The ongoing role of Fintech in the fight against Covid-19
The Covid-19 crisis has had an extremely disruptive impact on society, human-life, and business, the extent of which hasn’t been seen since the Second World War. As office-based employees enter their second month of remote working, and the general public continue to oversee restrictive social lockdown measures, the value of digital services can not be understated.
Video conferencing services such as Zoom have debuted to the consumer world, and businesses have increased investment in cloud-based software-as-a-solution services, to deal with the transition to remote working. However, it is financial technology (fintech) which has had, and will continue to have, the most positive impact to post-coronavirus life.
**Digital Transactions **
Put simply, without fintech services, ordering online would not be an option. Small retailers and independent outlets, all the way to global enterprise, are given the chance to keep their business open.
With the help of cutting edge fintech technology, adapting to an online service facilitated by a digital platform has never been easier. Now, you can order any service or product without even leaving your house, helping maintain local and global businesses. Although it might not seem like it, this in turn is having a huge impact on our economy, as a huge majority of GDP expenditure now comes from utilising these online services.
**Flattening the curve **
What’s more, Fintech technologies have directly contributed to the ongoing battle again Covid-19. Without the ability to order food items, stream online entertainment or engage with friends and family via free video chat services, there is no doubt that millions more people would have to venture outside on a much more frequent basis. In fact, online services that we can pay for through fintech are now practically covering every industry imaginable – they have made self-isolation a much easier task and in hindsight have made the possibility of flattening the curve of this outbreak much bigger.
**Access to aid **
It’s no secret that the Government, along with major banking providers and even central banks like the Bank of England, have introduced emergency policy to help consumers through this incredibly difficult time. Most notably, the government’s furlough scheme for workers, along with the Bank of England cutting interest rates to 0.1%, has led to an unprecedented level of cooperation between financial services institutions and the government, the public and our businesses.
Bridging this gap, and ensuring that these relationships can flourish, are cutting edge fintech services. Consumers can gain instant access to money management tools, banks can critically view loans and finances in real time, and investors can manage their entire portfolios from the comfort and safety of their own home.
**Inspiring contributions from leaders in the fintech space **
As mentioned, the reaction from traditional banks to Covid-19 has been inspired, but somewhat overshadowed to the contributions made from the start-up fintechs who have been making a lot of noise in the last few years.
Monzo, for example, have offered a range of repayment options for their customers who hold overdrafts or loans, at the same time, CEO Tom Blomfield has stated that he won’t be taking a salary for the next 12 months – a refreshing take from a CEO in an industry typically paired with greed or selfishness. Similarly Tide, who provide financial services for SMEs have offered comprehensive customer service support, providing high-level detail and explanation to all business customers, from owners to freelancers and self-employed workers.
We can only expect the contribution of Fintechs to continue as the fight against Covid-19 develops from months into years, and there is no doubt that the landscape of technology and business has changed forever.
By Saka Nuru, Head of product marketing for Fintech Ecosystems and Payments at Intuit Quickbooks
This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Saka Nuru .
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