It’s the season of giving thanks in the U.S., and what better way to celebrate than to reflect on why I’m thankful for fintech. As it turns out, there are a lot of reasons. Not only does fintech impact how I transact every day, the fintech industry is also responsible for some great friendships I’ve made over the past ten years working in the space.
Great friends aside, here are the top 5 reasons I’m thankful for our growing industry:
1) I don’t need to use cash
This is a simple one. As a typical millennial, I rarely carry cash and I only use my checkbook a couple of times a year to pay contractors. Using a debit card protects me from losing cash (which happens to me all the time), makes in-person transactions faster, makes online transactions possible, and helps me track where my money goes each month… which leads me to reason number two.
2) Puts me more in control of my finances
PFM has been around since the dawn of fintech, but that doesn’t make it any less useful. As with most banks these days, my bank leverages my transaction data to show me a breakdown of my actual spending habits. This means that instead of looking at a hand-drawn budget to determine where every paycheck goes, I’m able to see at a glance how I spend my money.
3) Helps plan for the future
Planning for retirement is intimidating, especially when you don’t have a personal financial advisor to consult. This is why I’m so thankful for roboadvisory tools that create inexpensive and easy-to-use investing strategies. These platforms offer boosted confidence as well as increased returns.
4) Keeps my money and identity secure
There are a lot of fintech companies working in the security space these days– and for good reason. It’s difficult to keep clients’ money out of a cyber criminal’s reach, especially when their nefarious strategies are continuously evolving. And while fintechs that don’t hold their clients’ financial assets may not have this issue, they certainly have the responsibility to protect their client’s personal information. It’s good to know there are very smart people creating complex solutions that minimize the chances of getting hacked.
5) Offers alternative investments
You know the widely held belief that millennials don’t trust the stock market? It holds true for me. I graduated from college in 2012 at the height of the recession. Two weeks before receiving my diploma my only job offer was a ranch hand on Ted Turner’s bison ranch just south of Bozeman, Montana (don’t worry, the Boeing company came through a week later with a formal job offer). So though I certainly have a fair amount of money in the stock market, I also rely on alternative investments such as real estate to carry me through when the market tanks again.