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 Rise of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in 2017

Only a short time ago, the idea that machines might faithfully replicate the human thought process was, for most, still a bizarre trip into science fiction. The act of imagining clusters of silicone pumping out synthetic thoughts may have once been confined to the mind, but no more. Now, innovations in programming, mathematics, and computer engineering are being applied to plug the gap between the self-aware, arguably conscious artificial intelligence which fiction has proposed, and the AI tech we can actually create.

Like all technology, AI began as an idea spurred on by computers’ increasingly powerful processing capability. Its blueprint sketched through breakthroughs in computer programming techniques, which allowed for base mimicry of human logical patterns. Decades of technical tweaks and increasingly sophisticated programming practices granted AI the ability not only to analyze, but learn, transforming intelligent tech from an interesting parlor trick into a dominant software paradigm with extensive potential for real-world application in logistics, data mining, medical diagnosis, and of course, personal computing.

A landmark year for AI was 2016. We saw billions invested in the AI industry, and more than 20 independent AI companies acquired by Apple, Intel, and other industry movers. And, in addition to Google, Microsoft, IBM, and Amazon combining forces to form the “Partnership on AI,” we witnessed machine learning heavily integrated into the tech giants’ digital services to better interpret browsing habits and personalize search results. A particularly impressive example of 2016’s online AI optimization involved a boost to Google’s translation software, which can now instantly interpret nuanced meanings behind combined phrases, as well as definitions of individual words.

Though 2016 may have been major, experts predict 2017 will be no less than revolutionary for artificial intelligence tech. AI program AlphaGo’s 2016 victory over world-renowned Go (a Chinese strategy game many times more complex than chess) champion Lee Sedol was made possible with through a computer learning method known as “deep reinforcement learning.” Deep reinforcement learning essentially allows computers to associate positive results with certain paths taken via trial and error; it removes the need for instructions or even examples, as machines can simply repeat scenarios using different approaches until a desired result is achieved. This year of 2017 could likely see deep reinforcement learning applied to technologies, such as industrial robotics and self-driving cars.

Other likely AI developments in 2017 include improving AI programs’ capacity for language-based learning and creating remarkably detailed visuals, using generative adversarial networks, which fabricate new data based on truths and falsehoods indicated by an example data set. China is also set to stake its claim to the AI landscape, as Chinese leadership has sworn an additional $15 billion to strengthening the country’s fledgling AI field.

Even in its infancy, AI tech has already changed the way we live. It’s interpretive abilities have augmented how we experience the internet, operate machinery, and even diagnose and treat illness. I believe AI’s metamorphosis from fiction to fact will continue to alter and dictate our interactions with technology throughout 2017 and beyond.