May 31, 2021
Breaking News! As we come to the close of MindSpark’s first ever fintech month, we want to share a very, very important and fresh insight that we’ve uncovered. Are you ready? Ok, here it goes...
Money is a serious matter.
Alright, fine. We are totally kidding. We learned this eons ago. However, what this month certainly showed us is that fintech is not a ‘one-size fits all’ industry. Nor does it have to be! Given the robust number of platforms and apps that we discussed, discovered, or revisited throughout the month of May (many thanks to you all who contributed your valuable ideas across our socials), it became abundantly clear that the needs of fintech users are diverse and continue to evolve with the times. Many of you have identified a tool or platform that fulfills your specific needs. It was quite astonishing to hear all the different functions, capabilities, or use cases that exist in the world of fintech, which only further increased our admiration for the industry.
The international conversations shared over these past weeks helped bring out some of the key functions fintech users are looking for, from all around the world. Those who seek out investment platforms with simplicity identified Acorn for micro and robo-investing via purchase round ups, or TD Ameritrade for those who look out for personal control over their investments. India’s own Moneyboxx also automatically rounds-up money during a purchase, putting the remaining cents or dollars into savings. Revolut, headquartered in London is acknowledged for its range of offerings, including spending insights, group vaults, and enticing interest rates, and lightening fast money transfers. Wise, formally Transferwise, was also recognized for their international most transfers and exchanges and was credited with helping businesses maintain an international reach.
Cryptocurrency platforms Binance, Coinbase and Blockfi became topics of conversation, although for different reasons. Blockfi, which offers a loan service for crypto differed slightly to Binance and Coinbase, which also offer cryptocurrencies and exchanges. Binance, which has its own educational services (Binance Academy) received some positive reviews. For those who utilize online business and e-commerce, Stripe is well known for their software programs, which are stationed in both Dublin, Ireland and San Francisco, California.
To be clear, this extensive list of services and products does not even scratch the surface of what is truly out there. There is an incalculable number of unames services and platforms offering value to consumers and businesses around the world, and we encourage you to seek out those services and offerings that best suit your needs. In fact, we would love to hear from you if you do have a particular application or company that you enjoy. At the same time, we also encourage anyone who is either participating in an unnamed company to also touch base with us as our passion for this industry has done nothing but skyrocket over the last 4 weeks!
In the midst of uncovering some of your most beloved platforms, MindSpark also had the opportunity to speak to some of the very people that help to create and propel this thriving sector during our fintech panel. Specifically, Sara Hefny (Xapo), Abbas Jafferr (Robinhood), Olga Mishyna (Adyen) who we want to thank immensely for enlightening us on the matters of privacy, security, technology and the evolution of our money. The MindSpark team is no stranger to these topics, as many of us utilize financial technology day in day out, while others have found themselves submerged completely in some of the newest forms of money transferring (i.e. cryptocurrency). Despite our existing knowledge, we again learned many new things. Especially that the problems that fintech set out to solve are far from resolved - whether we are talking about increasing access or facilitating more control over one's money - while the issues of privacy versus security continue to outline the key areas of focus for developers and creators. No small hurdle, though, we look forward to where we as a global community may be in 6 months, a year or even ten! Try to imagine that if you can!
Despite being submerged in the ever-changing world of financial technology, there was one key factor that remained consistent throughout the entire month - the value of UX research, design and implementation which was at the forefront of our minds. The evolution of fintech was certainly fueled by many consumer needs and untapped opportunities, though it is incredibly apparent that UX is largely responsible for its sustained use and remarkable growth. We have in fact discussed the vital role UX design plays in Fintech on our website as well as in an online panel discussion and we truly believe that without designs and researchers, we may still be waiting in line-ups at the bank just to pay our electricity bills.
Overall, this month was an incredible success and we hope you learned as much as we did! Of course, the end of this month does not mean we no longer speak about money and its technological influences. Rather, we encourage you to connect with us further, as our excitement is still as strong and powerful as ever. So please, connect with us and we promise we will continue to connect and build with you. In the meantime, keep an eye out for our upcoming podcast on this topic and stay on alert for content on our June topic of the month, focusing on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. You won’t want to miss this!