Ever imagined that one day a social networking website like Facebook will automatically start describing the content of photos especially to the blind and visually impaired users? Also, wondered how Google predicts what you are looking for the moment you type ‘Goa’ and starts showing results in the form of air tickets and destinations in Goa to visit? Or how Apple can analyse your facial expressions and read your emotions besides recognising your speech? These phenomena are nothing but virtually advanced solutions that global tech giants are investing in using Artificial Intelligence and machine learning techniques to make our lives better. The story doesn’t end here. These major driving forces of the new generation of the web have the potential to disrupt a lot beyond the offerings by these corporate giants.
The integration of high-speed internet network with financial services has already enabled the transition of the banking industry from paper and branch banks to digitised and networked banking services. It has changed the internal accounting and management systems of banks and is now fundamentally revitalizing the delivery systems banks use to interact with their customers. Advances in technology are allowing for a more convenient and effective delivery of financial services, but the fintech industry is yet to board the Web 3.0 train in a full-fledged manner.
Today, Artificial Intelligence is going beyond matching and testing data to process the data and create algorithms to enhance trading decisions and rules. Emerging fintech companies have started using machine learning, a type of artificial intelligence that provides computers with the ability to learn without being openly programmed. Companies like Affirm, Lending Club, Kabbage, Zest Finance, Bloomberg, Binatex, Dataminr, and FinGenius are leveraging the power of intelligent web to disrupt financial services in different areas like fraud detection, lending, predicting bad loans, building credit risk models, wealth management, insurance, payments, bill reminders and savings.
The new generation of web or Web 3.0 is more connected and intelligent enough to think out of the box to understand the user’s context. Call it ‘personalised’ as the combination of user experience with smart agents can allow small and big fintech companies in delivering personalized financial services with lesser human interaction. Fintech start-ups are deploying automated financial advisors and planners to assist users in making financial decisions at a low cost and better profitability. Some are offering digital and wealth management advisory services to lower net worth market segments. There are smart wallets that monitor and learn users’ habits and needs allowing them to alter their personal finance spending and saving behaviors. Data-driven AI applications are being used to make better-informed lending decisions whereas trusted financial social networks are allowing users to find other users willing to pool their money to make loans to each other, and to share in investments.
If one is to go by the disruptive manner in which fintech startups are deriving its benefits to take down the four walls of conventional banking enterprises, the elements of a transformational story seem to be clearly visible. We are already witnessing an increasing legitimacy from the regulators and mounting trust from customers for such financial services. This new breed of startups is not only disrupting the existing banking and financial services space, they are also paving the way towards shaping an enhanced, efficient and advanced financial ecosystem.
The author is co-founder, Wealthy.in