Fintech and You: Think Friday Night Date Night

It’s Friday night. You deposited your paycheck by taking a picture of it on your smartphone and uploading it to your bank’s mobile app. You checked Mint to gauge your monthly entertainment budget. You decide to “go dutch” and split the dinner tab using Venmo. Later, you tapped your phone at the bar to pay your tab with Apple Pay. You both Ubered home, paying for the ride with a stored credit card. Whether you realize it or not, fintech is a part of your personal and professional day-to-day finances.

But what is “fintech”.

Fintech is a combination of the words finance and technology. It describes companies that apply new technology to financial businesses. It includes companies that develop new digital payment-processing solutions and companies that build and operate person-to-person payment applications (think Paypal). The potential of fintech is exciting. Traditional banks and credit unions used to be untouchable institutions that faced no competition. Now, they have to be innovators themselves or they may be left behind. The customer has more freedom and flexibility than ever before and can now choose financial services that meet their needs.

Who remembers the term “bankers’ hours”? Bankers’ hours referred to a short working day (9AM or 10AM until 2PM), the hours during which banks were traditionally open to the public. Banks and credit unions have ditched the short working day for extended hours including evenings and Saturdays. They have also created an online loan application process that is automated with approval and funding happening in less than 24 hours. Many financial institutions are also working on developing person to person fund transfers that fits right in where financial services are expected to happen in real-time.

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