Financial Technology – The New Era of Financial Inclusion

Financial technology (or fintech) is the use of digital tools to improve financial services. It encompasses a broad range of products and services including mobile banking, online lending and digital payments. Fintech companies apply technological solutions like data analytics and artificial intelligence to make financial services more user-friendly and efficient. This approach is helping to expand financial inclusion by making financial services more accessible to those who were previously unable or unwilling to use them.

This era of fintech began in the 1990s with the introduction of online banking and the first automated teller machines, but it was the 2008 global financial crisis that ushered in a new era of fintech innovation. The financial industry was transformed by new monetary technologies that improved the efficiency and security of services. The first major developments of this era included the establishment of NASDAQ and SWIFT, which allowed financial institutions to communicate electronically across borders.

Today, the most disruptive innovations of this era include mobile banking apps that allow consumers to manage their finances on the go and peer-to-peer payment platforms like Square that allow small businesses and individuals to accept credit cards. Other fintech advancements include robo-advisers, which automate the investment process and online lending platforms that match individual borrowers with lenders.

The future of fintech is promising. Emerging technologies like blockchain, machine learning and cloud computing are changing how the financial world operates. This is allowing for the creation of a “segment of one” in which monetary institutions can tailor their products and services to each customer’s unique needs. This will improve customer experience and enable the creation of innovative products and services that can be used globally.

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