THE UX(R) Factor

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What's New and What's Changing in Fintech

August 24, 2021

Banking and finances used to be considered a chore for most who weren’t working in the industry but had to participate because, well, we use money. We transfer it, organize it, and make more of it. However, thanks to new UX innovations and rapid growth in tech developments, money-related processes are no longer as painstakingly slow as before. You no longer have to spend 10% of your life waiting in lines at banks or being transferred between phone calls to find your information to just begin a simple process. Therefore, it’s no wonder UX has been thriving, since it brings to the table an essential benefit that is ease and time-saving. 

Now, these developments may seem obvious as the average person now checks their phone rather than drives to a bank or consultant. Imagine going to the bank for every financial task… Thank you, internet! However, it's so much more than just online banking options, as we have moved past a one-size-fits-all means for financial services. Everything from cryptocurrencies to international currency converters and transporters to money managing options has adapted means to increase accessibility and, most importantly, personalization.

Now, for those of you who’ve been missing-in-action the past several months (hey, we get it - info and media burnout is real!), there has been an exponential boost of interest in crypto and digital currencies and blockchain as they extend functionality to new audiences and abilities. So for those of you running to Google to search these words - hold it! 

What’s the difference between cryptocurrency and digital currency?

Cryptocurrency: a distributable virtual currency or asset with a value set through encryption. The technique used to secure the value of the digital token or coin utilizes Blockchains, a system of technology that distributes data within every transaction by copying and transferring information by segment. The use of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology is still rather undefined, as new purposes and uses of them continue to be discovered. However, to give you an idea, cryptocurrencies can be used to complete secure, speedy, and globally expanding digital transactions. Blockchain technology is an impressive and decentralized means of securing virtual data, as information is saved and developed in every segment of the encryption. 

Digital Currency: a transferable virtual asset that is centralized. The currency is secured by fiat assets (currencies issued and monitored by a government) and is used for digital transactions.

So, What’s New & What’s Changing? 

  • Venmo launches ‘Cash Back to Crypto’ Rewards. PayPal has launched a new initiative for their Venmo application offering cryptocurrency rewards for their credit card users. The platform will offer credit card users the option to receive spending rewards through Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, and Litecoin. The Venmo credit card is already competitive among others with no annual fees and quality cashback rates from 1- 3% of spending. Paypal has revealed plans to expand to new crypto services such as wallet services and stimulus plans. Stay tuned as this convo is sure to be continued...

  • Stablecoin has entered the chat! The new digital currency option, Stablecoin, has made some waves with its launch as a digital token secured/fixed to the value of reserve assets. The new crypto-currency is broken into the four subdivisions of fiat-collateralized, crypto-collateralized, asset-backed, and algorithmic stablecoins to encourage everyday use as the pairing to secured assets allows for less fluctuation of currencies compared to traditional options, increase global reach, and speed. However, the introduction of the new currency has sparked the debate of possible risks of the implementation. The coin could disrupt the market as companies take aggressive approaches to monopolize consumer space, smaller competitors face becoming overwhelmed by larger competitors, banks and other services face the challenge of obsolete services, and of course, the when facing dangers of data security. 

  • False Amazon rumors spark a massive surge in Bitcoin. A rumor suggesting that Amazon would accept Bitcoin as a new cryptocurrency payment method sparked an upswing in Bitcoin as the currency reached a high of $39,000. While denied by Amazon, the buzz was surely beneficial for both companies as Bitcoin soared 12.5% from the speculation, while Amazon received exciting feedback learning that many have their ear to the ground in the interest of Amazon’s future in cryptocurrency.

  • The European Central Bank (ECB) announces a new digital Euro project. The ECB Digital currency is the future, and the ECB agrees and plans to adapt as fewer and fewer citizens carry and use cash. By providing a digital euro option that collaborates with the in-place monetary system, ECB president Christine Lagarde expressed the decision was motivated by the aim to improve user experience by creating new secure and accessible digital finance means. The project will allow users to complete payments electronically in place of physical currency and is predicted to be ready for implementation within the timeline of approximately four years. 

So, wrapping it up...

Previously, you might’ve thought that fintech just wasn’t for you - whether too complex, too much math, or just plain intimidating. However, a takeaway we hope you gathered from our financial technology series is that fintech can be adapted for you. The sector is becoming more inclusive towards new audiences, including you, and with innovative personalization and UX design, it’s not nearly as much of a headache. Who knows? Take some time to investigate, and you might find a new hobby or interest in cryptocurrencies, new ease and efficiency in your banking app, or cool new financial tech news that can be incorporated, if not already, into your daily life.

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