Is your business operating as efficiently as it could be? For smaller businesses and startups, maximising efficiency can be the difference between surviving and thriving. In today’s rapidly-evolving commercial landscape, being an early adopter of the latest technology can set your business apart from the rest, open the door to a wider market of potential customers or simply help cut costs.
Fintech – a portmanteau of “financial technology” – is helping both businesses and individuals to take better control of their finances. We spoke with Carl Johnson, UK Sales Director at Anglo Scottish Asset Finance, about some of the ways in which fintech is benefitting businesses – and how it could benefit yours.
One of fintech’s most important impacts is its ability to democratise finance, making it easier for anyone to manage their money in a user-friendly way. Online banking and phone banking apps are one example of this – now it’s easier than ever for people to manage their money.
This brings about various advantages for marginalised communities, such as people with disabilities, can manage their money from their own homes. The ability to customise your experience on a PC or mobile banking device could alleviate the pressure on neurodivergent people who may struggle with the stimulating experience of going to the bank in person.
In many cases, fintech benefits both the business – who make their services more accessible and inclusive to a wider market – and the user, who can interact with the service in the way best-suited to them.
Johnson comments: “The same applies from a business perspective – fintech has helped level the playing field for smaller businesses. Amongst the current landscape of rising operating costs, fintech can help cut crippling overheads with increased automation or protect your business from online scams.”
If you’re looking to increase the cybersecurity measures in place at your business, fintech can help you do so. AI-powered fraud detection algorithms can analyse user patterns to identify when a fraudulent transaction is happening in real time.
For large-scale transactions, advanced authentication features like biometrics and multi-factor processes can help put new clients at ease, and increase the security of your business. This additional level of security can help put older customers’ mind at rest – people who are wary of tech can rest easy knowing their concerns are accounted for.
In today’s world, businesses can maximise their revenue by accepting multiple forms of payment. Businesses which accept cryptocurrency as a form of payment are opening their doors to an entirely new revenue stream, which can set them apart from competitors.
There are plenty of other benefits for businesses which accept crypto – the currency is international, meaning no worrying about exchange rates. Transactions are processed more quickly than a traditional monetary transfer, which means cash flow problems can be alleviated with ease.
Fintech can also be used to help streamline the customer experience and increase your understanding of your audience base. Smaller businesses may not have the manpower to run a manned customer support service at all times – AI-powered customer service tools like Chatbots can help with more standardised queries.
In most cases, today’s customers like an immediate, personalised service. Using automated technology can provide this – advanced AI can address your customers by name, and recommend items based on their earlier buying habits.
In recent years, the development and democratisation of card payment terminals has enabled small businesses to grow more easily than ever. Companies like Square have made it affordable for small businesses to accept card payments, thanks to a flat rate processing fee in lieu of monthly subscription or account maintenance fees.
This, in turn, attracts a wider customer base. With fewer people carrying cash – especially since COVID – businesses lose out on revenue if they’re unable to support card payments.
Looking for external funding to help take your business to the next level? Crowdfunding platforms are another form of fintech at your business’s disposal.
Look out for platforms like Crowdcube, a fully-regulated crowdfunding investment platform with over 6,500 investors. Businesses can choose whether they’re asking for seed funding (£150k-£249k), early funding (£250k-£750k), or growth funding (£750k+).
Another way in which Fintech can benefit businesses is through cost-saving. Greater potential for automation as a result of technology like AvidXchange has reduced the need for manual invoicing and payment processing, freeing up your employees to deal with more complex requests.
By streamlining your payment process, your business saves time and money – and your customers and partners will benefit by receiving invoices faster than ever.
Johnson expects the booming fintech industry to continue expanding in the coming years: “With a growing number of businesses adopting fintech every year, we can expect the number of financial technologies – and their myriad potential applications – to continue to grow.
Expect to see new fintech innovations for both personal and commercial use. For small businesses and startups, it’s vital to stay on top of any new technologies that could help improve your operations.”