The fintech revolution is here. The ultra-smart splicing of technology and finance in order to improve, automate and simplify such things as personal banking, accounting, lending and investing is now promising to reinvent not just the financial services sector, but our entire world.
But as fintech sweeps through our lives, are there niches and corners this great 21st-century game-changer has yet to penetrate?
For a technology that has advanced at a breathtaking pace over the past few years, it’s surprising to find some high-end industries still largely reliant on antiquated systems.
So, where is fintech still to make its mark, where may some of its most exciting developments lie, and which companies are venturing into unexplored areas?
As for small businesses and freelancers, fintech is increasingly speaking their language when it comes to accounting, for which there are many solutions designed with the specific needs of SMEs in mind, saving them both time and money on accountancy fees.
That market is well served, with providers such as the Coconut current account and Albert accounting app having already pounced on the freelancer/SME market.
But looking at their high-end accountancy counterparts and surprisingly little is found. Here, some fintechs are refreshing the parts other companies have yet to reach, servicing high-end, niche industries.
One particularly fascinating example is the world of superyachts. These vessels are more than simply luxury yachts, they are floating multi-million-pound businesses, yet despite being state-of-the-art, many of them depend on antiquated accounting systems.
Look through your binoculars at a typical superyacht captain and you might see them up to their neck in physical receipts, spending hours of valuable time each month manually inputting data into Excel files before emailing the information to the yacht’s management company or family office.
Surprisingly, the same could be said of other high-end industries, such as aviation, Formula 1 and the management companies of top music bands, where it’s not unusual for big money to be handled with small tech.
Voly is a fintech offering next-generation accountancy software that currently supplies the superyacht industry. It offers the kind of complementary and fully integrated accounting system that these high-end niche markets demand, which includes accounting software, payment platforms and multicurrency provision.
Knowledge of these niche industries and the unique demands placed on those that operate within them have given Voly the edge in designing bespoke solutions tailored to a superyacht captain, operator of a private plane, family office, or even manager of a major music band.
Looking ahead, it’s that insider knowledge that is proving the key to unlocking the fintech potential in those areas that remain largely untapped.
* Ian Flanagan is group chief executive officer of Voly, a specialist in accountancy software that offers a purpose-built accountancy app and software-as-a-service platform aimed at solving issues caused by legacy reliance on Excel spreadsheets and manual data entry in underserved sectors.