Financial technology, or fintech, is drastically changing how we live and how we do business. As the founder of a fintech company, I see first-hand every day how financial technology is improving the lives of business owners and giving them a competitive edge. Fintech enables wide ranging benefits but, at its core, is always increased accessibility and speed. Fortunately, technology has made it much easier to manage your business.
Utilising much faster, always on Internet connections, big data computing, and mobile connectivity, businesses are now able to exploit complex, feature rich financial software and managed services that ten years ago would have cost millions of dollars in setup fees for equipment, licenses, and an IT team to manage the entire solution. Ultimately, these innovations provide financial well-being and make business owners lives a lot easier.
What is fintech?
In 2018, “fintech” made its debut in the online dictionary, defined as “Products and companies that employ newly developed digital and online technologies in the banking and financial services industries”. As you can see, fintech is very broad. It covers everything from cashless payments to crowdfunding platforms, to robo advisers, to virtual currencies and more. But what this means for you as a business owner is a rapidly developing industry that gives you options.
So how can you use Fintech to boost your business?
1. access funding and support growth
The number one thing that all businesses need to grow is cash flow. Cash is the only life and death issue for your business. There are many important things in your business to worry about – people, products, service – but these are all important because they impact cash.
Growing your business puts a huge strain on cash. You almost always need to incur expenses and make investments before achieving the higher revenue and cash flow that comes with successful growth. Fintech has made it possible for businesses to obtain the funding they need through online lending which is simple and fast with easier application experiences than possible through traditional financial institutions. Crowdfunding, for example, allows you to get funds quickly and efficiently from people that you have never met.
Fintech companies provide the technology and transparency that banks don’t have. When you have access to cash flow you can move fast and exploit opportunities quicker than your competition.
2. make the switch to cloud accounting
The cloud is a platform that makes data and software accessible online anytime, anywhere, from any device. Online accounting means business owners stay connected to their data and their accountants. You can see in real-time how you are going against your cash flow forecast. This enables you to better predict the future cash position and take corrective action quickly. To enable your business to work smarter and faster, cloud accounting software is a wise investment.
Working in the cloud will give you a better overview of your finances and improve collaboration with your team. Accounting software that’s not available in the cloud can be tedious and take up much more of your time and effort than is necessary. You can also benefit from the ability to integrate with a whole ecosystem of add-ons that help you manage your business and make better decisions. It’s scalable, cost effective and easy to use.
3. utilise smart invoicing and automate payments
There have been significant advances in managing payment options electronically. A major way FinTech is helping businesses is the ability to automate payments. Global payment systems make getting paid simple and instant, no matter where in the world the money is coming from. Transferring money across borders is another area that is being transformed by innovators.
And by turning your mobile phone into a point of sales (POS) system, millions of businesses can manage their cash flow better and take payments. Square, Vend and Lightspeed are some of the most popular POS systems that consolidate numerous operating areas into one centralised location for better inventory management, CRM, marketing insights and financial reporting. Automated cash management technologies also eliminate the tedious tasks of manually handling cash.
These are just a few ways in which fintech can help you by making it easier and cheaper to do business. Smarter displays of information with real-time updates and insights of data provide you with unprecedented new insights. The fintech boom will continue to open a new world of opportunities for business owners and being aware of the latest fintech developments will help you grow and succeed in a competitive marketplace.
Originally published by Medium.