Technology has changed the face of personal finances. Here’s how.

We’re all familiar with change. Disruption, evolution and more are familiar terms to anyone involved in marketing and business. Change is ubiquitous and in the digital age, we’ve seen drastic evolution through technological innovation at a staggering pace.

In the modern age, every single aspect of our daily life is influenced by technology. The way we shop, buy, talk and move are linked through data. It’s improved the quality of our lives in an unprecedented fashion, opening up opportunities for businesses across the board and improving those already in existence.

And personal finances are no exception. Here’s a run-down of the biggest changes we’ve seen.

 

Everything – and we mean everything – is mobile.

It’s hard to describe just how reliant the average consumer is on their mobile – and how connected they are to other services through the data they create and consume. Every single product and service we need to live a fruitful and successful life is available at our fingertips, from our entertainment and recreation through to our need to pay bills and shop for groceries.

This has, of course, entirely shaped the present and future of personal finances. In a connected world where convenience is king, banks and lenders who are able to provide a service which prioritises ease of use, speed of service and consistency of product flourish. Time waits for no man and the success rates of advertising campaigns are measured in the fractions of seconds a page takes to load or a live chat gets replied to.

It’s empowered consumers, too. The consumer is now able to draw on the power of their mobile device to plan their budgets and meet their financial obligations. We’ve never had more on hand for free or paid through subscription ever before.

 

Pay has changed.

The way in which consumers received their pay used to be very fixed and static, with the same being said for their ability to share and transmit money. As a society in 2020, we are now seeing a push towards true flexibility in how banks operate and how the industry serves those in need of financial assistance.

Cheques, previously a staple of the world and financial services industry, are now simply too slow to use for anything other than large purchases that require their use. Instead, the boom in apps and services that make splitting bills and meeting payment obligations has shaped how consumers spend and save.

 

Security struggles.

The downside to this explosion in freedom, innovation and access? You guessed it: security. The cybersecurity market has grown in value to be over thirty-five times its size fifteen years ago, stretching to well over one hundred billion Dollars in 2020. It’s expected to reach nearly 300 billion by 2027.

The titanic size of that industry, however, doesn’t always mean that consumers are safe – it just means security is still playing catch-up. Ransomware, phishing attacks and data theft are all running rampant across the business and consumer sectors, and the personal financial services industry is no exception. From marketing agencies like Digiconomy through to global conglomerates, any company and any consumer that uses a phone has a duty to themselves to be mindful of the vulnerabilities in the technology they use.

From contactless card theft through to high-profile scamming attempts like the recent Bitcoin scam that intruded the largest profiles in Twitter, including ex-president Obama and Apple’s own account, technology brings with it the harsh reality of theft to those unaware and unprepared.

As we push ever faster into a connected world where our lives are logged and lived online, the personal financial services industry will continue to adapt – and consumers and businesses both must continue to do what they can to stay aware and stay safe.

The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of The World Financial Review.