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How a Global Pandemic Illuminates Opportunities in Fintech

Around the world, COVID-19 is disrupting the ways corporations do business and people live their lives. For many companies this disruption can feel like the end of something, and many will face hardship in the weeks and months to come.

However, change inevitably also brings new opportunities, and the fintech sector is particularly well-positioned to thrive in this new reality.

A wave of opportunities in Fintech

Across industries, the current crisis presents challenges for business owners who have seen revenues dwindle and been forced to lay off employees. The fintech sector may experience some of these challenges as well, particularly in the short-term as venture capital funding may be less available and consumers are more likely to be conservative with spending and investment.

However, the COVID-19 pandemic has helped make the most compelling case yet for why fintech innovation is so essential to the function of our society. In times like these, fintech solutions enable businesses and consumers to do the essential work of physical distancing without losing access to the financial systems they depend upon.

A handful of key areas of opportunity for Fintechs include:

  • Traditional financial institutions that do not have robust digital and mobile solutions already in place are struggling to service clients in the current environment. Social distancing and quarantine measures make digital solutions essential to allowing consumers full access to and use of their funds. We expect growing demand from traditional institutions seeking fintech partners to build out or bolster their legacy systems in the months to come.
  • Though market volatility makes some investors skittish, it also provides a natural and welcome boost for trading businesses and platforms that leverage AI and deep tech to execute smarter trades and better mitigate risk.
  • The pandemic has driven an acute, accelerated demand for contactless solutions. Paper money changes hands many times over and is known to harbor germs, and even pin pad systems are touched dozens or even hundreds of times per day. Consumers are more aware of these hazards than ever before, and the World Health Organization has explicitly encouraged the use of contactless payments.

What a new generation of financial consumers wants, needs, and expects

Even prior to the widespread implementation of self-isolation and social distancing to stem the tide of this pandemic, younger financial consumers (particularly millennials) have been hungry for more user-friendly, tech-forward digital solutions from their financial institutions and service providers.

Many millennials who entered adulthood right at the cusp of the 2008 financial crash do not have much trust for the traditional financial institutions that were seen as sharing a lot of the blame for precipitating the crisis that ensued. Millennials are also more cause-driven, and express interest in investing platforms that allow them to give back, or invest in companies that align with their moral code.

This new generation of modern investors expect seamless digital experiences and customer service from the first to the last touchpoint. They are far more digitally-adept than previous generations and are less likely to feel reluctant about conducting financial tasks online. Fintech companies should assess the needs of these younger consumers and look for ways to meet those demands.

In saying that, recent world events have forced many companies to essentially go ‘paperless’ and completely digital, a structure that leaves older generations vulnerable, as they are not digitally native. These older generations are still a large majority of the marketplace – so legacy organizations will need to tailor solutions to encompass technology that is non-digital native friendly, think online and voice automation.

Conclusion

In the current financial landscape, consumers have a wealth of different options in both traditional and modern ecosystems. Trading platforms and companies — both enterprise and startup — need to stay highly innovative to win over and retain customers. From user interface design to growth strategies, NZD Securities, Inc. have the experience to set our clients up for growth and success, even during a moment of historic change in the industry.

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