THINK Business Finance investigates the useful and the useless commercial FinTech platforms, apps, and software releases, and looks into what hacks are available for the busy SME owner.
There’s no denying that we are truly are living in the technology era, with every new App and digital platform claiming to ‘Uberise’ their prospective industries seemingly being launched weekly and, whilst global investment in FinTech rose to $12 Billion in 2015, people (and business owners) are still unsure about what it really is?
Whilst it’s easy to be cynical of technology ‘fads’ and ‘trends’, it’s important not to lose sight of the genuine benefits to be taken advantage off, and how by doing a little digging and research you can pretty much always find some sort of time saving app, or piece of software that will enable your business to become not only more flexible, but also efficient…. And during these uncertain times of increasing inflation and the drop in the pound, efficiency is key to staying above the precipice and remaining competitive.
In this article we breakdown the various FinTech Platforms out there, including separating the wheat from the chaff in terms of actual effective solutions, and how these and other useful Apps for Entrepreneurs and Business Owners can change the way you do business forever.
So, what actually is FinTech?
It’s easy to roll your eyes at the word ‘FinTech’, assuming it’s another hipster, Silicon Valley Buzz word, and it’s not far from the truth. Fintech is a broad term which seems to encompass a generation of startups disrupting the financial services industry through a plethora of radical Ideas, including sectors such as mobile payment transfers, p2p crowdfunding, p2p lenders, money transfers, and even asset management. However, it’s importance cannot be disputed, as it’s an area that is dramatically changing how we live, interact, and communicate.
Technology has already very much proven itself as a powerful enabler of flexible working. The rise of the digital era has already changed the way we work dramatically in the last 10 years alone, creating new opportunities for you to explore. The reason behind this, and the core objective of most applications is time and cost saving, which is considered one of the biggest barriers to achieving success as a growing business.
Fintech covers industries such as;
- Financial services
- Money Transfers
- Asset management
Furthermore, FinTech is an area that butters the biscuit of the UK Government. London is the capital of Europe for Financial Services, with those financial services making up 75% of UK Exports, and with 40% of Londons workforce made up of financial and technology services alone. As a result there has been significant reworking’s of financial regulations, and the introduction of Government backed schemes such as the BBB (British Business bank) and the Northern Powerhouse initiative, designed to funnel investment, almost exclusively into FinTech start ups and disruptors… Scotland, as ever is keen to lead the way in financial services with the introduction of the FinTech business accelerator. All of which is sure to result in further growth for the industry.
Why does FinTech matter to the modern business owner?
The traditional model of new and old businesses turning solely to their bank is no longer the only route to financial services. The choice has never been so varied and lush for business owners, from crowdsourcing, to virtual assistance, and free payment services… it has never been cheaper to set up or grow your business.
The financial industry was previously very much an oligopoly, with just a handful of institutions offering business finance products and services. Since 2008’s financial crash, the seedlings that have grown from the apocalyptic ashes, are different, they’ve evolved, and now adapt to the harsh fast paced, consumer orientated, and time saving comparison environment, where expertise, usefulness and service are now the only important factors considered by clients.
So how can you benefit?
Companies aligning themselves with every facet of modern technology, such as social media and other communicative applications, as well as the FinTech platforms, allow businesses to truly thrive and those that take advantage of all, will be sure to sit head and shoulders above their competition.
Time concerns are now solved in the palm of your hand, with everyone’s best mate, the smart phone. Opening a whole universe consisting of millions of apps and services based around sharing and inter-connectivity, designed to improve every part of our modern busy lives. Addressing everything from gaming and social media to food and admin services and a plethora of useful accounting and other IT apps. Businesses can now essentially outsource previously labour centric roles to virtual and digital assistants, saving time and reducing costs considerably.
The Best of The Best… FinTech designed for the SME Business owner
- Fintech for business loans– Try our innovative and industry leading ‘THINK APP’. The THINK APP cross matches your specific criteria and requirements against the hundreds of thousands of potential lenders, facilities and combinations to find you the perfect match. Our combination of FinTech and expert lending managers guide you through the options saving you time, money and hassle.
- Fintech for credit scorings – Manage your credit scores and ultimately how other businesses view you with a variety of effective applications. The usual suspects, such as Experian and credit safe and solid, but there are also some really innovative apps that keep you ahead of credit score issues such as the newest on the block, Handle.
- Fintech for Money Transfers – Why pay for moving money. It’s essentially numbers on a datafile, and no ones getting kidded anymore. There are a number of great platforms offering cheap and effective solutions; try ebury, zooz, traxpay, or klarna.
- Fintech for International payments – Save time, and more importantly money by picking the right one for you. Technology has brought down the prices of transactions, so the bank wont be your best bet any more – Check out; iforextrader, fxpro, think, philipcapitaluk and oanda.
- Fintech for Managing Risk – Keep an eye on your exposure and potential with several applications designed to aid compliance and due diligence of partners and staff. Software such as, behaviosec alerts businesses if there’s any unauthorized use of mobile devices and computers. There is also DueDilhelps you manage exposure to risk with its tech tool that lets you research private companies in the UK and Ireland. Sourced from a variety of databases, the information is pulled into metrics that indicate how solvent or successful a business is. Sales professionals, marketers, risk managers and even journalists use DueDil.
- Fintech Banking – Its 2017, and keeping your money in a 300 year old mahogany clad institution doesn’t seem like the best bet anymore, modern businesses need modern solutions, make sure you dig into the detail, but these fintech orientated bank accounts provide a number of unique services; try; paypal, imperial, thistleinnititative, and tide.
- Book keeping woes – For accounting services try companies such as sage, quickbooks, or Xero. Think use quickbooks to this day, and many of these applications work in sync with your bank or lender for more robust reporting and scope of your finances.
- Trouble with filing, diary management or general staffing requirements? – Time taken due to bad time management, or general admin costs businesses billions every year. Check out apps such as actitime, taskrabbit, hubspace, kronos, and google active management are all great.
- Looking for office space or a conference room? Try quickoffice, sharespace, openwork or liquid office.
- Need a PA? Help is here in the help of robots and fleshys. There are a load of brilliant and innovative apps our there to save in staff costs and to help give smaller businesses that air of size, and capacity. Some great apps in this world, such as; moneypenny, needmoretime, timeetc and smart-pa.
For more information on how to get the best business loan or facility for you, read our easy to follow SME Guide to Business Loans and Alternative Commercial Finance.