Top 5 Digital Transformation Trends In Financial ServicesForget online banking. If there was ever an industry where mobile is not just first but full-steam ahead, it’s the financial services industry, where FinTech — a.k.a. financial services technology — is finding new ways to make spending, managing, and investing our hard-earned money even easier than ever before. From Venmo to Apple Pay, we’re seeing more and more consumers moving to digital currency — digital deposits — even digital investing. And it’s forcing the entire industry to rethink its concept of both brick-and-mortar stores, and everything that goes along with them.

Today’s transactions rarely need a signature, let alone a valid driver’s license. In fact, in new stores like Amazon Go, there aren’t even any checkout lines. Customers simply walk out the door and wait for AI to do the dirty work.

Clearly, the rise of FinTech has huge implications for the financial services industry, and all of us who use any form of money. The following are a few of the trends currently impacting the industry.

 

Goodbye, Banks

Reports show 40% of Americans have not stepped through the doors of a bank or credit union within the last six months. In fact, if you’ve had a difficult time finding a local branch lately, there’s good reason. The number of physical banks has dropped by almost half from 1995 to 2015 — largely due to the rise of online and mobile banking. On the surface, that might seem like good news. With so many users going online (or on phone) to do their banking, banks no longer have to foot the bill for physical space. But the fact remains that many users aren’t just going online, they’re going elsewhere — finding mobile “financial wellness platforms” that allow them to budget, bank, pay, and crowd-fund, all without leaving their homes. In other words, banks are no longer the only game in town when it comes to financial management. There are lots of other companies that save, lend, and invest faster, easier, and cheaper than the former financial giants.

Hello, Blockchain

Blockchain might best be known as the technology behind digital currencies like Bitcoin. But the technology holds much more promise than digital payments. Blockchain essentially allows for safe and secure trading of almost anything—be it money, ideas, copyrights, or royalty fees — while also eliminating the middle man formerly needed to facilitate or manage the transaction. Blockchain can be used to manage investments, real estate — literally almost anything of value. And the best part is, it can all be done virtually, with limited security risk.

 

 

This article originally appeared in forbes.com.  To read the full article, click here.

 

 

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