- By Jason Kaye
- Posted May, 2018
What if Fintech became Funtech?
Younger generations view the old-world financial system through a distrustful lens. Little wonder. They watched from the schoolyard as the global financial crisis brought the world to its knees. They came of age as their parents grappled with increasing insecurity, the ever-growing cost of living and the near-normalisation of corporate scandals. Now they're grappling with those problems.
But is the new, fast paced Fintech world shaping up any better? Yes. And No.
The new table stakes - low cost, mobile first, real-time, killer UX product is changing the game. And that game is being brought to the masses. Bravo! But what doesn't seem to have changed very much is the way in which financial "success" is being branded.
Robo advisors tell me they're a 'smarter way to invest'. Sure. For the most part I agree. But they're not so smart if you're 19, suck at saving money but want to go on a campervan adventure in 12 months time.
Slick new retirement apps are helping plan for something that is literally decades away. I get it. There's a life to be lived in the meantime though.
And Personal Financial Management apps are telling me that if I knew where all my money was hanging out and what it was up to, I could make better financial decisions. Great. I can see that I'm spending far too much on stuff I probably don't need. Now what?
Start early, think long-term, budget, invest, retirement. The same old "rules" and messages are being pushed on a generation that want to live their lives to the fullest. Today. Not tomorrow. They don't play by the old rules.
For some, it's all about finding a way to support a sneaker addiction or gadget obsession. For others, it's about base jumping lessons or funding a trip to Burning Man.
What's wrong with that? This is the sort of stuff that life should be about: having the cash to afford the things that make us wake up grinning. That gives our lives meaning and that help shape our sense of identity and our place in the world.
Fintech is booming, and blockchain, AI, machine learning and adaptive algorithms are all making "big" finance executives hot under the collar. But for many people they're another series of buzzwords. A more technologically enabled way of being treated like another number. But at the end of those numbers is a person wanting to do the things they enjoy most.
So instead of telling people they should be doing the same things that ran a lot of their parents over a cliff, why not give them the simple tools to do what they want to do? Instead of judging what they do, what's wrong with telling them it's okay to save for a new guitar, a tattoo or that campervan adventure? Instead of adding to people's sense of financial doom, how about lightening the load?
It's time to change the game and put some fun into Fintech. Because if we can change the game, we can change the world for generations to come.
Jason Kaye - Co-Founder of WealthNation. A handy savings app that turns small amounts of money into fun amounts of money. Go to WealthNation to join the waitlist for early access.