When it comes to the traditional financial world as we know it, things will have to change sooner rather than later. Keeping up with the growing demand for new technologies and services is not an easy task, yet there are three main identifiers for financial institutions to address. Getting involved in blockchain technology development is not included in the list, as there is no real need to state the obvious.
There are many parallels to be drawn between the worlds of Bitcoin and FinTech. In fact, Bitcoin is its own form of FinTech and there are quite a few things both industries can learn from one another. Finding the perfect bank partner, for example, is a struggle experts in either industry are all too familiar with. There is a silver lining, however, as there are some steps companies can take to smooth the process.
In the FinTech sector, there is no clear industry leader just yet, as the playing field is wide open for participants from all over the world. Certain areas are destined to do better than others, such as London, Silicon Valley, and the entire country of India. One city most people tend to overlook is Dublin, Ireland, where the FinTech sector is booming despite its challenges.
As much as digital currency enthusiasts would like to steer away from the banking system as we know it today, collaboration between both worlds will be quite important for the foreseeable future. Even Santander’s, Mariana Belinsky, seems to think along those lines. Any innovation in the Fintech industry will need some form of support by traditional financial institutions and Bitcoin – or Ripple, in this case – are no exception.
One of the most interesting aspects of conferences like Web Summit is the handful of startups that manage to win an award during the event. This “vote of confidence” can be the start of a great future for these new companies. One of those companies is Remittio, a global encrypted banking alternative founded by Michael Taggart and Mark Lyford.
The financial sector as we know it has undergone many changes over this last 12 months. Even though there has been a disturbing lack of innovation from within the sector itself, the accelerated development of new technologies is making up for that. If all things go to plan, technology firms will be able to offer access to the payments system without relying on larger banks.
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Traditional financial institutions are slowly starting to realize they have to innovate their business model, or risk becoming obsolete. Sending money around the world at these ridiculous charges, not to mention the amount of time it takes a transfer to complete, is no longer acceptable. TransferWise, a London-based money transfer startup, might be bringing something new to the table.
Increasing the layers of security associated with the most popular traditional payment methods is a something that is drastically needed. Credit cards were never designed to be used on the Internet, where they are prone to theft, chargebacks, and fraud. MasterCard, one of the world’s leading credit card issuers, is rolling out quite a few different card security measures, designed specifically for the e-commerce sector.
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One of the main concerns regarding Bitcoin is the current price volatility. As a result, merchants are not keen on denominating prices in Bitcoin value and offer the customer a conversion from fiat value to Bitcoin value during checkout. Once a payment has been received in Bitcoin; it will most likely be converted to fiat currency immediately. But that situation could be about to change, assuming banks will embrace permissionless blockchains.
Major financial institutions are looking closely at blockchain technology and some of them are even hiring additional blockchain experts to help them work on internal projects. Transforming the world of banking is slowly taking shape, and Citigroup is the latest party to join the hunt for FinTech innovators, more specifically in the Hong Kong area.
FinTech Focus In Asia-Pacific Region
In recent years, more and more FinTech incubators have popped up all over the world to attract the brightest minds in the world of financial technology. However, unlike what the general public might assume, these incubators are not all located in the US or Europe. In fact, most of them are situated in the Asia-Pacific region, which is proving to be a breeding ground for FinTech innovation.