If you’re looking to balance your ledgers, call your accountant. If you’re looking to take a loan, call your bank. And if you’re looking for investment advice, call your broker. Or save up on those dollars and access these services with a click instead.
That is the goal of FinTech - to redefine the way we access financial information and how we manage our personal and corporate finances. Below are the major technology trends transforming the financial landscape followed by some examples of Lebanese startups pioneering innovation in the sector regionally.
Blockchain is becoming a general-purpose technology, extending beyond financial services.This digital ledger keeps cryptocurrency records publicly and chronologically offering a layer of security and a fraud free environment. Blockchain is booming in three areas in particular: person-to-person payments, in-store retail payments, and credit and debit card transaction, with the World Economic Forum predicting that by 2027, 10 percent of the global GDP is likely to be stored on blockchain platforms.
Whether it’s e-billing, digital wallets, instant payments or any frictionless client experience, alternative sources of payment are becoming widely used.
Improved regulation and the integration of FinTech players into the existing banking and financial system are becoming more prominent. Banks are now using protocols such as API - Application Programming Interfaces - whereby they can offer their clients the various services offered by different FinTech companies.
AI robo-advisors are providing better savings solutions informed by users’ goals and risk appetite, with the potential to expand into almost every other field in finance. Digital wealth, as well as asset and accounting management now rely on automated management services that provide bias-free guidance.
Risk and security are a priority for banks and businesses due to consumer protection, and many FinTech companies are now offering secure cyber governance, advanced security technologies and infrastructure to beef up security in the sector (Consift).
FinTech's social impact is on the rise. Socially responsible or ethical investing has been growing in popularity. Those pioneering innovation in FinTech are increasingly using their skills to help solve social and economic challenges, be it by helping bring charitable causes up to speed in a digital age (Community Funded), helping the underbanked without the financial or economic identity to participate fully in economic life (BanQuApp) or helping low-paid employees access their already earned money (PayActiv).
In Lebanon, a country whose economy is fueled by over 80 banks and countless financial services, many companies have picked up on these trends and customized solutions for the region’s needs.
PinPay is the leading mobile payment and bill aggregation platform in Lebanon, allowing customers to pay various bills, purchase vouchers and gift cards as well as carry out many other transactions.
Bnooki offers a free online platform that gathers and compares data related to financial products and services offered by banks and financial institutions in Lebanon such as loans, deposits, accounts, cards.
Creova, Via MobileandFransaBanklaunched mobile payment solutions on a corporate and retail level. The three companies rely on a mobile wallet called Simba allowing P2P transfers, mobile top-ups and other banking services.
BSynchro, a company that offers solutions in insurance and reinsurance brokerage CRM & accounting system, online insurance sales system, as well as integration systems recently raised USD $2M.
It only takes waiting at the bank for an hour for one to realize how essential technology is in making financial services more efficient. Both the government and private banking institutions are ready to support innovative ideas for FinTech startups. Our Sprint is here to make you sure you can build yours. Apply today!