The technological revolution in the finance sector is still barreling forward even after two or more decades of digital innovation. Technology and software are the main drivers of the financial world, allowing instant access to information that is accurate to the second and the ability to move money globally and speedily at the touch of a button. Speed is of the essence in financial transactions, and can make the difference between sealing a deal and losing it.
A changing world
Growing up in the days before the internet began to exert its stranglehold on worldwide communications, you would be familiar with the traditional way of doing your business or personal banking – the bank manager in the local Main Street branch, the tellers counting out your cash, or taking in a heap of checks to send for clearing into your account. It was a time-consuming business, especially when it could take checks many days to clear, and though the availability of an expert to talk to face to face could be helpful, the processes of the financial world were frequently frustrating.
The chances are you will still use cash today for some transactions, but realistically you will have had to adjust to the electronic world of finance in order to keep up with the thrusting new entrepreneurs who grew up with the internet and all that it had to offer. Startups are reimagining the way that financial activities operate, and older businesses need to work out how to keep up in the new digital marketplace.
The innovation generation
The old way of doing things is gradually being phased out of the world of financial dealings. As with all major technological advances – such as the Industrial Revolution in the UK and the invention of cars and the airplane – nothing stands still for long.
When you consider what you need to do to have a secure financial system for your business, you should look to innovative software to help you control your money and see immediately what is coming in and going out as well as the various investments you may have. Good software will also keep you abreast of your capital and revenue requirements, deal with the business’s payroll, tax, and other liabilities, and help you focus on any of your business areas that are not delivering an appropriate ROI.
There’s no reason why an older business cannot implement new technology. It doesn’t necessarily need vast banks of computer hardware that are expensive to buy, install, and maintain.Desktop computers can be essential for some businesses, such as designers and architects, but powerful laptops can keep employees connected wherever they are physically, as can tablets and smartphones. The ability to access financial information and carry out transactions in real time from any location is a boon to businesses that desire that flexibility.
Using new tech for finance
Financial software can streamline your business operations so that less employee time is taken up with routine but essential tasks. Take invoicing as a simple starting point. Without an effective invoicing system, your business goes nowhere. Electronic invoicing, including reminders after a set period of time, can make the difference between a healthy cash flow and a business that is struggling financially. It’s easy to set up a free invoice from a site such as invoicehome.com, saving you both time and money.
Setting up systems that let you electronically pay suppliers, whether it’s an agreed monthly payment or settling a full invoice, also saves time and keeps you in control of your cash flow.
Innovation in the financial sector continues apace. There are several aspects that may challenge banks as new technologies roll out.
Major players on the tech scene, such as search engines, social media organizations, and hardware and software giants, may push financial services to their millions of customers, sidelining the traditional banking systems. Blockchain and bitcoin businesses are working to sell products and services to the financial sector, potentially transforming the way finance is carried out. The Internet of Things, focused on internet-connected devices, may provide better data for decision-makers in businesses, and wearable apps may also add to the wireless connectivity to allow another way of accessing and delivering financial information and services.
The financial sector has always looked to the future to develop its services and continue to make money. Though security is still a major issue in this area, much has been done to provide highly secure software for business and personal customers. The digital revolution will not go away, so the opportunity to engage with it should be welcomed by all forward-looking organizations.