Fintech trends for 2023
Read more by Paul Domen
The fintech world is always on the move. Each year, we can revel in and marvel at the new innovative and disruptive ideas that are looking to turn the market on its head.
We’ve asked ourselves what we expect for 2023 when it comes to fintech and have assembled a list of five trends.
An important innovation within the fintech field is the smart contract and so far, there are no indications that this trend will lose any of its momentum in 2023. We think that smart contracts will be the official contracts for an increasing number of subscription services, like mobility subscriptions, Netflix, and the gym, but also for renting a home.
Simply put, a smart contract is a digital contract. To put it a little more complicated, it’s a digital protocol that acts out a contract automatically once all the agreed-upon criteria are met. So, if you’re leasing a VanMoof, you can use the bike as long as you pay your monthly subscription fee. The moment you don’t meet your payment obligations, for example due to insufficient funds in your account, the smart contract automatically locks your bike until the amount due is paid in full. It doesn’t involve notaries, lawyers, or debt collectors; everything is arranged automatically.
However brilliant, at the same time this is the smart contract’s potential Achilles’ heel: there’s no room for nuance, for humanity, for empathy. If someone comes up with a solution to this challenge, we expect that nothing will stand in the way of smart contracts’ world domination.
An ever-increasing adoption of cryptocurrencies
Few things have divided the fintech world as much as cryptocurrencies (Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dogecoin, etc.) have. Banks, financial institutions, and large multinational corporations are skeptical of digital coin(s), whereas techies and early adopters are raving about cryptocurrencies, the many possibilities they provide, and their innovative aspects.The number of crypto whales (addresses with more than 1,000 Bitcoins) has been steadily increasing since 2020 and the end is nowhere near.
Despite the skepticism of the major players in the market, over the past few years we’ve seen a growing number of companies (and private individuals) that are pumping capital into crypto ecosystems.
In addition, we also see some of the previously mentioned major players, such as banks and financial institutions, tentatively allowing their clients to pay for their services using cryptocurrencies. This creates a larger societal support for “unconventional” payments like these, which will cause the cryptocurrencies to gain more and more ground. We expect that within a couple of years, crypto payments will be as common as using Venmo.
However awesome, smart, and innovative crypto currencies may be, it’s not just sunshine and rainbows in the crypto world. Cryptocurrencies are notoriously volatile, extremely susceptible to fraud, and the laws and regulations regarding them are virtually non-existent, or, in the best case scenario, not sufficient.
Enter RegTech (short for regulatory technology). RegTech is used to improve regulatory and compliance processes. It uses tools that are able to process large data sets and/or unstructured information to automate data monitoring and recording. Additionally, RegTech can help financial institutions, such as banks and insurance companies, keep track of current regulations and legislation. That’s why we feel that RegTech start-ups will pop up like mushrooms in the years to come.
For a few years now, we’ve noticed a steady increase in the number of times the term ‘open banking’ pops up in the fintech world. Open banking refers to banks and other financial institutions using open APIs with which third-party developers can build apps and services to better meet the needs of account holders by personalizing their services as much as possible. Essentially, it’s the same as other open-source software, except that it’s designed specifically for banking.
Fintech experts think that open banking is revolutionary and are sure that it will completely rock the financial world. And not just because it opens up a world of possibilities, like BaaS (Banking-as-a-Service) becoming a thing. It also forces banks to become more transparent and creates room for new players, like fintech start-ups and neobanks, to enter the field.
Unfortunately, open banking also comes with a couple of drawbacks: both fintechs and banks predict that the risks concerning data security will increase, that the privacy of their clients will be compromised, and they’re worried about the possible increase of fraud through, for example, phishing.
Nevertheless, we predict that more and more financial institutions will venture into the wonderful world of open banking.
Another trend that we expect to continue well into 2023 and beyond is autonomous finance. Like most things in the 21st century, our finances will be completely automated. Autonomous finance refers to an ecosystem of appliances, machines, and apps that conduct transactions and other financial actions without human intervention. It’s a completely automated process that doesn’t only perform autonomous actions but also uses AI to learn autonomously, improving the system and finding new ways to improve service to its users.
If you have any questions about how you can use your tech stack to bring your financial situation into the 21st century, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We’ll be happy to answer all your questions!
DeFi Powers More Use Cases
Decentralized Finance has drawn more attention than most innovations in de crypto community could wish for. The concept involves traditional financial transactions that take place on the blockchain. These transactions are enabled by the use of smart contracts. Unlike traditional payments or money transfers, there’s no need for financial intermediaries. DeFi transactions range from the creation of derivatives to traditional lending.
One of the most popular recent DeFi applications has been yield farming. Yield farming involves lending crypto assets to other platforms in return for interest or new cryptocurrencies.