Diners Club introduced the first credit card in 1950, but it wasn't until around 30 years later that plastic was common in wallets. Debit cards that draw money directly from bank accounts didn't become mainstream until the '90s.
Fast-forward a couple of decades, and people can pay with a wave of the smartphone in their pocket or a tap or two on the screen. Financial technology has come a long way, and it's definitely not done traveling. Check out these three fintech innovations that continue to be big players in 2022.
1. The Growing Role of Chatbots
Chatbots are common on all types of websites today. They give customers an immediate impression that help is readily available and can reduce burdens on customer service teams by providing programmed answers to common queries.
As AI and machine learning advance, chatbots can do increasingly more for clients. In 2022, look for fintech chatbots to provide customer education; help people open, close, or manage existing accounts; and potentially provide baseline financial advice.
2. Blockchain Breaking Barriers
Blockchain is the foundation on which cryptocurrencies are built, but banks and other financial institutions are finally starting to think inside the blockchain to create more products for consumers. Benefits of blockchain include security, reduced costs, and enhanced automation.
In 2022, expect to see more buy-in for blockchain from large financial institutions, which are looking to leverage the technology to deliver increasingly diverse products.
3. Banking Without a Bank Building
Digital banking is on the rise, and consumers are realizing that brick-and-mortar often means more costs and fees. Banks such as Chime and Revolut, which offer no branches, are some of the fastest-growing fintech companies due in part to a customer-centric focus on convenience and flexibility. Even banks with physical locations are taking note, delving into digital offerings at an increasing rate.
Are bank buildings likely to be extinct in the near future? Probably not, but they may find themselves on the endangered lists.