Answer by Bonnie Foley-Wong, CEO of Pique Ventures, on Quora:
If someone asked me this question six months ago, I probably would have said blockchain and distributed ledger systems (think of all that paperwork it could replace!) “Next big thing” depends upon where–North America or Western Europe, China, or “developing economies” such as in Africa or South America? However, if I think about financial services broadly, trends begin to reveal themselves.
The most prominent theme I’m seeing in the financial services industry is the rise of digital banking. As a consequence, the digitization and automation of financial services in small business banking is potentially a significant opportunity. Another significant area is digital and mobile banking to provide basic access to financial services (2 billion adults do not have a bank account).
A number of broader trends are impacting the financial services industry:
Lending, credit cards, and mortgages will continue to be large market opportunities. Financial institutions will be looking for ways to reduce costs and increase their margins on these products, creating fertile ground for fintech solutions.
Taking a look at the type of fintech opportunities I’ve been seeing over the past year to 18 months as an investor, I’ve seen a few business-to-business solutions including automating workflow, introducing algorithmic predictive cashflow analysis for small businesses, and digitizing underwriting and pricing financial products for small business lending.