The future is driving hard towards digitalization, mobile connections and a robot, decentralized-controlled future, and there are several examples within the payments, mortgages, and financial industry at large.
Digitalization means a reduction in paper, and for most industries, the less paper the better. Real estate agents, title or escrow agents, and other parties involved in property transaction have begun digitizing documents, so parties can see and sign forms online. The blockchain, particularly, facilitates this paperless environment, with its smart contracts and trustless environment, where documents are encrypted in smart contracts and witnessed by stakeholders on the platform. Each document has its geo-, time-stamped digital signature that makes it impermeable to hacking since all parties need the digital key to access it. Some blockchains like Synechron have already started processing mortgage loans. In this instance, the entire experience is moved online to a decentralized environment, resulting in drastically improved costs, transparency, and improved execution, among other benefits.
In the P2P (purchase to pay) world, businesses use e-Invoicing for purchase. Comarch, a global IT services and software provider, reports that businesses save as much as 60-80% with electronic invoicing compared to traditional paper-based processing. As time goes on, more parts of the P2P process that involves paper and manual labor will become digitized.
Banks are also encouraging their customers to go paperless; offering online statements to reduce printing and mailing costs. However, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, only one-quarter of credit card holders choose to receive their monthly statements electronically, nor is this trend likely to change in the near future.
Sending and receiving money has become easier than ever, particularly for people stranded in developing regions with limited banks. All you need is a smartphone, and individuals can receive their funds anywhere in the world in an instance. Google Wallet, Apple Pay, and Android Pay are some of your options. More recently, Facebook paired with PayPal to help people outside the U.S. send and receive small amounts of money.
Mobiles applications are becoming more common for tracking the latest mortgage rates and for guiding customers through the entire mortgage origination process, among other instances. Some financial institutions and companies incorporate their own blockchain-based mobile system that transfers funds through blockchain-based wallet apps, while staying incognito.
Finally, digital-only banks and smartphone payments at checkout are beginning to catch on, with a BI Intelligence survey finding that “71 percent of millennials say it’s very important to have a banking app and 60 percent say it’s very important to have an app to make payments.”
Blockchain technology is like an immense ledger, where participants store valuables, like important documents, investments, and so forth (all in digital form), for 100% safety.
The blockchain appeals for various reasons:
- It can never be hacked. To do so you’d need an incredible amount of power – enough to power about 2.26 million American homes since you’d be hacking not one but thousands of linked networks.
- Your business saves at least 40 percent on processing costs, according to Nick Ayton, CEO and founder of Chainstarter, the ICO platform for entrepreneurs.
- It’s transparent. All your stakeholders see your processes, and, in turn, you see theirs. Result? You win the trust of stakeholders and customers and reduce the possibility of disputes.
In real estate, participants use the blockchain to sell their property. On BitBay, a user mentioned how he sold a five-acre parcel of land in Southern California to a seller in Norway in several hours. The longest part of the deal was done off the ledger – where, per legal requirements, the seller had to mail the final paperwork to the buyer for his signature, and the seller had to mail the documents back for recording.
When it comes to P2P, blockchain cuts out costs of the standard marketplace by 95 percent. There are no chargebacks and refunds, no postal and shipping losses, no subscription charges, seller fees, referral fees, and so forth.
Blockchain has the biggest impact in the finance world where, as summarized by enterprise solution company, IntellectSoft:
“Blockchain-based securities trading will reduce costs, minimize complexity, and increase the speed of trading and settlement processes. Blockchain-based P2P and SME lending platforms will help financial institutions scale easier and more efficiently. Cross-border payments and mobile payments will become cheaper and easier.”
Machine Learning (ML)/ Artificial intelligence (AI)
Artificial intelligence (AI) refers to computerized algorithms that replicate the processes of human cognition, while machine learning (ML) gathers all that information and kicks off predictions.
In the coming years, more financial companies will use ML algorithms to gain a competitive edge in the following ways:
- To detect fraudulent activities and vulnerable spots in their software
- To automate financial reporting
- To minimize processing time and human error
- To execute Analytics/ A/B testing.
The lines between AI and ML will blur, with companies combining both to offer predictive advice to clients on how they should, for instance, manage their finances.
Decentralized prediction market Cindicator is one example of a new-century business that amalgamates ML and AI with the collective intelligence of financial analysts to give you accurate predictions.
In conclusion, none of these trends are showing any signs of slowing down. Convenience, speed, and security have become standard requirements in the rapidly changing customer-P2P, mortgage and financial worlds