Earlier this year, futurist and tech billionaire Elon Musk ruffled the internet when he declared that we should be more worried about artificial intelligence than we are about a North Korean invasion. Even though the idea of an AI-controlled world is somewhat far-fetched for many of us, there’s a lot of truth in Musk’s assertion, especially when you consider his impact on the world as described in this list by Quote.com – chiefly based on his “far-fetched” ideas about innovation.
For modern organizations, AI makes up an integral part of fintech, another increasingly popular buzzword of this era. Innovations in fintech have been driving many of the disruptions we’ve witnessed in the financial sector, including cryptocurrencies and the blockchain, AI-powered alternative lending platforms, and online international money transfer services.
As fintech innovations continue to spread, startups and small businesses stand to benefit the greatest. For many of these business organizations, fintech means faster and more secure digital transactions, improved customer satisfaction, effective marketing tactics, and increased business growth. This is why a majority of small and medium businesses in 2016 were rushing to incorporate one or more aspects of fintech, with more expected to take it up as it matures.
Despite the benefits that come with fintech, however, there’s often a lot of confusion and misinformation when it comes to integrating the finer aspects of fintech. Fintech, like many other disruptive technologies, is a double-edged sword that can do some serious damage to your business when implemented incorrectly.
Here are a few tips and pointers to help you navigate the ever-changing fintech landscape.
1.) Identify which of your business processes will benefit
Just because every other business is using fintech-based innovations doesn’t necessarily mean that your business needs to take in anything and everything fintech-related. Many businesses often rush to integrate new technology without first making an assessment of where such technology might be useful, which ends up causing losses and damages in unnecessary costs.
By identifying business processes that cause headaches for your clients, you’ll be able to better integrate one or more fintech-powered tools for improvements.
2.) Ensure your legacy systems will still work with newer systems
When it comes to integrating fintech into existing systems, startups and small businesses often have a head start compared with bigger organizations such as Fortune 500 companies that normally have to deal with legacy infrastructure, compliance issues, and complex business processes that make it slow and expensive to bring in new technology.
However, even with this significant advantage, a good number of small businesses and startups often face challenges when integrating fintech solutions into existing infrastructure. For example, integrating payment solutions with Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies can be a challenge if you don’t have one or more digital payment solutions already installed.
Because new data systems, payments methods, and other tech tools won’t magically fix your system, you will need to analyze the impact of this new tech on legacy IT infrastructure before taking up fintech.
3.) Invest in training programs
For small businesses that have been around for a while, it is important to invest in good training programs for everyone within the organization to help them familiarize with the finer aspects of fintech. Fintech innovations can range from blockchain-powered transactional platforms to simple solutions such as mobile payments with Square.
Fintech is a huge field that is often shrouded in mystery, which can sometimes be intimidating for small businesses looking to make it part of the business. Thankfully, many software solutions in this field are often bundled with webinars, whitepapers, and other training platforms to enable users take full advantage of the solutions.
4.) Come up with pre-emptive solutions for any customer-related issues
New technology brings challenges not only for employees and the organization but also for the customers within the organization. As a small business, you need to keep in mind that fintech will not necessarily drive innovation within your organization without the involvement of your customers.
Therefore, you should anticipate problems with new fintech integrations that your customers might encounter and develop solutions before implementing new tech. You should understand how your customers are interacting with fintech, just the same way you’d go about identifying your customers’ needs.