As the presence of financial technology, also known as fintech, increases across several sectors, all sized businesses are embracing a more receptive attitude to incorporating such technology into their daily practices, both internal and customer-facing. This can help engineer efficiency into drawn-out processes and elevate the customer service experience by automating systems and recording information faster. The rewarding nature of using such technology is that it can be applied in numerous ways to incorporate modernity into your service offering and even function as a unique selling point, writes Keith Tully of Real Business Rescue, business restructuring and recovery specialist.
Fintech in Financial Accounting
In the case of nearly every trading business, there will either be a department, an outsourced organization, or a dedicated individual working on the financials of the business. This party will be involved in generating and storing financial information to help keep track of the financial health of the business, including profit and loss. Accounting software providers intelligently incorporate fintech into their platforms, such as FreeAgent, Sage, and Quickbooks, easing the pressure off the accountant and the end-user by simplifying the data entry process, making information available at a faster rate and translating this into visual forms, such as reports.
Financial technology allows for the integration of third-party software, generating instant results to searches, including credit and money laundering checks. Instant quotes can also be generated for the likes of loans, bank account, and funding applications. A key element of financial technology that is beneficial to businesses is the ability to link to bank feeds and transfer data from external platforms and third parties. This assists in the production of financial reports through accounting platforms, allowing users to produce a clear forecast of their finances. Additional integrations such as phone apps now mean that users can take images of receipts and import this, automatically processing the financial data, ready for their accountant to view.
Financial technology has allowed for online banking to be accessed seamlessly by personal banking customers through a mobile app, giving easy access to money transfers, overdraft, and loan extension applications. Open Banking, an initiative introduced in 2018 granted greater control to consumers in accessing their financial data. The measure instructed leading UK banks to share their data amongst each other so consumers can access all their financial data through one hub, rather than switching between providers to view data.
Fintech in Customer service
Taking a customer service stance, financial technology is heavily integrated into daily interactions with customers, such as Natwest’s digital assistant – ‘Cora’. When a consumer asks as a question, Cora searches for pre-populated answers from the FAQ section and queries the issue further. If Cora is unable to help, the consumer is directed to the customer services department.
Fintech has allowed consumers to access their information from varied locations and devices as improved technology has allowed for tighter security. The use of innovative technology is widely being used by banking providers and challenger banks in particular to attract new customers. Monzo, the fintech start-up is a digital-only bank that can only be accessed through a multi-faceted app unmatched to apps offered by mainstream banking providers. You can open a bank account from the comfort of your home with an easy visual sign-up process with no paperwork or bank visit required.
From a small business point of view, many are now able to extend their services and customer service experiences due to financial technology, giving them a fighting chance at attracting customers alongside their mainstream competitors.