As of today, it seems like most of the world has gone completely remote, work from home, whatever you want to call it. We’ve moved out of our offices and onto our couches. Now, you’re probably reading this thinking okay, what does this have to do with FinTech? I came here to read a FinTech blog! Well folks, pretty much everything.
To be honest, I wasn’t fully prepared for this. I knew that COVID-19 was happening and it was going to be bad. I knew that at some point we’d have to cut back our hours but I never really anticipated this kind of shut down. Today, I went for a walk around my neighbourhood and saw most of the shops closed. As a business owner, that must be a terribly hard decision to make. It means lost revenue, it means lost jobs, it means just a whole lot of not good. There is however an opportunity here, and you see my friends this is where FinTech comes in. Now is the time to be innovative. Now is the time to embrace platforms like Shopify and Squarespace and to build an eCommerce presence. Although it’s hard work, it can help make up for some of the lost revenue that storefronts are experiencing from lack of people outside and social distancing. While this is an easy solution for those who sell physical products it can be just as easy for those who are selling services as well in the form of gift cards.
I believe we are on the dawn of the next phase of FinTech and how it fits into this new and rather strange world we are living in. Now is the era of innovation, where people are taking matters into their own hands and figuring out workarounds, building new products and new companies to combat the challenges we are facing today. We are already beginning to see this happen in the InsurTech space with virtual health care providers such as Maple (yes, realize they are a Health Tech but does fold into InsurTech!) that is offering virtual doctors and prescriptions. People and companies are finding ways to keep businesses afloat and running as efficiently as possible.
While times may seem weird and new right now it is this zone of discomfort that is going to push us into doing great things. It may not seem so at this exact moment, but where there is a will, there is a way! My advice for everyone right now during these two weeks of isolation is to check out your local retailer online, see what their offers are and see if you can help support them digitally. Know someone who isn’t technically savvy? Help them set up online banking (you’d be surprised at how many folks don’t have it set up) or event a quick Shopify storefront. One thing I have always admired about the FinTech community is our ability to pull together when times are tough. Right now, people, times are tough. Let’s help each other get through this, let’s work together to innovate and let’s make this world a little bit better.