Rise of Cashless

Even Disney World is exploring the possibility of a cashless world. While there remains a strong argument why cash transactions should and will remain vital to a country’s economy, it also seems likely that 2018 will see a rise of cashless payments.

With countries like China paving the way with companies such as Alipay and WeChat, cashless forms of payments are becoming increasingly popular around the world. In the U.S., payment platforms like Venmo, Zelle, Stripe, not to mention Apple Pay and Google Pay, as well as efforts from FIs, banks, and card issuers, are all encouraging cashless transactions through various reward incentives. Collectively, they seem to be creating a cashless society.

Another trickle down trend owed to the rise of cashless payments is the growth of fintechs like Adyen and Plaid that create the technology facilitating these types of transactions. These companies are also likely to enjoy the limelight in 2018, along with payment security and fraud-related ventures like Hypr and Tender Armor. Stay tuned in 2018 for rise and domination of a cashless mindset.

Artificial Intelligence in PFM

Personal financial management or PFM has been out of fashion since its heyday five or six years ago, but with the advent of PSD2 in Europe and the rise of artificial intelligence across all sectors of banking, the insights and advice long promised by PFM may finally be realized.

Not only are there a host of new PFM solutions launching, from MoneyLion to Chip to newcomer (launching in February), but established players and services are building PFM functionality into existing solutions. Wells Fargo & Co. launched the standalone app Greenhouse in November, and JPMorgan Chase has been testing its neobank Finn in St. Louis, a new market.

All these services analyze spending (and hopefully saving) data in order to recommend optimal courses of action for your financial health, but they all also include artificial intelligence. Is it just a buzzword or the real thing?

MoneyLion’s algorithms look at spending pattern history and detect the dangers of going into overdraft. Chip, meanwhile, uses an AI-powered algorithm to calculate a savings amount for each user based on particular financial situations. Raghu Rajah, vice president of digital banking at NCR’s Digital Insight unit, noted that artificial intelligence use cases around financial advice are a major focus across the industry.

And Capital One recently launched a feature for credit card customers scanning their transactions to detect charitable donations, in order to present them as deductible expenses at tax time. In other words, AI is allowing “PFM” features to move outside an item in your app or site navigation into the context of real life. Next up, IoT: Your Tide Dash button will order the Tide pods on its own and just send you a notification.

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