The annual growth rate of fintech in recent years is 13.9%, with the 2019 growth predicted to be even higher. Just half way into 2018, the fintech industry had already surpassed the previous year, raising 41.7 world-wide; clearly it’s a booming sector. Financial technology is being integrated just about everywhere, significantly changing how the world does business.

An Overview

Most people have implemented and/or used some form of financial technology on either the business or consumer end of a transaction. It might sound like a made-up word, but nothing could be further from the truth. “Fintech” is a portmanteau of financial technology. Simply put, fintech is an area of technology that aims to automate as well as improve the use and delivery of financial services. Fintech’s primary focus is to help businesses, companies, and consumers optimize their finances. This is done through the utilization of special computer algorithms and software. Sectors like wealth management, borrowing, lending, fundraising, retail banking, and investment management are all applicable areas that utilize financial technology. Fintech can also apply to any kind of innovation in how financial transactions take place. As the internet and smartphone sectors have rapidly grown, so too has fintech, as it utilizes these platforms for its advancement. Depositing a check via image capture, transferring money through your mobile phone (like Venmo), and managing stocks – these are fintech innovations that have already become commonplace.

Fastest Growing Fintech

One example of financial technology, and currently perhaps the most well-known, is cryptocurrency like Bitcoin. Cryptocurrency is a digital form of currency that is used in lieu of traditional monetary transactions (like cash or debit cards). Cryptocurrency operates without any central bank or government regulation, which gives people more direct control over their finances. It also uses encryption for all transactions, with additional security features to avoid fraud and counterfeits and produce units of its currency. This digital ‘dollar’ can be transferred between two accounts (individuals, businesses, etc) to conduct a financial transaction with minimal fees applied to either entity. So in addition to added security and control, cryptocurrency also offers the added benefit of eliminating the heavy and excessive fees often associated with banks. The invention of crypto came about in 2008, just after US citizens had suffered quite a financial blow. Many people were distressed with the government as well as with banks themselves. The result was the birth of Bitcoin, which aimed to allow individuals and companies to avoid both the banks and government all together.

All modes of fintech are intended to challenge and evolve the way the world manages financial transactions. For all of the financial difficulties that are often faced like loan applications to a bank, credit card fraud, or investment security, financial technology may have the solution.