It’s hard to overstate the impact of technology on the world of finance. Whether it’s the global economy or personal transactions, finance has been irrevocably altered by the accelerating march of tech. From smartphones to PCs to cryptocurrency and beyond, our financial system is completely symbiotically linked to the world of technology.
You might not even notice some of the ways you’re using tech in your everyday life to deal with your finances. Some of these ways are obvious, while others are more hidden. We’d like to bring tech into the light and examine the impact it’s had on the world of finance. Here are just 7 of the ways technology has improved the way you deal with your finances day-to-day.
Using cryptocurrency, we can do things we never thought possible before. Centralised exchanges have been criticised for the ways in which they’ve negatively impacted the economy, but cryptocurrency – an entirely digital form of currency produced in finite amounts and valued differently to trad currency – has changed all that. Using cryptocurrency, you can buy and sell to others without any kind of interference from third parties. Cryptocurrency is secure, relatively anonymous (although not completely) and exciting from a technological standpoint. You can even use websites like captainaltcoin to check out automated bitcoin trading bots. That’s right – using tech, you can now trade with bitcoin without even being at your computer.
2. Money management apps
It’s currently believed that around 94% of the population in the UK currently owns a smartphone. The impact these little boxes have had on our lives is almost unmeasurable, but they’ve certainly had a measurable impact on the financial sector, especially when it comes to personal finances. So many of us now use money management apps and budgeting aids that it’s hard to believe we ever used to live without them. With money management apps, we can keep a close eye on our finances and curb our spending right from our pockets. It’s pretty amazing what smartphones have enabled us to do with our personal finances.
3. Banking apps
Remember when you didn’t have immediate access to your bank? You’d have to visit a cashpoint or go to your local branch in order to make transactions and pay recipients. Not any more. Most major banks have apps now, and some are even exclusively based on apps. Using your smartphone, it’s now possible to do everything from checking your balance to paying and receiving payments and even setting up standing orders. You can even use your fingerprint reader to make sure nobody else happens upon crucial financial information. Having quick, easy access to your bank hasn’t quite made High Street banking obsolete, but many banks now consist only of helpful staff and tablets or smartphones.
With the advances technology has been making, security has vastly improved. The aforementioned blockchain provides an almost foolproof way for bitcoin transactions to go ahead without potential interference, but there’s more than that. Even on a basic level, security has massively improved. Programs and extensions like LastPass generate secure, lengthy passwords with almost no chance of being guessed by hackers or bots. Fingerprint readers on smartphones make logging in and keeping personal data secure an absolute breeze. Many banks now also employ automated fraud detection systems that make sure if you are defrauded, you’ll know about it.
5. High-speed internet
The impact of high-speed internet on finance may be a little harder to see, but it’s definitely there. This aspect of tech impacts the trading and financial services sectors far more than it impacts personal finance. Stock trading is now possible entirely online thanks to high-speed internet, with value reports and assessments coming in instantly. Banks can immediately handle transactions between individuals, and internal systems within huge banks are also highly dependent on high-speed internet connections. With the upcoming advent of 5G, it’s easy to imagine many ditching traditional internet connections in favour of mobile tethering thanks to the potentially blistering speeds of this technology.
6. Customer service and AI
Financial customer service used to be handled almost exclusively by human beings (with a few automated call centres thrown in for good measure). Since the advent of FinTech, however, it’s not uncommon to find chat bots handling the vast majority of important customer services, even in high-powered finance. The fact is that many customers’ queries can easily be answered by bots with sufficiently powerful algorithms, so many companies are turning to this lower-cost and higher-efficiency solution to their customer service needs. You may well find yourself conversing with an AI bot in future no matter what you might need. FinTech won’t replace conventional human customer service, but it is already significantly augmenting it.
7. Internet of Things and analytics
Using sensors and data from certain Internet of Things devices, banks and financial advisors will be able to deliver more bespoke aid to customers who need it. If you’re not familiar with this term, the Internet of Things refers to the network of connected smart devices you’ve likely got in your home. Using the Internet of Things, banks could monitor the information you request and the frequency with which you request it and use this data to tailor your experience in the future. For example, if you regularly check your balance using a connected device at a certain time, it’s not unfeasible to imagine banks asking if you’d like to do this automatically.