I can’t remember the last time I used paper money or coins. I wouldn’t have believed you if you’d told me I would be saying that, just one year ago. But how things have changed.
The world has been turned upside down in the last 12 months. The pandemic has affected almost every element of our life. When it comes to technological progress and innovation, that’s not all been bad. While we are all getting sick of Zoom by now, just imagine how much worse this pandemic would have been if we didn’t have it!
The changes in FinTech are worth keeping an eye on for anyone in the small business world. Like many other industries, the Covid crisis has turned a steady pace of change into a torrent. Covid has accelerated scientific discovery, it’s accelerated digitisation of the health care sector and it’s pushed forward the FinTech industry beyond where it could have expected to be. Some of the changes are plain to see and others are just beginning to emerge. Here they are, the top FinTech trends set to shape small business in 2021.
In contagious times it’s not surprising that people have wanted to avoid touching cash and coins. It’s not called filthy lucre for nothing. Now, almost two-thirds of all debit card payments are contactless and just over half of credit card payments. That is set to rise further, as banks push for the £45 limit on contactless payments to be increased to £100.
You’ll find the digital-only challenger banks in your pocket rather than on the high street. As digital-first banking services, they offer fast, flexible services, with real-time payment alerts, spending forecasts and savings pots. The new banking sector is proving a hit with city dwellers and the millennial generation in particular. Digital-only challengers, like Starling Bank, are also building a strong following with the small business sector, due to fast, digital integration, low or no fees on accounts and international payments.
2020 was a year of outstanding growth in the value of Bitcoin. The digital currency increased by 300% during the year and experts predict continued rises in 2021. While the currency is still rarely used, it has been beginning to gain mainstream traction. In 2020 PayPal gave a stamp of approval by allowing users to buy and sell Bitcoin. Square has recently invested $50 million in the currency. Despite these developments, it remains a highly volatile investment and as such there has been a plethora of new Bitcoin trading software platforms, like Bitcoin Era Software, coming on-stream to help new traders manage their investments more carefully.
Apps are transforming all aspects of the financial services market. Our favourite new fintech apps in the last year include Apps that help freelancers find a pension, secure deposit protection for rentals, and an App for pay as you go travel and motor insurance. You can find out more about those and other innovations here.
Whatever type of business you are in, it’s clear that there is a FinTech product that could help you do business better. And don’t stand still with your financial products; whatever you started using just a year or two ago has already been improved massively by some new challenger. It’s a dynamic time and if you keep up-to-date with FinTech trends for small business there is no question that you and your business could benefit.