Have you heard about FinTech, MedTech, GovTech, and other similar abbreviations? High chances that you did.
Over the last couple of years, this new “EverythingTech” has got traction and it has become the main topic in business meetings and magazines worldwide.
Everybody is talking about it, but most people can’t explain what each term really means.
In an attempt to avoid greater confusion, it is time to analyze what drove this new EverythingTech trend, what are the commonalities among them, and what technologies are involved in.
Furthermore, the most common new “tech sectors”, definitions, where they are being applied, main players, and future trends.
What’s EverythingTech about?
Pick the name of your sector, abbreviate it, add “tech” in the end and you have it. It seems pretty simple, but it is far more complicated than that.
The pioneers of this new trend are attributed to the surge of tech startups in the financial services sector.
Known as “FinTechs”, those startups started to drive innovation in the financial industry, focusing on value-added services that internet savvy users - millennials and generation Z - were looking for: accessibility, ease of use, and digital access to banking services, traditionally bureaucratic and overcomplicated services.
After them, other tech startups started to disrupt old business models in other sectors like government, healthcare, and education.
To follow the pace of innovation and avoid being completely exterminated, bigger organisations acquired those startups to drive in-house innovation.
One thing that those tech startups have taught businesses around the world is that innovation is the key to survival. As Bob Iger, ex-CEO of The Walt Disney World puts “innovate or die”.
What Do They Have in Common?
Despite using modern technology, “EverythingTech” companies share other characteristics:
- Put customers at the heart of their business strategy.
- Deliver high value-added services, innovative products, and experiences for the money.
- Disrupt old business models and create new ones.
- Aim for creating seamless integrations and data flows among systems.
- Focus on meeting the end-user instant needs: give access to everything, 24/7, right here, right now, whenever they need.
- Meet the demands of younger generations like millennials and generation Z for instant gratification, accessibility, immediatism, and personalization.
- Optimize internal processes, analyze big portions of data to make better predictions, improve decision making, and business planning.
What are the main technologies involved?
Mainly, entrepreneurs in those companies are using one or some combination of cutting-edge technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning, Internet of Things, Augmented Reality, cloud computing, blockchain, chatbots, data science, and big data.
What are the main sectors?
One could write a book about all the new tech-sectors that are surging every single day and it would still not cover all of them.
That being said, I decided to create a blog series to go more in-depth in each sector.
In this blog post, I will start with Part 1: FinTech, InsurTech, and RegTech.
I will cover definitions and what they are, technologies used and areas being applied, examples of companies in the field, trends and predictions, and further resources.
One of the fastest-growing sectors, FinTech or Financial Technology is defined as "any business that uses technology to enhance or automate financial services and processes".
The aim is to create value added services in a user-friendly and accessible way to meet the needs of a more tech-savvy society.
Innovations have been part of the financial industry for years (e.g. credit cards in the 1950s). However, modern technology has been helping businesses to disrupt old financial models and change completely the way we pay, borrow, and lend money.
One of FinTechs's biggest contributions was giving access to banking services for people in developing countries for the first time.
For example, the mobile payment system M-Pesa allows Kenya citizens to transfer money, pay bills, or take out loans from their mobile phones.
The majority of the market is composed by startups. However, traditional banks are also adopting FinTech services or acquiring entire startups to improve their own financial processes or launch digital branches.
Technologies & Areas
FinTech companies use a combination of technologies like AI, blockchain, and data science to build cashless payment solutions, crowdfunding platforms, asset management, and investment apps, Robo-advisors, stock trading, and virtual currencies.
All these solutions share a similar end-goal: to make the financial sector safer, faster, and more efficient.
Trends & Predictions
The financial sector has room for endless innovation and disruption. Some areas will see a growth leap in the coming years.
For example, Robo-advisors in stock trading, alternative credit reporting, blockchain applied in anti-money laundering efforts, and the decentralization of global payments.
Under the umbrella of FinTech, InsurTech involves the creation, distribution, and administration of insurance using modern technology.
Well-known as a regulated and traditional industry, InsurTech has been a slow adopter of new technologies.
Therefore, the overall industry has been leveraging the partnership of FinTechs with traditional insurance companies to drive innovation inside traditional insurance firms.
Innovation is helping these firms to automate processes, improve claim processing, manage online policies, and expand insurance coverage from cars to wearables.
End-customers are also being benefited. Moving from a passive to a proactive approach, customers are now comparing house insurance prices and assessing risks with more precision directly in their mobile phones.
Technologies & Areas
According to altexsoft, chatbots, virtual agents, machine learning, and telematic solutions are being used to create innovative solutions.
Insurance pricing tools, car risk management apps, peer-to-peer (P2P) insurance solutions, fraud detection, and even to digitize paper records.
The main markets benefiting front of these solutions are automobile, housing, farming, and healthcare.
Trends & Predictions
- Martha Notaras, the managing partner at Brewer Lane Ventures, expects that blockchain will be used in the reinsurance market to improve efficiencies.
- Munich Re forecasts that the global cyber insurance market will surpass the value of USD 20bn by 2025.
After the 2008 financial crisis, the financial sector highlighted the need to increase market regulation.
Combined with the emergence of digital products and the availability of consumer data, regulatory firms and governments demanded better regulations to deal with customer data usage and compliance of online transactions.That’s how RegTech was born.
Originally from FinTech, the regulatory technology sector uses the power of modern tech to solve regulatory problems and compliance issues in industries like life sciences, oil and gas, and especially in the financial sector.
With online payment transactions happening every second, the data of end-users and institutions has become widely available and, unfortunately, more vulnerable to cyber attacks, data breaches, fraudulent activities, and even money laundering.
In an attempt to decrease the risk of such issues, regulatory companies began to leverage tech-driven products to develop innovative solutions to solve regulatory and compliance issues of our digital era.
RegTech companies are also partnering with traditional banks to create customized analytics tools to analyze customer data and predict potential compliance risks, resulting in big savings for banks.
Technologies & Areas
Big data, machine learning, cloud computing, and automation have been used in the RegTech environment to track digital transactions, identify and report any fraudulent activity, or other irregularities that might appear from, for example, digital payment solutions.
RegTech also plays an active role in employee surveillance tools and the management of compliance data.
- Conor Coughlan sees two trends: RegTech companies will help firms to securely share information using blockchain technology and use other tech solutions to automate internal processes and decrease back-office tasks.
- According to Johanna Messer, RegTech might be used to improve the assessment of regulatory impacts in daily business decision-making.
- The Swiss company Apiax predicts the rise of smart tools, monitoring interfaces, and new compliance frameworks to manage the risk of cross-border transactions.
It's exciting to see how modern technology is reshaping traditional markets, creating new business models, and optimizing how we work.
FinTechs revolutionized the way we use technology in business. InsurTech and RegTech are following the same path. In order to match the demands of our modern society, many other industries are doing the same.
Appstrax Technology is helping companies across different sectors to embrace modern technology in their digital transformation journeys. If you are going through the same, let's talk.
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