Over the past two years I've noticed a new trend happening in the financial space. A move away from the old institutional investment products and a new suite of lean, well designed financial tools for the mobile generation.
These new apps aren't just putting a pretty interface over existing financial products, they are using technology and new ideas to shake up the entire space.
Take Acorns for example. Using this app, you can invest in ETFs with as little as $5. This is a huge change from the standard $5k+ minimum investment amount for similar accounts. But more exciting is what Acorns is doing with technology. They are automatically rounding up your purchases to the nearest dollar and transferring the difference to your acorns investment account. A great use of technology to make the process of investing seem effortless.
Robinhood is shaking up stock trading. Gone are the heavy ~$20 per trade fees. You can now buy and sell stocks for free using their app. They've come up with a clever new business model for making this possible.
Lemonade is a peer to peer insurance company which uses a mobile first product to change the way (and cost) of how people buy insurance.
The feedback I've heard about these and many other similar apps are - it's about time this exists!
There is definitely something happening in the finance space. Institutions are getting worried - many going so far as to try and block apps like Acorns. But that's not going to work well. This is definitely the future. The next generation will want a suite of financial products that are mobile first, offer a superb user experience and allow them to come and go as they please with little friction. If you can build a product in this space, hitting those points, you're going to be huge.