The Future of Finance
We all know software is eating the world, and that fintech companies are starting to challenge traditional banks in many ways. But what is the endgame? What will consumer financial products and the ‘banks’ of the future really look like?
We believe that this future will be largely driven by new breakthroughs in technology and a much higher bar for customer experience, and look something like this:
Free & fast
Using money will be free (or extremely cheap), and much faster than today: essentially a frictionless way to transact, similar to how information is shared on the internet. In our view, Bitcoin provides the world with the best existing technology to achieve this outcome. This could mean using Bitcoin as a currency in itself, or us an underlying clearing mechanism.
Decentralised & universal
Successful financial platforms are likely to be decentralised and allow for permissionless innovation, which will also make it more universally accessible. Whether you’re a wealthy New Yorker or an unbanked villager, everyone will have access to the same financial platforms. Another reason we like Bitcoin.
Financial experiences will be both personalised and contextual: everyone will not see or use their financial products in the same way, and products will provide relevant and situational content and functionality using geolocation, third party API’s etc. This is particularly relevant in a world where all consumers access their financial platforms on their mobile phones, which is the world we will be living in. When you're in the store about to pay for your goods your experience will be different to when you're at home investing your retirement money.
Financial products will be aggregated: there is currently a popular trend of disaggregation of financial services with many fintech companies eating into specific bank product offerings, for example peer to peer lending or remittances. We believe this is temporary market anomaly and a function of existing players not being able to compete fast enough on all fronts. The next generation of financial products and services will be built from the ground up and provide aggregated access to the best solutions, whether proprietary or integrated from other service providers. People will naturally choose to have all their financial needs met in one place, both because of trust and a matter of convenience.
Products and platforms will be intelligent: this can mean a lot of different things, but in essence, products will learn user behaviour and improve relevance in real-time according to the user’s behaviours and needs. It will also choose optimal transactions paths, for example if I regularly remit money, I will be prompted to send money to the same person at the same time of the month, and then I do, the product will make sure it is sent in the manner that is the cheapest and/or fastest, depending on the particular user’s preference. It might be sent using Bitcoin or another way, but as a user I will just trust the product that the execution is optimal for me.
Having a phenomenal user experience will not be a nice to have, it will be a critical part of service delivery. UI/UX design will become a key part of any financial product’s value proposition.
When will this future of finance arrive? Faster than most people think. And the Luno team are working hard on making sure that happens. Keep you eyes open for a bunch of great new Luno products launching soon that will give our customers their first taste of the future of finance.