solutions such as fintech almost always centres on how they benefit consumers who already know about technology or those with the capacity to experiment with these solutions. However, an untapped market would gain greatly from such technologies, and this is something fintech may be working harder to accomplish in 2021. This market segment, sometimes known as the ‘unbanked’ population, represent a good proportion of people for whom access to a substantial financial system is still a dream. With the right solution, many of them could add to fintech’s growing ecosystem.
2020 pushed contactless payments (and banking) to the fore, with health guidelines limiting physical contact between businesses and consumers, whether in person or through handling cash. As a result, more people chose contactless payment methods, which abound in the form of cards, mobile apps, digital wallets and wearable devices. Their usage is only likely to increase in 2021 as more consumers adopt them, and fintech providers accelerate their development and improvement.
Where mobile banking apps helped traditional lenders provide customers with convenient services at the tap of a button, digital-only banks are taking this a step further to reach a new generation of consumers who value innovative banking. A host of digital-only banking start-ups have benefited from a fall in consumers visiting banks and a rise in mobile transactions, underlining their importance in a post-pandemic world that will see more users turning to the internet for their banking needs.