The world has been battling the virus for over a year now, but still, we’re unable to stamp it out for good. To note, it was on the 31st day of December 2019 that China first reported a strange type of pneumonia spreading in people from Wuhan, China — specifically from the wholesale market. Less than a month after, on the 19th of January 2020, a man who visited family in Wuhan, China, became the first case of that viral pneumonia, now identified as COVID-19, in America. Since then, almost half a million Americans have fallen.
As proud as America is of its role in the world as a superpower nation, it’s down on its knees, besieged by the virus. Needless to say, Americans are feeling the pinch of lockdown orders and movement restrictions.
Amidst all the suffering, however, fintech has come to the rescue. For instance, by allowing goods to be paid for online, essentials and other items arrive at the door of thousands of homes all over America. Imagine what would happen if payments could not be processed over the internet. It would be chaos. And everyone would suffer. Taking a closer look at how this innovative technology can help us should be wise.
The Technological Option
Right from the get-go, fintech is the financial industry made better by technology. It’s about giving more people better access to financial instruments using the best technology they can give. We’re talking about new applications, new products, and new processes that help consumers have a better customer service experience. Ultimately, all these processes are tied up to the internet, the most viable network.
If all that sounds confounding, concrete examples of fintech should enlighten you. Top of this list is cryptocurrency and mobile banking. If you doubt how much fintech has helped us during the pandemic, imagine what will happen to America if Amazon and other e-commerce stores stop operation for one week.
Well, March 2020 would answer that question. As confirmed cases in a slew of Amazon facilities rose during that time, from Kentucky to Queens to Michigan to California, the nation seemed to gasp in disbelief as online orders were undelivered on time. And as if on cue, senators started asking how Amazon is implementing its worker safety programs, fearing worst-case scenarios.
Chiming in, a New York Times op-ed explored the dangers of the “touchless economy” spilling out the vulnerabilities in delivery lines. Needless to say, everyone was worried.
Fintech: Making Isolations Bearable
Indeed, fintech has given Americans a lifeline. It has made self-isolation much more bearable. And by doing so, fintech has made flattening the curve a lot easier. In this sense, it plays a central role in the government’s fight against the virus.
Without fintech, social distancing becomes harder. Even better, fintech is beginning to change other financial instruments aside from online orders and deliveries.
One concrete example of this is the much-ballyhooed veteran affair (VA) loan. As a financial tool for the military and veterans (honorably discharged), VA loans are a generous mortgage. Pundits consider it the best possible mortgage anyone can get.
And it’s not hard to understand why. For one, the no-down payment policy is a great come-on. Added to that, you have relatively lenient rules when applying. Of course, thinking how much these American soldiers sacrificed for their country, it’s but logical.
But fintech is poised to make the traditional VA loan experience a lot better. Just July of 2020, news spread of Accenture Federal Services won a $328 million contract from the Veteran Affairs Department, aiming to modernize the agency’s loan application services. As such, the VA’s home loan flagship program is bound to receive timely technological upgrades.
By doing so, the VA hopes greater visibility will be factored for the VA loan programs. Once successful, this move will give VA the chance to be more responsive in its service to veterans and active military on duty.
For its part, Accenture stipulates that it aims to help veterans get better-informed to make low-risk decisions regarding their VA mortgage. It aims to do this by providing transparency and needed data insights.
All that technology should help ease the consumer journey, in this case, the veterans and active-duty military, and allow more homes to be built faster.
Without a doubt, fintech’s role in the years to come is getting bigger and more significant. COVID-19 may be a great disruptor, but the pandemic has only shown that technology can indeed change lives for the better. We can look forward to what it can do in the coming years.