Looking back: 2017 for balancr and fintech

You know you had it coming.

Your calendar told you well beforehand: This year is going to end soon. Which means the symptomatical end-of-year reviews are springing up all over the place.

We’ll contribute. While waving farewell to the old year, we’re looking back on our last 12 months of business. What did we experience? What did we achieve? And, looking at the whole picture, how has the fintech industry been holding up in 2017?

It will be a fintech end-of-year review featuring balancr then. Here are our highlights of 2017:

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Beyond FinTech — 5 *Techs That Shake Up Their Industries

FinTech does not always equal FinTech: The sheer number of digital tools and technological advancements rejigging the financial sector would clearly go beyond the scope of this article. If there is one thing that is true about at least most FinTech solutions, it’s their focus on “personal finance”: FinTech software often allows users to manage their finances on their own without the need of an intermediary such as a human advisor or a bank — but potentially supported by a robot advisor.

Yet, when looking at the vast variety of technologies and software applications, one cannot help but recognize FinTech has a few supporting actors running the show. They are *Techs in their very own right.

Let’s take a look at what we have:

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Use Case: Using balancr for Stored Value Transaction Systems

Modern life can in many ways be broken down into a series of transactions. We give something, like information, money or services, and we get a corresponding value in return. In that regard, time really is money — but also are stored values like virtual assets, loyalty points, kilometers driven and hours of usage.

Before online access was vastly available, tracking such values was synonymous to dragging paperwork. Computer technology may have given us Excel, — software-based table management — but despite its name it has done very little to elevate us above the need for paper copies.

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Fintech and A.I.

Looking around the world, one cannot fail to see an increased interest in the prospects of artificial intelligence, especially in regard of its application in financial services. Major fintech events like the Money20/20 US and the Hong Kong Fintech Week gave it the pole position in their series of lectures, inviting machine learning experts and futurists to debate it before giant audiences. That said, the practical application of A.I. in financial technology is not a dream of the future, but present reality.

Robo-advisors, using artificial intelligence to analyze data and manage a user’s portfolio accordingly, have been around for a while in the financial industry. They promise easy accessibility and less need for human interaction, thus providing services at reduced costs. One step further and we enter the domain of trading bots, that make actual business decisions based on previously accessed market data and gainings, while circumventing the human errors.

But how far have we come already? Let’s take a look.

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