Fintech-The Great Enabler of the Next Industrial Revolution
By Ingrid Vasiliu-Feltes MD MBA
We are currently on the verge of the next industrial revolution and are witnessing an unprecedented convergence of advances in technology and scientific discoveries. At the same time, we are experiencing the massive economic impact of the global pandemic, which can act as a catalyst based on lessons history has taught us. Each industrial revolution was triggered by major disruptive or transformative societal and cultural forces. First we had mechanization, steam and water power completely redefine the way we lived and worked. Then the second revolution brought about electricity and mass-production, followed by massive global automation, computers and electronics reshaping society in a way that was unimaginable at the beginning of the century. The fourth industrial revolution bears the mark of cyber physical systems, internet and expansive networks.
There are numerous complex factors that will drive the next industrial revolution and fintech is one of them. The global fintech market is expected to reach $22.6B by 2025 at a CAGR of 23.37%.
Experts believe that key innovative technologies such as Blockchain, AI, Quantum- or Cloud Computing, 5G, Web 3.0 will be major influencers and the major tech companies key players in the fintech ecosystem.
When compared with other contenders of the industrial revolution, one could argue that fintech is a gateway for all these emerging technologies, the conduit towards financial inclusion and paving the way towards building a revitalized post-pandemic economy.
Certainly Web 3.0, IOT and faster 5G or 6G networks will play an important role as they are the foundational elements of building the required infrastructure in a highly virtual, digitized and hyperconnected world.
Using the complex Artificial intelligence Portfolio of Tools to maximize data driven insights, gain operational efficiency and large scale adoption will also prove an invaluable asset in this next industrial era.
Additionally, using the advanced computational and simulation power offered by next generation computing offered by quantum-, cloud, exascale-, DNA- or neuro-morphic computers will open new frontiers for fintech deployments that few can hardly imagine and that futurists have been forecasting for many years.
Leveraging the multiple benefits of blockchain technology will also be a crucial foundation for large scale fintech adoption.
As highlighted by many experts, the enthusiasm of leveraging these novel technologies and the excitement of the tremendous opportunities they can offer has to be complemented with a mindful deployment to ensure that we uphold by core ethical principles such as beneficence, non-maleficence, justice and …
By collaborating globally, we must all strive to bridge the digital divide and enhance access to clean water, food, shelter, healthcare, education etc.
It is a moral imperative for all stakeholders within this new hyperconnected ecosystem to be accountable and abide by the code of digital ethics.
Through creation of digital identities, offering simplified access to banking systems, development of interoperable electronic payment platforms and innovative financial markets Fintech has a major impact on all sustainable development goals, however in this article we would like to shine a light only on a few:
Health Care & Life-Sciences
Due to the current pandemic we find ourselves at the crossroads of disruption in healthcare and life-sciences. By infusing all fintech advances into a strategic reform of how we fund healthcare delivery, research and development of new precision medicine solutions. Additionally, the progress made in the neobanking and mobile payments domains can be a major asset in our quest to offer access to care to populations that otherwise would not afford it.
Education has been ripe for disruption for many decades, however the current isolation requirements have caused a breaking point and stakeholders are forced to redesign the way we fund, provide access to and deliver education. Fintech can bridge the gap for many students worldwide and prove to be a powerful tool to ease access to education. Combining the dual power of neobanking, blockchain and AI we can envision a novel global educational system that is sustainable and more attuned to the needs of the new generations.
Smart Cities are one of the best illustrations of the combined power of fintech and all other emerging technologies. In several parts of the world where smart cities have been built it is evident how mobile-first and digital banking can exponentially promote the development of smart transportation, smart architecture, smart finance etc. Strategic partnerships between fintech stakeholders and other key industry leaders have proven how fintech can accelerate therise of smart cities. Fintech will be deeply embedded in the investments, fundraising, lending, payments, accounting, or banking activities that are inherent to this new digital era.
Another intriguing role is the one Fintech can play in growing the Green & Blue Economies. Even more so since the pandemic onset, interest in environmentally-friendly and sustainable investments has significantly increased.
Stakeholders within the fintech ecosystem need to collaborate and develop legal and regulatory frameworks that are harmonized with the pace of technological development. Only by fully leveraging the benefits of a hyperconnected world can we rebuild a strong economy that is resilient and sustainable.
As a society, we must continue to invest and promote innovation in the fintech space, while at the same time focusing on building a culture of ethics and maintaining a social impact mindset so future generations can look back at the major accomplishments achieved within this current industrial revolution era.