For years the complicated world of banking, lending, and investing have been unavailable to most people. But as we all know, technology has no qualms about disrupting old systems to make room for new and innovative solutions. Increased connectivity around the world has caused more people to come together to share ideas, build platforms, and make the world of finance more accessible to everyday people.
When asked by Benzinga what trends she saw dominate the fintech industry in 2017, Morty co-founder, Nora Apsel answered, “Transparency, democratization and open access. The trend seems to be that people want to be informed and understand what they’re doing; they want to feel empowered and in control of their own financial health.”
So, what areas of finance are undergoing some of the biggest makeovers, and how does that help millennials obtain more financial freedom? Read on to see.
When is the last time you had to go into a physical bank? And not just for an ATM withdrawal, or to change coins into bills. Going into a physical bank has quickly taken a back seat to the innovations available to us on our computers and apps. If you find yourself only interacting with your money through an app- you’re not alone. A study by PWC found that 52% of consumers had planned to use a “Financial Tech” app within the next two days. That’s up from 20% the previous year. And it’s no surprise that with crowdfunding apps like Kickstarter or money sharing apps like Venmo, people find it less and less important to handle actual cash or go into brick-and-mortar locations.
How you benefit: Smaller credit unions, and fully online banks like Ally, are finally able to compete with larger more established banks for a piece of the pie. Giving them a much-needed customer base, while you get more choices and better rates.
The newest players in the game are out in full force. Blockchain technology seemingly came out of nowhere and is now the talk of the town. It’s everywhere, changing how people share, invest, and track their money. Blockchain (a part of which encompasses cryptocurrencies like bitcoin) is extremely disruptive to the old financial system entirely because it evolved outside of it. Without a digital platform, there would be no blockchain technology. As younger people have started to look into how to spend and invest their hard earned money, cryptocurrencies are starting to fight for their share in the market, changing the face of traditional investments which was often in the form of stocks, bonds, and gold.
How you Benefit: While regular banks use traditional currency to conduct transactions, blockchain lets cryptocurrency go through without the need for restrictions like minimum transfer amounts or location restrictions. While this might sound confusing, having a decentralized environment holding the data, ends up being safer for international money transfers. Additionally, since your money transfers are not being channeled through a third party (including apps like Venmo or PayPal) not only is there no need for extra fees, but you can also move your funds around more freely.
Lending and Mortgages
Today it is far too difficult to shop and compare different mortgage options—variance across lenders in rates and closing costs can add up to literally tens of thousands of dollars—not to mention the whole process can be intimidating, daunting, and frustrating.
“Morty strives to do for mortgages what Kayak and Expedia did for the travel industry, ” says Brian Faux, CEO, and co-founder of Morty. “One simple, transparent process giving you access to the best options and empowering you to make smart decisions.”
The homebuying process has already become digitized, starting with the initial task of looking for housing. According to Forbes, over 95% of homes listed for sale are published online. Companies and startups are not just ending their innovation at the home or mortgage search stage. Many platforms—including Morty—are now designed to help you through the entire process, from start to finish.
How You Benefit: Morty’s platform aims to educate and empower homebuyers by allowing them to see how rates stack up between lenders as they shop and compare different lender products they qualify for. This allows you to choose the mortgage that makes the most financial sense for you.
As the above examples have shown, nothing in the financial sector is out of reach for a generation of people who are determined to find better solutions to their problems. Morty’s co-founder, Nora Apsel agrees. “Millennials especially seem to be establishing their own path—doing things our own way—people don’t feel the need to do things the way that their parents did, unlike generations before.”