Challenges and opportunities
While the data-mining approach in fintech is exciting, hurdles remain. Monetizing through data and analytics is more complex than charging a transaction fee, like Visa and Mastercard do. Data can be worthless if not analyzed effectively or if the insights aren’t put to use. As such, companies that turn to data mining should plan to invest in serious tech and business talent to make sure the strategy reaches its full potential.
Fintech may seem to be shifting away from its roots in payments to become a data industry. But this shift actually focuses on the most fundamental principle of commerce: the fact that companies must understand their customers in order to serve them better.
Privacy advocates, especially in Europe and the US, may push back on some data collection techniques. But in the long term, most users will accept increased data mining as long as it leads to better products and services and cost efficiency.
The takeaway for entrepreneurs is clear. If you want to build a successful fintech app today, it won’t be enough to facilitate seamless transactions. From the very beginning, you must have a vision for what kind of data your app will collect and how that data will be used. Likewise, mature tech startups should be thinking about whether a fintech play makes sense for them.
Fintech companies and startups that pivot toward data collection will lead tomorrow’s businesses. The record-breaking investment rounds are only the beginning. Once the value of this data is more roundly understood, those who missed the boat will either buy the information or perish from their inability to intuit customers’ needs.
The next big thing in fintech isn’t mobile payments – it’s data.