Financial technology or Fintech refers to mobile applications, software and other technological innovations being employed and developed to help consumers, companies, businesses, and organizations to do their financial transactions faster and more convenient.
Some examples of Fintech are mobile payment apps, online banking, digital exchanges or trading platforms, e-wallets, credit services, blockchain technologies, and cryptocurrencies.
Many companies have developed their own, or tapped specialized Fintech tailored to their needs to make their operations more efficient and lower costs.
Among the key features of Fintech are convenience, inclusion, automation, streamlining, and speed that greatly reduces paperwork, and human intervention and error.
Fintech is widely considered to have emerged with the invention of credit cards in the 1950s that eliminated the need for customers to carry cash or make withdrawals first from banks before making purchases.
The expansion of the internet and the invention of the World Wide Web in the 1990s accelerated the innovations in Fintech. In recent years, artificial intelligence or AI have been increasingly used in Fintech.
With Fintech, consumers pay bills, transfer funds, load their e-wallets, trade in stocks or cryptocurrencies, and do other transactions from their mobile devices.
Fintech in the Philippines is also growing with the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas allowing six digital banks so far to operate. They are GOtyme of Robinsons Bank Corp., Maya Bank of Maya, Overseas Filipino Bank, Tonik Bank of Singapore, UNObank of Singapore, and UnionDigital of the Union Bank of the Philippines.
The BSP is aiming to 70 percent of Filipinos into the formal banking system and have 50 percent of transactions done online by next year.
The BSP Gov. Benjamin Diokno said the Philippines could still achieve a digital payments-driven and cashless society in 10 years.###