Financial Technology

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Tag: Business

How to Help Eliminate Financial Stress

There is no doubt that financial stress can have a severe impact on not only our personal mental health but also on our relationships. In fact, according to a study conducted by the financial firm TD Ameritrade, 41% of divorced Gen Xers and 29% of Baby Boomers say that their marriages ended due to disagreements about money. While having your personal finances in order is no guarantee that you won’t still fight about money with a partner or spouse, it can go a long way towards creating your own good mental health and wellbeing. Here are three tips to help eliminate financial stress.

 

  1. Track your spending

 

It is a sad, unfortunate fact that in the age of credit and debit cards, many people have no idea how they actually spend their money or where it all goes. Before you can create a realistic budget, you need to understand and identify your personal spending patterns. While that $6 latte each day may seem like a small purchase, over the course of a month they can add up to almost $200 and maybe even more if you are inclined to be a generous tipper.

 

  1. Create a realistic budget and stick to it

 

Creating a budget is easy, creating a realistic budget that actually accounts for your legitimate spending habits and patterns is much harder. This is partially due to the fact that some of your bills will vary from month to month. While it is fairly easy to budget for static bills like your rent or mortgage or car and insurance payments, creating a realistic food or entertainment budget may be more challenging. Credit cards make it too easy to spend more than you make and making only minimum monthly payments makes it easy to just keep racking up that credit card debt. A budget can help you begin to spend less than you make, but only if you stick with it.

 

  1. Create margins

 

Studies have shown that 40% of Americans would struggle to come up with even $400 to pay an unexpected expense. While spending only what you make is a good first step, your stress isn’t really going to go away until you create some cushion for the unexpected. While not spending more than you make is a good first step, ultimately the goal is to spend less than you make.

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Increasing your Understanding of Fintech

Financial technology, also known as fintech, is the implementation of technology in the financial industry. The purpose is to improve the ways that financial services are created and delivered to consumers. Technology has also increased the availability of financial services, such as loans and investments, to every member of the public. There are several methods recommended to become more knowledgeable about the emerging field of fintech.

 

Improve basic skills in finance

 

Someone who knows nothing about finance cannot expect to become a fintech expert. The first step is to develop a basic knowledge of finance in a diverse range of topics from stocks to lending.

 

Learn the different sectors of fintech

 

Once the basics of the financial industry are learned, the next step is to learn about key fintech sectors. The most well-known areas include online payment systems, blockchain, digital lending and digital wealth management. Since millions of shoppers are buying their products and services online, the use of online payment systems has exploded in the past decade.

 

Blockchain technology has become more advanced as people exchange vast amounts of private information over the Web. It is commonly used in cryptocurrency to conduct financial transactions without increasing the risks of fraud.

 

Enroll in short-term courses

 

A short-term course is designed to advance a learner’s skills in every major fintech topic from blockchain to Python programming. A course also gives a beginner firsthand access to experienced fintech professionals. Students can receive hands-on training in the field and start building their financial portfolios.

 

Review fintech websites

 

It’s recommended that starter and experienced fintech professionals begin to track financial trends and statistics carefully. Every day or once a week, they should review websites that contain the latest news about financial technology. There are numerous blogs, sites and newsletters that provide regular updates.

 

The years 2000 from 2021 saw massive changes in the ways that consumers use financial services. Many individuals and business owners had no choice but to use online banking to transfer funds and perform daily financial tasks. Financial consumers are becoming more interested in using machine learning and artificial intelligence. In addition, fintech sector is constantly expanding to include new technology areas and skills. So, becoming a master in fintech starts with a solid foundation based on basic professional skills and knowledge.

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Fintech Trends for 2022

Arguably the hottest sector on the planet, fintech continues to roar while 2022 promises to be a banner year for new business models based on financial technology.

 

What can we expect in the coming year?

 

A Year of New-Traditional Collaboration

 

Ever since fintech application began to impinge on the territory of traditional banking, industry observers have been wondering how old and established banking institutions would react. For example, a young entrepreneur can now skip a bank entirely and raise money via a fintech crowdfunding campaign. That same entrepreneur might also ignore a bank in favor of establishing his or her own fintech merchant account.

 

But the truth is that big banks have never been worried about fintech eating their lunch – just the opposite. They are embracing it and see it as the future of banking. They’re not going to fight fintech, they are going to collaborate more. Established financial institutions see fintech start-ups as a rich source of new revenue streams and as a way to enhance their own mission.

 

The major fintech buzzword for 2022 is: “Collaboration.”

 

Payroll Fintech

 

To date, fintech has been focused on developing payment infrastructures between consumers and sellers. Now 2022 is expected to be the year when fintech enters the payroll sector in a big way. Employees can now expect to see compensation options like “salary on-demand,” and early direct deposit into their personal fintech set-ups. It’s going to make collecting a wage or salary far more fluid and convenient.

 

Buy-Now-Pay-Later

 

It’s not a new concept, but when applied to fintech, buy-now-pay-later is simply huge. New operators like Afterpay and Klarna offer multiple ways for people to buy what they want right now with no money upfront. The system is set up for automated payments to be made at periodic future dates. Consumers love it. Those merchants who are adopting buy-now-pay-later schemes are enjoying explosive growth.

 

Digital Banking Only

 

Digital banking has been with us for some time. However, in terms of fintech, we’re talking about virtual banks. These are banking entities that have no brick-n-mortar component. Fintech digital banking is a creature of cloud computing. They are “free-floating” platforms that are likely to make stolid granite bank buildings with marbles floors and gigantic stainless-steel vaults a relic of the past.

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Cybersecurity Tips to Protect Your Company

Cyber security breaches on businesses are becoming more popular over time. In 2017, a Cyber Security Breaches Survey indicated that only less than fifty percent of all businesses identified at least a single cyber security attack. No company is immune to cyber security breaches regardless of the size and nature of the industry. All companies need to protect their customer information, company data, and reputation by employing several steps. This article outlines various tips important in protecting a company from cyber security breaches and attacks.

 

Multiple layers of protection

 

Using strong passwords and frequently changing them minimizes the risk of attacks. The company needs to keep monitoring the employee accounts for the risk of breaches through dark web monitoring. The company can use a multi-factor authentication methodology as an extra security platform for its data. The passwords need to be different for different services and websites through reputable password management tools. The company can deploy virtual private networks, firewalls, and antivirus software to ensure the endpoints and networks are not exposed. Sending unencrypted sensitive data and passwords via email should be highly discouraged.

 

Data backup

 

Frequent systems and data backups are necessary to recover from data loss or corruption from cyber security attacks. Data protection tools incrementally and periodically back up data throughout the day to prevent leakage. Customer personal details, account credentials, operational data, financial documentation, manuals, log files, and system configurations can also be stored off-site for extra security.

 

Frequent software update

 

Outdated and unpatched software allows threats to attach to the company’s data security. Cybercriminals capitalize on vulnerable software through several tactics to gain access to systems and data. The company can apply updated security patches for the operating system and web browsers to secure its devices. Preferably, it is vital to set the software to automatically download software patches or update itself after a particular period.

 

Employee training

 

Staff awareness training is a requirement across the entire workforce. This sensitization educates all employees on the most common and malicious scams and the techniques to avoid them. One strategy is cautioning clicking on any links sent within emails, social media platforms, and unfamiliar websites. Due to the evolving nature of cybersecurity, a regular training curriculum could help the fight against cyber security attacks remain relevant.

 

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Financial Tips to Know in Your 40s

Success can be measured in many ways, including taking an account of one’s life and deciding if you are truly living the life that you want to live. An important corollary to living the lifestyle you want is to have a stable financial life, as this is what allows you to pursue your dreams and goals. By the time most adults reach their 40s, they have many years of experience with financial matters. An audit of your monetary life can lead to making decisions that better support your aspirations. In your 40s, the following financial tips can help you to create your life:

 

  1. Create a budget and follow it: Knowing where your money is going is critical. A budget can help you to balance needs and wants, and it can help you to remember to put money in your retirement account and emergency savings account. It can also help prevent overspending in certain categories, such as vacations or fancy restaurants.

 

  1. Increase your income: Increasing your income is a vital component, as more money ultimately gives you more freedom. You might choose to pursue a side gig such as tutoring or dog-walking, or you might rent out your basement apartment. Any extra money that is brought in can then be used to pay off credit card debt or a mortgage, both of which will be beneficial.

 

  1. Eliminate high-interest consumer debt: Debt happens. It is an unavoidable part of life for many people, especially when they first enter the workforce and have entry-level salaries. However, it is essential to get out of high-interest consumer debt when you are in your 40s. Pay off those credit cards and car loans. Try to pay off your student loans. Consider debt consolidation if it will help you rid yourself of debt faster.

 

  1. Save, save, save: This is the decade to fully fund your emergency savings account, as well as any retirement accounts that you may have, such as a 401(k) or an IRA. You can automate your savings so that a portion of your paycheck is automatically deposited without any effort on your part, which makes it easier to save. While much of the future is uncertain, enough savings will help you to create the lifestyle you choose in your later years.

 

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How Working as a Small Business Owner Could Impact Retirement

Planning for your retirement is a little different when you own a small business because there are more issues that can affect your ability to build the wealth you’ll need. While it may be a more complex and require strategic planning, you can retire on time with the resources you’ll need to enjoy your senior years. This will involve making sure you have enough wealth, and it will involve planning for the succession of your business.

 

Determine How Much You’ll Need

The first step in this process is to calculate how much money you’ll need to fully fund your retirement. If you own a home, estimate when you expect to repay your mortgage in full. Calculate your monthly expenses and create a plan for having your credit card debt fully repaid by the time you reach retirement age. Don’t forget to include entertainment and leisure expenses, such as the cost of vacations, dining, and other forms of entertainment you enjoy.

 

Decide How You’ll Handle Your Business

You should already have an exit plan that will establish what will happen to your business when you retire. If you want to continue earning income from the business, you may want to take on a more active partner. If you plan to fully retire, decide if you’ll pass the business on to an adult child or sell the business. If you create an exit strategy now, you can make the arrangements in advance for initiating your exit strategy.

 

Choose a Retirement Plan

As a business owner, you have a variety of options for retirement plans. You can start saving immediately with a traditional or Roth IRA plan. An alternative is to start a SEP IRA plan, which acts as a pension plan for freelancers and small business owners. In a SEP IRA, your contributions are tax free until they are withdrawn at retirement age. Another option is to start a solo or individual 401k plan. You can use your 401k contributions to create either a Roth or traditional IRA account.

 

Above all, you should create a retirement strategy early to ensure you are prepared when the time comes. Even though you may have just started your business, it’s not too early to determine how you’ll retire and what you’ll do with your business. Creating this plan now will give you peace of mind well into the future.

                                                    

 

                      

How Your Company Can Harness Fintech

How Your Company Can Harness FinTech

Covid-19 may have slowed down business, but Fintech has achieved double-digit growth in volumes and transaction numbers in the same period. In addition, many companies required employees to work remotely during the pandemic and needed to develop new working methods.

The fintech industry became the choice for businesses that needed to implement digital tools for working at home. Companies found out that Fintech has more uses beyond sorting disruption of traditional business practices. Some teams in accounting and finance found fintech tools can streamline operations, improve productivity and cut costs in these ways.

Simplifying complex processes

Corporations became less productive during the pandemic. Spend reconciliation was one way that finance teams could create efficiencies, but innovation in the area has been slow, and it consumes a lot of labor-intensive time.

Fintech reduces that challenge with tools to automate most of the processes such as:

  • Three-way matching to approve incoming supplier invoices
  • Complex and fragmented area travel and expense spend

Fintech tools can automatically link expenditures to individual employees and functions. As a result, they simplify and hasten budget allocations that are ordinarily time-consuming.

A company can harness fintech to provide greater visibility into:

  • Employee spending
  • Delivering control
  • Flagging out of policy expenditures real time
  • Automated analytics

Another upside is the chat AI that interprets customer questions. Requests increase efficiency by automating financial tasks that involve answering questions about expense processing and invoice payment.

Solution to Fraud

An ACFE survey found that organizations lose 5% of annual revenue to fraud, and detection can take 14 months. A third of all fraud cases occur because organizations lack internal controls.

The pandemic created a perfect environment for fraud as it thrives during recessions and economic instability. Fintech AI and machine learning algorithms in its software control fraud mastering standard patterns of company finance and flag anything unusual or new. The team in charge will notice and review. A/ML has a higher level of sophistication to root out fraud than the rule-based approach. The tools can search and compare data to sense questionable correlations or other irregularities.

The payoff for shifting to newer processes is transformation. Finance practices in an organization will gain the same benefits that the financial sector has gained by adopting Fintech tools. It only requires collaborating with a reliable Fintech provider.

Great Podcasts All About Fintech

Great Podcasts All About Fintech

Podcasts have become one of the most popular forms of media over the last few years, and for good reason. Practically anyone can make a podcast if they put the energy into it and podcasts can be about pretty much anything. One topic that has plenty of podcasts to check out is FinTech. You can find many podcasts covering the subject, with each one giving a different perspective than the other. Some may discuss news, while others may attempt to teach their listeners all about the subject. Regardless of what you’re looking to listen to, there’s a FinTech podcast out there for everyone. Here are a few great podcasts all about FinTech.

For FinTech’s Sake

Although this podcast is only around 2 years old, it’s easily one of the most popular and high-quality FinTech podcasts out there. Hosted by Zach Anderson Pettet, the show takes a look at what happens at the intersection between finance and technology, exploring the perspectives of founders, investors and, incumbents. Episodes of the show range anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour and a half, so you’ll get plenty of variety as well as many guest hosts.

Breaking Banks

Highly considered to be the #1 FinTech podcast in the world, Breaking Bank is hosted by Brett King, a FinTech expert who has written several books under his belt. The show takes a look at how technology and the way customers behave are bringing about changes and will continue to change banking over the next 10 years, as well as how it’s affected banking over the past 200 years. Every week Brett and his team discuss the most important financial topics and they’re constantly inviting new guests to give their own perspectives so you’ll always have something new to look forward to.

Banking Transformed

Technology has changed banking drastically, and there’s no denying that. But for some of us, that isn’t easy to accept, especially if you’ve been working in banking for a long time. Banking Transformed is hosted by Jim Marous, one of the top 5 banking and fintech influencers in the world. In each episode, Jim takes a deep dive into the impact that digital disruption has had on banking and will continue to have on banking, as well as the leadership and cultural challenges that come with it. Jim’s ultimate goal is to help listeners embrace the change and make the most of it because things will only continue to change with the passage of time.

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