Technologies being designed that should reach fruition by 2020 include mobile banking, mobile trading on commodities exchanges, digital wallets (like Apple (AAPL)
and Google’s (GOOG) developing mobile wallet systems), financial advisory and robo-advisor sites like LearnVest and Betterment, and all-in-one money management tools like Mint and Level.
Since the internet revolution and the mobile internet revolution, however, financial technology has grown explosively,
and fintech, which originally referred to computer technology applied to the back office of banks or trading firms, now describes a broad variety of technological interventions into personal and commercial finance.
Since the end of the first decade of the 21st century, the term has expanded to include any technological innovation in the financial sector, including innovations in financial literacy
and education, retail banking, investment and even crypto-currencies like bitcoin.
On the back end, improved data analytics will help institutional clients further refine
their investment decisions and open new opportunities for financial innovation.
The mobile-only stock trading app Robinhood charges no fees for trades,
and peer-to-peer lending sites like Prosper and Lending Club promise to reduce rates by opening up competition for loans to broad market forces.
Already technological innovation has up-ended 20th century ways of trading and banking.
Trends toward mobile banking, increased information, data
and more accurate analytics and decentralization of access will create opportunities for all four groups to interact in heretofore unprecedented ways