Trends and innovations 

  In its history, the finance industry has arguably experienced more innovation than any other sector. Financial technology has brought many novelties to today’s society, continuously changing the way we handle monetary operations. FinTech introduce even newer alternatives, challenging traditional banks to step up their innovation effort while offering a chance to collaborate.

Mobile Banking
    Described as the “number one opportunity” in FinTech, mobile has yet to make its big impact as the tech-savvy Generation X along with Millennials are the most eager to embrace this innovation area. As payments are the single biggest point of contact between financial organizations and consumers, this is the “engine room that will power the take-up and repeated use of financial services innovations”.
    Monese makes use of this factor by significantly simplifying the process of opening a bank account in the UK – even without a UK residency or credit history (“instant account for mobile people”). Additionally, they enable users to send money abroad, receive salary transfers, and pay bills among other functionalities – all by smartphone.

    Due to the many applications blockchain offers, this technology is steadily becoming more influential in the financial services industry. Security from fraud, low cost of operation, decentralised and transparent operations are only a few of the advantages financial institutions can benefit from. The conditions on which blockchain thrives are a shared repository of information, multiple writers, minimal trust, the presence of intermediaries and interdependencies between transactions – all of which the disruptive technology is the answer for. Though not all aspects of the financial system will encounter the same impact by blockchain in the nearest future, payment solutions are widely believed to be implemented the fastest.
    Fluidity is a FinTech that offers solutions to bridge the gap between traditional finance and open, decentralised FinTech infrastructure. They develops AirSwap, a peer-to-peer trading platform powered by Ethereum, an open-source, blockchain-based distributed solution. A decentralised protocol allows traders to buy or sell liquidity using a suite of free and easy-to-use trustless products. It does not require any deposit or sign up and is more secure than traditional exchanges.

Big Data
    As big data runs like a golden thread through many industries, the democratisation of data is expected to continue its momentum. Especially important in the financial industry, this innovation area is at the core of the performance of financial markets while also bringing the potential for disruption to lending and credit scoring. As a matter of fact, big data extracted from social media is already catching the attention of new lenders when assessing credit worthiness on account of data shared by individuals through various networks.
    One already implementing this approach is Cignify. Their solution, Maxymus, makes use of big data to meet the needs of millions of people owning a smartphone but having no access to financial services. Through analyzing data solely from smartphones, they are able to create valid credit risk scores.

Artificial Intelligence (AI)
    FinTech already making use of Artificial Intelligence to improve their solutions and the decisions made with them. One novelty that is intensively being worked on is chatbots. Carrying out financial operations and tracking account activity are just two of the application examples. Simultaneously to the advancements in chatbots, robo advisers, and other automated advisory solutions are anticipated to become a significant trend as the cost associated with traditional advisors does not make sense for the majority of financial clients.
    Cognitiv+ has built an Artificial Intelligence Engine capable of identifying topics of interest in unstructured text as well as relationships between topics, companies and more. For financial institutions, AI can be used to gain quick and thorough insights into their legal documents by analyzing data from legislation and contracts.

Regulatory Technology (RegTech)
    Regulatory technology is set to abolish compliance as an entry barrier by designing tools and services aimed at automating compliance tasks, reducing risk fraud, or perfecting authentication and identity management. With RegTech solutions emerging, banks have the opportunity to decrease compliance costs by making use of algorithmic platforms and predictive analytics. More than that, they will also benefit from increased efficiency brought by RegTech.
    Mind Bridge creates a financial data analytics platform for auditing, based on AI and machine learning. It leverages accounting data and incorporates domain expertise to detect mistakes and anomalies, spot potential risks and investigate specific cases with built-in natural language processing (NLP) search.

Open Banking Application Program Interfaces (APIs)
    Today’s banking as a service (BaaS), allows FinTech partnering by using a bank’s license while conforming to regulations. They can offer services in a way that is easy to integrate for banks to pass them on to their customers. Banking as a Platform (BaaP) is one application program interface model that enables banks to retain their customers and simultaneously provide the best financial products. In the near future, more banks will open their application program interfaces, establishing FinTech as important partners.
    iZettle counts as one of the front-runner's enabling payments via smartphone, tablet, and the web. The functionalities of this solution are available to developers, also allowing them to integrate it with their own, thus creating new apps and services.

    With the number of distributed smartphones still growing, the number of biometrical data collected rises as well. For organisations making use of the Know Your Customer (KYC) approach, biometrics help to better identify users. Ranging from ID and facial recognition to voice and signature analysis, biometrics are used for security purposes in order to reduce and prevent fraud in the age of contactless transactions. For users, the big advantage of biometrics is the enhanced user experience as remembering passwords is no longer required.
    By working on predicting a user’s identity by their typing pattern, TypingDNA takes the application of biometrics in FinTech further. Their ambition is to use biometric typing, also known as keystroke dynamics, to protect ePayments, SaaS, apps, and devices. Developers can secure an application simply by typing biometrics through their application program interface (API).