We bring to you the top WealthTech trends in 2022 -
The emergence of digital assets
There’s still a lot of debate about the future, viability, and utility of digital assets - with proponents and opponents alike debating use cases, moral and ethical issues, and environmental impact - but one thing is clear: they are here to stay.
The past few years have seen crypto-culture continue to cement the “asset” class’s position as the king of speculative assets. Despite some countries starting to regulate or ban cryptocurrencies, in some quarters there is a rising acceptance of digital assets.
Last year, Bitcoin reached a new record value of $68,000 (before falling to $35,000) while other cryptocurrencies and NFTs grew in cultural prominence. With increasing adoption rates of contactless payments, easy transactions, and investments, digital assets seem to have gone mainstream with multiple commercial opportunities for financial institutions and investors.
Recently, the UK’s parliament established the Crypto and Digital Assets Group to support innovation and regulation of digital assets.
However, consumers should avoid misleading product claims to remain protected in the crypto asset market. According to the UK Government, around 2.3 million people in the UK are now thought to own a crypto asset with their popularity rising - but research suggests that understanding of what crypto is, is declining, suggesting that some users may not fully understand what they are buying.
Hybrid robo advisory
A hybrid robo advisor is a digital investing service that typically combines a professionally managed account (through the help of a robo advisory service) with access to financial guidance or planning provided by human advisors. The retail market is witnessing a rise in hybrid robo advisors that combine the best of both worlds in an easy-to-use platform that makes processes affordable, accessible and attractive to new-age investors.
By collaborating with wealthtech providers and using robo advisory services, traditional wealth managers can increase efficiency, cut costs and scale capabilities.
However, before relying entirely on hybrid robo advisors, the industry will need to address challenges such as data privacy and cyber threats, as well as issues related to the size of investments and the deep expertise required to develop and manage robo-advisory competencies.
Fintech is unarguably a more sustainable option than traditional financial organisations. Moreover, with digital banking to paperless statements, the move to digital is a continuing trend. Around 76% of the UK regularly used online banking in 2020, up from 42% in 2010.
The robo advisory phenomenon has led to the rise of socially responsible investing (SRI) or impact investing. SRI is the practice of investing in companies that operate according to certain ethical guidelines, or provide products and services that either follow certain guidelines or address different social issues.
These ‘green’ investing apps are encouraging investors to put their capital to work and save the planet, with the pandemic further strengthening the mindset that managing social and environmental challenges is essential.
2022 is marked by an increasingly challenging investment environment with a rise in cost of risk and increasing regulatory burden. But wealthtech is at the cusp of transformation and all of the future trends point to accessibility, technology and customer centricity.