10 fintech trends to watch out for in 2021

10 fintech trends to watch out for in 2021

January 13, 2021 Digital channels

According to research, Covid-19 has led to a 72% rise in the use of fintech apps in Europe, as the pandemic accelerates the trend towards digital. As we start 2021, we explore some of the key fintech trends to watch out for this year and beyond.


#1: More mobile payment options

With social distancing likely to remain in place for a while, there is continuing need for this type of technology. We expect to see more mobile payment options become available, so ensuring that your business caters to emerging consumer preferences will be key for conversion. Bear in mind that payment preferences vary by market – a Local In-Market Expert will be able to advise on preferences and trends in your target markets.


#2: Greater focus on cybersecurity

With more time spent online, and with the rise of a cashless society, the number of potential threats which exploit the tech vulnerabilities of companies, users and their devices increase. Fintech deals with highly sensitive information and, given its integration with the Internet of Things, is a prime target for cyber criminals. Greater awareness of cyber threats will become a key theme for both brands and individuals. We can also expect to see the financial industry create new payment standards around the use of digital cash.


#3: More online B2B payments

Although viewed by many as an outdated payment type, cheques remain popular within the B2B space, with about half of global B2B payments still made via cheque. This is changing though, especially as more businesses adopt a remote-first working environment. In the same way that B2C consumers have more options than ever for sending instant payments – Facebook Pay, Venmo, PayPal, Square Cash etc – we expect to see more payment innovation in the B2B space driven by fintech – led by players such as Paystand and Bill.com.


#4: Further integration with voice search

Since Apple introduced Siri to iPhone users in 2011, voice search has grown. Most of us already have a virtual assistant at home or in our workplace in the form of smartphones, speakers, smart gadgets and more. In 2019, the number of digital assistants around the world were estimated at 3.25 billion.

Over 50% of searches are made by voice – and in a banking and finance context, voice search is increasingly being used for tasks such as checking balances, payment due dates, initiating service requests, checking market conditions for investments, reviewing insurance policies and so on. This is part of a broader trend towards conversational banking – where customers interact with financial services through voice plus chatting with bots, and humans using text, instant messenger, social media, email and in-app chat systems.


#5: Further expansion of digital wallets

Although digital wallets have existed for over 20 years now, it’s only within the last decade that they have rapidly evolved, revolutionising the way we pay for goods and services.  Expect to see more fintech companies roll out their own distinct wallets or partner with digital wallet companies to facilitate seamless transactions.


#6: More automation driven by remote working

The increase in remote or homeworking in the last year or so has highlighted process issues or limitations caused by a distributed workforce. Fintech applications that help to improve those processes – e.g. to help finance and accounting teams with payments, budgeting and accounting tools – will be in high demand.


#7: Increased use of online investment platforms

Last year’s pandemic saw record numbers of people sign up for online investment accounts, as they sought to capitalise on the global market downturn. An influx of younger stock-trading customers, who don’t necessarily have much experience in the equity space, creates an opportunity for investment platforms which make it easy to trade stocks on an everyday basis – such as nutmeg, Moneyfarm and Wealthify –– to innovate and scale further.


#8: Rise of embedded finance

Embedded finance is where companies provide banking or financial services even if financial services do not traditionally form part of their core offering. Essentially, it is the integration of a finance service into a non-finance app or website. Social networks like Facebook and aggregators like Uber will soon be offering most of the services that people use banks for today. This raises big questions for traditional finance providers as they decide how to react and adapt.


#9: Growth of peer-to-peer technologies

The growth of peer-to-peer technologies is driving opportunities and empowerment for customers all over the world. P2P financial services platforms give developing countries a path to participate in capital markets and upward social mobility. For example, in Latin America, 70% of the population is estimated to be without a traditional bank account. P2P lending helps to broaden financial inclusion and we expect continued innovation and business models in this space in the years ahead.


#10: More emphasis on inclusion

Related to the last point: Fintech has the power to ensure that large sectors of societies are not left out as the global economy continues to evolve. The Alliance for Financial Inclusion is an attempt to ensure that fintech does not leave out large sectors of societies as it moves ahead rapidly transforming the global economy. Mobile money and e-wallets, crowdfunding, alternative credit scoring, cross-border remittances and regtech all have the power to broaden financial inclusion throughout the world – which will be an increasingly hot topic.


And not forgetting…

  • As travel & tourism bounce back, expect to see more travel specific players like Uplift provide affordable financing solutions to consumers, in turn helping airlines and cruise companies get back into business.
  • Insurance tech will continue to make waves in the health insurance industry, with innovations ranging from digital health records to tracking fitness.
  • With consumers increasingly comfortable connecting their bank accounts and using platforms like DocuSign, the shift to paper-free banking and financial services will accelerate.
  • AI chatbots will complete more complex tasks for customers, helping to improve customer engagement for finance brands.
  • We will see more non-fintech entities partnering with fintechs to take advantage of continued growth and increased adoption.
  • There will be lots of talk about cryptocurrencies!


Oban can help

Whatever 2021 has in store, if your goal is to expand or enhance your international digital marketing, then Oban can help. To find out how, please get in touch.

Sarah Jennings, CEO

Sarah Jennings | CEO

Oban International is the digital marketing agency specialising in international expansion. Our LIME (Local In-Market Expert) Network provides up to date cultural input and insights from over 80 markets around the world, helping clients realise the best marketing opportunities and avoid the costliest mistakes.

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