After a period of calm at the beginning of the year, fintech has resumed its whirlwind ascent: growing bigger, bagging more investments, and disrupting even more industries.
Some of its subsets however appear to be doing more of the growing, bagging, and disrupting than the others. Here are three of them, listed in no particular order.
Biometrics: With identity theft becoming a bigger problem year after year, the need for greater security has come to the fore as well, and fintech’s most popular solution for it appears to be biometrics. Typically seen in law enforcement and other security-heavy areas, biometrics has now come to financial services to protect mobile payments and other such activities. HSBC for instance has already launched facial recognition for payments in China.
Artificial Intelligence: Fintech AI was a big deal when it first came out, and it’s just getting bigger and bigger. More and more wealth managers are relying on artificial intelligence to serve their clients, while more and more banks use predictive analytics for everything from research all the way to compliance. And that’s just a small portion of the industry. AI continues to disrupt hedge funds and it’s purportedly set to do quite a number on investment banking as well. Trading appears to be among the ripest for disruption though with JP Morgan and UBS developing robots to executes trades.
Blockchain Technology: Cryptocurrencies may be getting most of the attention today but the power within the underlying tech behind Bitcoin et. al. remains – relatively – underutilized. That’s not to say it doesn’t have its fans though; Goldman Sachs emerged this year as one of the technology’s biggest fans, and IBM has stepped up its work trying to find further applications for it. On the startup side however is where most of the blockchain magic really happens, and while its luminaries continue their work, a lot of newer companies are sprouting with creative ways to utilize blockchain.