How FinTech and Social Media Platforms have Partnered Together for Greater Profitability

Have you ever wondered how it is so simple to buy things online? Or been curious to how you are able to purchase goods on social media?

Social media platforms like Facebook are bringing the marketplace directly to their platforms with new financial technology, or FinTech. FinTech refers to applications or processes providing an end-to-end process only using the Internet.

Facebook for example, uses FinTech applications so it’s users can purchase products without ever leaving their Facebook accounts. Not only are people using Facebook and other social media platforms to sell their products, but this also opens up the opportunity for individual users to sell products as well. FinTech applications that utilize money transfer services can have users transfer money from account to account for the product that they are buying.

FinTech is using social media in many other ways as well. In a report done by Accenture and the Partnership Fund, it was found that as of 2013 nearly $3 billion was invested into FinTech ventures, and that number has surely risen since then.

FinTech can use social media profiles for just about everything. Customer service and marketing are some of the strongest ways FinTech companies are improving their businesses. Social media offers customer service capabilities in real time, and being able to market on these platforms has proven to be vital in the newest trends of marketing.

Social media platforms aren’t just getting used in these scenarios though, they are utilizing this technology to enhance their platforms as well. Some of the most notable social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter have been using FinTech for quite some time.

Facebook, for example, offers a peer-to-peer payment feature, where they can exchange money with friends in the Messenger app. Twitter also broke into the space by offering a page where users can discover and purchase items directly within the platform.

Some of the FinTech applications are becoming social media platforms in themselves. The application Venmo is a mobile payment app that lets users communicate with one another within the app itself. Users can add notes for the reason they are sending or requesting money, and the recipient can communicate back. All of this is open for the public or just your friends to see.  

Social media platforms and FinTech companies are both gaining from these partnerships as they are becoming more inclusive for users and easily accessible from one place. Profits for these companies are only going to rise with the partnerships that are in place.

 

How to Keep Up With Constantly Changing Customer Expectations and Behavior

Fifty years ago, people expected to pay with cash more often than not when they went to purchase a product or service. Nowadays, the world of payment is entirely different. Because we have the internet at our beck and call at all hours of the day from numerous different types of devices, whether they are handheld or desktop devices, people’s expectations have skyrocketed of companies both large and small.

This new found sense of urgency in gaining information and completing previously complex tasks in seconds from anywhere in the world has proven to improve business’ abilities to meet customer needs in new and profitable ways. On the contrary, this has also costed some companies their competitive edge. Because people have a much smaller tolerance for delayed gratification, it is only getting harder for companies, particularly smaller companies, to stay relevant. Customers, although well meaning, demand access to a company’s products and services now, not later.

Because technology has overwhelmingly made conducting business easier than in previous years, companies now have the ability to save a fortune on business expenses. This, however, only remains true for companies who stay up to date with all the latest technology and trends that customers adhere to. This disclaimer is absolutely essential for companies to understand. If businesses do improve their use of technology, but do not stay competitive in their use of FinTech, then their efforts may prove to be pointless and detrimental financially.

So, what does a company do in light of these ever-changing customer expectations, demands, and behaviors?

Conduct an Internal Audit

To start, a company should conduct an internal audit. They should ask themselves the following questions to complete this audit:

  • What technology do we use to conduct business right now?
  • Why do we use the technology we use?
  • How do we use the technology we use?
  • Are there any possible ways we could use technology to (1) save us money, (2) automate processes, or (3) earn us money?
  • How do our customers like to pay for our products and services?
  • Could we potentially use technology to make the payment process and customer experience more pleasant for customers?

Answering these questions may take having meetings with the company or select business partners. This process can take time. That is why the sooner you can conduct this audit, the better. Once you have an answer to each of these questions, it is time focus on research. Having answers to these questions will automatically and vastly trim down the amount of research you need to do to stay up to date with your customers expectations and behaviors.

Implement Regular and Good Study Habits

The three main things you can do to stay abreast with the latest technological advancements that are particularly related to your industry are through (1) reading, reading, and more reading, (2) networking with other business owners, and (3) keeping a technologically savvy friend close.

If you have done all the things I discussed in this blog, then you are well on your way meeting and exceeding your customers’ changing expectations and behaviors.

How Companies are Using FinTech to Improve Customer Service in 2017

As technology has exponentially improved over the past century, payment methods have improved, as well. With the “FinTech,” or Financial Technology, industry booming, customers have been increasingly impressed and provided for by some of the tools FinTech companies have created.

Scheduling Meetings

Whenever someone wants to meet with a banker, for example, the usual process goes something like this: A customer walks into a bank, waits in line, and/or waits for the next banker to be available. There is no guaranteeing how long a customer will have to wait, and this can be quite inconvenient for customers. So, a handful of banks, such like Wells Fargo, are now allowing customers to make consultations with bankers online. This makes the process of working with a bank much shorter and more convenient for customers.

Virtual Tellers

Virtual tellers are now being provided by Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria, a large banking company in Spain, for people looking for a drive through at their bank. These virtual tellers are phenomenal, providing customers with a video of a virtual teller that allows them to make transactions with the bank themselves or conduct other services that drive-through customers normally don’t have the opportunity to do.

Philanthropy Made Easy

A company called Mogl is allowing people to earn cash rewards for every restaurant purchase they make. This is not a new service, but here is the twist. You can “Join a Fundraiser” and a percentage that you choose of your cash back will be donated entirely to your cause of choice.

Ferhan Patel FinTechSource: Mogl and click, “Join Fundraiser”

Let’s Celebrate!

People not only want to be offered good services and products nowadays; they want to be cared for by the companies they frequent. JPMorgan Chase has implemented a small but powerful message in one of their services they offer. They now offer customers a nice, small birthday message at their ATMs if it is the customer’s birthday.

Video Conference for Customer Service

Amazon’s new feature, “Mayday” is allowing customers to not only speak with a customer service representative in real time to solve their issues, but also gives customers the opportunity to video conference with the representatives. This feature allows the representative to physically draw on the customer’s screen to show customers how to fix their issues on the Kindle Fire tablet.

All of these companies have one thing in common; they are all creating tools to improve customer service, making it more user-friendly, convenient, and enjoyable for each individual using their products or services.

The FinTech App Revolution

One extraordinary development in the world of FinTech over the past ten years has been the rise of the smartphone and the rise of finance apps with it. Today, millions of transactions occur via apps: Amazon purchases, bank deposits and withdrawals, Bitcoin transactions, Litecoin transaction, stock purchases and sales, money transfers, and more. For those like myself who were around before the FinTech app revolution, this change in the way that people handle finances is astounding. Yet, at the same time, these changes are becoming more and more ingrained in the way that people conduct business. Below is a brief survey of finance apps out there:

Stocks and Investing

Credited for bringing a large number of young investors into the world of stocks, Robinhood’s low barrier of entry and simple interface makes buying stocks easy. In the realm of social media, StockTwits provides a place for experts and neophytes alike to share their thoughts on stocks, bonds, and other market happenings. Further lowering the barrier of entry are a number of apps that do investing for you. These include Acorns, which uses the spare change from debit card transaction for micro-investments, Loyal3, which makes investing in companies you love easy and accessible, and Wealthfront, which will automatically invest a minimum deposit of $500 for free (as long as the balance is under $10,000). And that’s just barely scratching the surface.

Money Transfer

First and foremost, there’s the app that’s so pervasive that it’s achieved the Google-level status of becoming a verb. Venmo me. With no transaction fee on debit cards and bank account transfers, Venmo has become the go-to app for transferring payments from person to person. Long before Venmo, there was PayPal. While PayPal might not be as popular among peer-to-peer transactions, one place where it has retained it’s glory is in the commercial sphere. Whether shopping online (or even at some restaurants), PayPal is the trusted medium of exchange. Then of course, there’s mobile banking. Nearly every large bank in North America (and some smaller banks), boast mobile banking apps, which make transferring money from person-to-person instantaneous. And that’s only the least of it.

Budgeting

Meanwhile, there are a slew of budgeting apps out there to help people save and spend more wisely. Goodbudget, Wally, and Mint are some of the biggest heavy hitters in the budgeting sphere. All three of the apps boast expense-tracking features which translate into spending and saving tips. Of the three, Mint is often viewed as being the most comprehensive–tackling everyday expenses, but also credit cards, student loans and retirement savings.

So with that quick sound-off, the question is, what are some of your favorite finance apps?

Tailored Ads and Buying now : A Big Week for Ecommerce

ferhan patel twitter birdThis past week has already witnessed a marked uptick in products and services that more accurately target and engage with the consumer on some of their favorite platforms. This year’s Advertising week (based in New York) showcased two new services from tech behemoths Google and Facebook that improve targeted ads and ad ratings metrics, while Twitter and YouTube announced plans to make shopping even easier.

Google revealed a new product that will enable marketers to deliver ad campaigns directly to consumers using their email addresses. This new service launched by Google is called “Customer Match” and is a very targeted approach in determining when and what ad a consumer will see when logged in to Google.

Facebook on the other hand, revealed a new tool that gives advertisers a ratings metric when purchasing video ads. This tool is comparable to what advertisers have used when purchasing commercial time on television. This tool is meant to streamline the planning and purchasing process for advertisers.

It’s no surprise that companies like Google and Facebook are leading the way in refining their processes for identifying and capturing their users. In the same vein, YouTube and Twitter both announced the addition of the “buy button” to their service offerings.

YouTube recently revealed that it would simplify the process of transitioning from ad content to product purchase. With one click, YouTube will direct the user from the video content featuring a particular product directly to the retail site. This means that whether the video is a product review uploaded by a YouTuber or the official ad for the product, the viewer can easily shift into shopping mode.

Similarly, Twitter announced that the company is introducing a new feature for tweets. Going forward, a user will be able to purchase a product featured in a tweet in “as few as two taps – one tap on the buy button and a second to confirm the purchase”, according to reporter Vindu Goel. Twitter announced this week that that it plans to roll out this new “buy now” button, that any US merchant can access if it uses Demandware, Bigcommerce or Shopify.

Although these new features are not yet completely available in all markets, the continued push to incorporate targeted advertising and shopping opportunities to new areas of one’s digital life is not slowing down. In fact, the introduction of these services are most likely indicative of more to come.

Chinese Banking Barriers

Cferhan patel yuanhina recently announced some drastic changes being introduced to their private sector. Plans were put into effect earlier this month that resulted in fund transfers being capped, the limiting of daily transactions and more requirements required for users to prove their identities when using their banks. Though implemented to battle the threat of fraud and money-laundering, many feel that the restrictions do not bode well for the Chinese markets.

Limiting online transactions has China’s populace in an uproar. The country’s financial analysts can’t help but scratch their heads at the poorly devised plan to safeguard China’s assets. Especially after China’s premier recently announced a removal of “red tape,” and a call for innovation of the market. The implementation of so many restrictions and rules would seem to be directly opposed to the mission espoused by the premier.

The rise of smartphones brought with it a surge in electronic transactions. Logging more than 400 million annual mobile users in China, the decision to limit this wave of active users seems counterintuitive. Though the limitation on activity would seem like the largest misstep, the real difficulty will come in proving identification when enrolling in online banking. Where you were once able to provide a simple identity-card and prior bank-account information to enroll in online services, China is proposing a multi-tiered identification system that requires tax documentation, educational records, and bank involvement to set up online accounts.

This massive speed-bump in the banking process is sure to result in thousands of irate customers. Beyond limiting the amount of money able to be transferred, these rules would even place restrictions on where citizens are able to make transactions and essentially send money. Currently, no money can be transferred between banks should the owner have accounts in separate branches. It remains unclear how the Chinese government felt these changes would circumvent the currently grim economic state, the changes will not be explicitly formalized until the end of the month. Perhaps the deafening uproar and the nearly unanimous dissent against these drastic changes, will counteract this process, but it remains to be seen how this will be resolved.  

Cryptocurrency Today


Ferhan Patel FintechWith more and more of our lives being handled digitally, it should come as no surprise that our finances be taken care of the same way. Financial technologies (FinTech) has grown into a multi-billion dollar industry, with startups growing at exponential rates each year. Analysts have observed this trend, and many believe that in a brief number of years paper money could be completely phased out. The fluidity of electronic finance reduces costs from customer to vendor, and makes for instantaneous exchange between parties while providing mutual protection.

Born out of the 2008 financial crisis, FinTech startups were an answer to a question that had long been thought insurmountable. How can I best invest my money without relying on the struggling banks? Enterprising entrepreneurs took notice of this, and began developing early FinTech platforms that combined emergent technologies with their financial know-how.

Fast-forward seven years and we’re emerging from the post-financial crisis dust cloud. FinTech has exploded, growing alongside technology at a tremendous rate. In one year, social media’s integration with FinTech grew by four times, and the climb is expected to continue its exponential leaps.

The advent of new financial technologies forced industry dinosaurs to adapt or face extinction. Older firms like Vanguard and Schwab developed what they call robo-advisors to assist customers online and on their mobile devices. Citibank, a giant in the banking world, began rolling out their own cryptocurrency. After the meteoric rise of Bitcoin, Citicoins are Citibank’s attempt at gripping the coattails of the emergent currency.

The elimination of brick-and-mortar banking has forever altered the face of traditional lending. Without the cost of maintaining a physical chain or an employee payroll, the savings are immediately passed on to customers. The reduction in cost allows customers to easily acquire credit lines, and keep the interest rates down by eliminating overhead costs. The strangest phenomenon brought on by the evolution of FinTech is cryptocurrency, and its acceptance in the mainstream economy. From boutiques to restaurants, Bitcoin is accepted alongside any dollar.

There is no telling where the future of FinTech is going. So many of our everyday hurdles have been streamlined by the introduction of modern technology, it’s difficult to imagine what’s next. With many FinTech developments designed for mobile use, the future of finance is literally in our hands.