Five FinTech Predictions for 2018
By Jon Davies
The New Year is here and it’s a great time to start your 2018 New Years savings resolutions. We’re banking (excuse the pun) on a bunch of new and exciting FinTech trends in 2018 and below are five of our favorite predictions:
- Cryptocurrencies arrive in retail:
OK, so this one is already happening. But the main trend here is a shift in momentum and wider scale adoption by merchants due to emerging products. But it wont be a sudden change into everyday Digital Currency use. A bridge is needed.
A good use-case for this bridge is a partnership between wearables provider Fit Payand Cascade Fintech. They are teaming up to develop a platform that enables in-store purchases via cryptocurrencies. This platform is designed to transfer a variety of cryptocurrencies into more widely accepted forms of payment, storing the value on devices capable of making contactless payments. Another great emerging application could be PumaPay. This protocol would enable merchants to accept cryptocurrencies but also leverage smart contracts, enabling access to refunds and subscription based payments.
- Your Security becomes a bigger priority (for you and your service providers):
2017 was a horrific year for security breaches (numbers are not in yet but it’s much worse than 2016 which saw a record-breaking 15.4 million US consumers affected by identity fraud) and 2018 looks to be no different: Just this week, the retail store Forever 21 announced a large scale security breach and two security flaws were announced within all Intel chips manufactured over the past decade, as well as some manufactured by AMD and ARM.
With massive data breaches, (such as last years Equifax breach), negatively impacting consumer trust, it’s critical for companies to remain vigilant in detecting, resolving, and immediately informing consumers of data breaches and 2018 will see the security arms race continue but with some new and interesting approaches to securing users, information and access. Such as user defined security and the startup Prevoty, which sells application security designed to help companies spot cyber threats before they happen. They recently landed a $13 million Series B raise and this kind of investment activity is a sign that the steady stream of major hacks at companies is focusing attention on technology required at securing business applications
- Robo advisory will become even more personalized.
Robo-advisors (online automation focused investment products) will continue to disrupt the financial services industry in 2018. This year will continue to see consolidation in the robo-advisor market but with that consolidation there will also be the next wave of personalized robo-advisory services. Legacy players such as Charles Schwab and Vanguard are targeting baby boomers with their offerings for example, while other firms are targeting more niche demographics, such as products designed specifically for women, including products from Ellevest in the US and Miss Kaya in Singapore or Wealthsimple and Motif, which offer socially responsible or thematic investment options. While global consumers are already enjoying the benefits of online financial advice and products, NZ has been a little slow on the uptake. The great news is that 2018 will be the year that robo-advice really kick-starts for Kiwi’s. EDITORS NOTE: Of course we at Ilumony already helping more NZer’s access quality advice and make smarter financial decisions with our online advice platform. 😉
- Voice hits FinTech
While buzzwords “Machine Learning” and “Artificial Intelligence” should fade in 2018, “Voice” will remain popular (as will “Blockchain”). With the mass adoption of in home voice assistants and the launch of Voice specific programming services from key players such as Amazon, Google, Microsoft and Apple we will see the rise of voice integrated (or even voice first) financial products. For example last year, Capital One and Amazon teamed up to put the Capital One “Skill” app on the Amazon Echo, allowing customers who have an Alexa integrated product to access their bank accounts using their voice.
Voice also has great security opportunties to explore as the human voice carries a unique signature with it, making voice a great source of authentication.
- Digital currency investment products go Mainstream:
High consumer interest coupled with the stabilization of cryptocurrencies has the potential to turn cryptocurrency into a viable investment opportunity for the general public. Last year we saw the launch of a of variety Bitcoin Futures products by financial institutions such as Goldman Sachs, who will also have a cryptocurrency trading deskup and running by June and earlier this week, Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund announced that it has made some really significant investments in Bitcoin, having purchased between $15 million and $20 million in bitcoin last year.
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