Fintech means streamlined communication and more convenient financial and banking solutions for consumers. It’s also making life easier for businesses and their customers, too. Combining finance with digital technology, it offers more reliable, convenient, innovative, and secure platforms for facilitating transactions and other services at faster speeds than the brick-and-mortar and even earlier online alternatives.
Just how, specifically, is Fintech solving problems for businesses of all sizes? There are plenty of ways, from enabling them to accept payments on the go with ease to allow them to offer better customer service to current and prospective clients.
It allows businesses to accept payments — practically anywhere
Finding a way for customers to pay for products via digital technology doesn’t seem like it should be all that difficult, but there are many intricacies. That happens due to the many payment methods available, issues like tax discrepancies in different locations, processing fees, and other issues.
Fintech has the answer, though, in the form of platforms like Square. A small attachment adapter allows businesses to swipe credit cards and accept payment on the go — even when they’re not connected to WIFI — whether they’re in a conference hall, restaurant, greenmarket, or storefront. Today, many businesses use Square with a stand to replace a cash register, so it’s no longer just for transactions away from their home base.
Stripe is another helpful Fintech tool that allows businesses to accept payments. The major difference between the tools is that while Square is primarily used for payments made in-person, Stripe focuses on online payments usually made remotely.
Security is a huge concern for both businesses and consumers. Fortunately, blockchain technology has made transactions a lot safer and easier for organizations and people who use it. Essentially, the technology keeps a record of information within a transaction in a “block” that’s linked to other blocks on a virtual chain — hence the name. The blockchain is encrypted and enormously difficult to corrupt because altering one block will affect the entire ledger.
Moreover, transactions don’t require third-party, intermediary processing, which means they occur much more quickly than they would if they did need an intermediary, as transactions typically do, as well as safely. This is helpful for many types of businesses, such as retail, which benefits from secure, swift transactions. Even fast-food chains like Starbucks and Burger King are accepting cryptocurrency in some locations, with transactions conducted via apps.
Some countries, such as Sweden, are already well on their way to becoming cashless societies. The Harvard Business Review reported that cash transactions under $20 had dropped to 37% in 2019 in the United States, down from 46% in 2015. Digital currency could be well on its way to replacing physical currency for good, increasing efficiency, speed, and convenience.
Credit card payments are nothing new, of course, but today, more and more businesses are accepting them for smaller transactions. Some are even taking cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, which, through blockchain technology, allows customers to pay for purchases without an intermediary to process the transactions. Many small businesses are doing away with cash transactions entirely.
Fintech also offers platforms that intersect with responsibilities generally handled by human resources or accounting. Software such as ADP, HReasily, and even Square will take care of your payroll processing, tax documents, benefits information, and more.
This can be especially useful for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that usually deal with these issues on their own, often spending too much time dealing with the various intricacies of bonuses and tax-filing. Not only does this free up time for SMEs, but it also takes concerns about areas they may not understand or have a dedicated staff to handle fully off of their plates.
Fintech is important for all businesses that depend on customer service, from retail to insurance. It facilitates greater reliability and security, which is essential for an organization’s reputation. In the future, we’ll likely see Fintech touch even more areas of the business world and provide solutions we can’t even imagine, driving increased consumer engagement and trust in brands.