Fonta Guilliam developed a fintech company called Sou Sou to extend women and minorities lending opportunities outside of traditional banking, as explained by Samantha Harrington in a Forbes Magazine article. Sou Sou, named after the lending circle tradition practiced in Ghana, provides a platform where entrepreneurs can create their digital lending circles.

Lending circles provide loans to members, who all contribute a small sum each month. Each month, one member receives all the contributions, representing a loan, which they must repay by adding to the circle. The member’s contributions represent their loan payments. This practice mimics the banking system but saves members interest costs.

Technology continues to open financing opportunities, and 2018 is expected to usher in many more fintech developments, as explained by Sunhil Madhu in Forbes Magazine, Madhu predicts disruption for the biometrics industry, though many tech analysts see biometrics making gains. Madhu points to Apple’s decision to share facial recognition mapping data with app developers. Being able to source this data from Apple and possibly other device makers cut out biometrics companies. Before Apple’s decision to share the face mapping technology, developers relied on biometrics companies to provide it. That reliance may soon be a thing of the past.

Madhu also sees 2018 ushering in many AI-related changes. Online fraud detection may soon make tremendous gains through AI’s ability to adapt to online fraudster’s ever-changing tactics. Currently, fraud prevention systems rely on a human entered a system of rules. Hackers identify these rules and then get around them. AI promises to replace this increasingly inefficient defense system with machine learning that can react to hackers at a speed no human can match.

Fintech also promises to plug the hole in online user identification. For the past decade, users have been checking out as guests on e-commerce sites, using data readily obtainable by fraudsters. Biometric capabilities can now provide a solution. By requiring the authorized user to input their fingerprint into their device, ecommerce providers can finally offer 100-percent identity assurance.

Regtech involves using technology to comply with financial regulations. Biometrics and AI have the power to revolutionize reg tech. For example, AI’s data processing ability offers the potential to automate the data processing portion of money laundering investigations. AI can complete these data mining and organizing tasks at speeds previously beyond human imagination. This frees investigators to focus on more nuanced legal and investigative portions of the investigation process.

Blockchain technology has promise beyond cryptocurrencies. For example, technologists are exploring its potential for online identity verification. Many new blockchain technology applications may come onto the horizon.

Few deny that fintech’s impact on the economy of the future will be substantial. Increased ability to create financially beneficial connections promises opportunities. Increased security effectiveness may take a serious bite out of online crime.

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