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.

 

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?

Technology is Changing how we Handle Money

Taking care of one’s finances is usually thought of as something that can only be done by those who have extensive about handling money. Perhaps the idea of finances is more accessible to finance gurus, or people who have taken accounting classes. Younger generations grow up to find the broad idea of ‘personal finance’ looming over their heads, without the slightest idea of how to start handling their money.

Technology is changing this around.

With the advancement of financial technology in general, younger people are being included in the ranks of those who look after their spending and savings. This is a concept that has come to be known as financial inclusion, and it is revolutionizing how money is being tracked. Financial technology in recent years has been striving to make financial security more of a democratic process. It wants to cut down on the number of people who feel helpless in their spending.

The four subsets of this new category of financial inclusion are payment, credit, insurance, and investment, as reports Business Today. Payment is a no-brainer. People need to be able to pay bills, pay for products, and pay each other. This used to be done with physical cash or checks. Financial technology has made it so that money can be transferred from one person to another without them having to physically meet. Mobile wallets exist now, and the question of if physical cash needs to exist at all is becoming increasingly prevalent. If money can be transferred from one account to another instantly, is carrying around cash at all necessary?

Credit is a slightly more difficult concept to grasp, simply because it is not yet available to everyone. Financial institutions need to have a record of transactions to get credit information, but not all financial transactions are connected directly to such institutions. This is why there has been a demand for a universal credit platform, in which all transaction history of an individual is saved and readily available. The credit sector of financial inclusion still needs more work, but it is getting there.

Insurance and investments in a similar fashion have been completely changed by digital smartphone applications. Applications have been, and will be further, making insurance-buying and investing much more convenient for everyone with access to the technology.
Companies leading the financial technology revolution are aware that the digital handling of money has to be easy and reliable. They are still working to make the entire financial industry digital. It will be exciting to see where this technology takes us in years to come.

Top Trends in Wearable Technology

Ferhan PatelOne of the most exciting new markets emerging in the technology sector today is that of wearable devices. The Apple Watch and FitBit have proven to be two heavily covered examples of wearables with mass appeal, but smaller batch designs reveal that we have even more to look forward to.

Fitness Trackers

At this point in time, Fitbit and the Apple Watch have completely shaped what we expect from our fitness trackers. Monitoring our health can no longer be separated from our wearable devices. Instead, these are tools that we expect to be integrated into our wearables.

Pet Wearables 

Another interesting trend emerging in the wearables sector are those being developed specifically for pets. In 2014 it was widely reported that Americans had spent a record $56 billion on their pets. This speaks not only of american’s desire to care for their pets, but for a willingness to spend on their pets. Given these numbers, it’s no surprise then, that startups are comfortable entering the pet wearables space. A few great examples of these emerging products are those designed by WonderWoof and FitBark. These wearables monitor the fitness levels of your pooch, and products like the Tagg GPS Plus, GPS and fitness monitor not only track where your beloved pet is located, but also determine whether or not the pet’s body temperature is too hot or too cold.

Focus on Fashion

As wearables start to become more commonplace in the market, the aesthetic design will start to play an increasingly important role in the success or failure of the product. No longer are consumers simply looking for function. As more choices become available in the marketplace, the fashion behind these devices will become even more important. Many wearable companies are already soliciting the expertise of established design-based companies. For example, Misfit partnered with Swarovski to make a jeweled device. This line also included bracelets and pendants merging the commitment to wearables as statement pieces meant to reflect the person wearing them. Sony sought out advice from both Ted Baker and Roxy for their line of smartwatches. Instead of being simply “wearable” these new devices must also be fashionable.

Virtual Reality

Virtual reality has been a symbolic harbinger of futuristic technologies for years. However, we are now at a point where sweeping advances in technology and design are making Virtual Reality a truly unique experience. Currently in wearables,  virtual reality is being expressed through sleek head pieces that look like typical headsets with optical displays. Not only is the experience for the user more immersive owing to the quality of the tech within these devices, but the actual devices are getting smaller and less obtrusive.

Wearable cameras

Given the selfie-craze and compulsion to share everything, it’s no surprise that wearable cameras are undergoing major pushes in design and function. GoPro is leading the way with mountable cameras that can truly go anywhere. And products like the Narrative Clip 2 are providing a wearable camera that livestreams video. The Narrative Clip 2 embeds the technology of a camera into stylish sunglasses. The types of innovations within this field seem to grow by the day, but It’s difficult to predict which of these devices will take off. It was once indicated that Google Glass would take us to the next frontier in the wearables landscape, but that didn’t quite happen. Even with the threat of failure, or unreached potential, there is also the possibility that any of these new devices could revolutionize how we view cameras and wearable devices.