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Rise of wealthtech: Boomers lead fintech wave
The use of finance apps jumped by almost two-thirds in 2022 – with boomers the fastest growing demographic. This is according to new data from one of the world’s largest independent financial advisory, asset management and fintech organisations.
deVere Group, which does business in more than 100 countries globally, reports that usage of its suite of fintech apps has soared a staggering 65% year-on-year.
Up to 78% of baby boomer clients (those born from 1946 to 1964) said that they had increased their usage of fintech tools, such as wealthtech apps, in 2022.
Meanwhile, 71% of Gen X (those born from 1965 to 1980) and 67% of millennials (those born from 1981 to 1996) said the same. Over the last five years, deVere has developed and rolled out a suite of ground-breaking wealthtech apps.
These include Vault, a global e-money currency app and multi-currency card; deVere Crypto, a cryptocurrency app to store, transfer and exchange major cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin; Core, an app to monitor your investments in real-time on-the-go, keeping you informed with news and events that impact investor returns; and Catalyst, a low-cost investment and savings app, amongst others.
The definition of “wealthtech” – a portmanteau of the words “wealth” and “technology” – encompasses digital solutions that facilitate the processes of various strands of wealth management.
Along with digital payments, regulatory technology (regtech), insurance technology (insurtech), amongst others, wealthtech is one of the sub-sectors of the fintech industry.
Of the data’s findings, deVere Group CEO Nigel Green, says: “We were, even pre-pandemic, already in an exciting new era driven by the lightning pace of the digitalisation of our everyday lives. But like so many areas of our lives, the pandemic accelerated this trend.
“Now, like never before, people are embracing the convenience of immediate, low-cost access to, and use and management of their money through wealthtech apps. What’s clear is that the way we save, invest, use and manage our money has changed forever and continues to do so rapidly.”
He continues: “Fintech is already the ‘new normal.’ This is backed up by the figures revealing that 90% of people in the U.S use fintech services now – and we expect it to be a similar picture in most other major developed countries.”
With boomers being the fastest-growing sector of fintech consumers in the last year, Nigel Green notes: “The results bust the myth that it’s just the ‘digital native’ generations who are users of financial technology.
“The findings confirm that older generations are increasingly tech-savvy and that they are recognising the massive potential benefits of fintech apps, including that they can save you time and money, as well as giving you more control of your finances.”
Most experts agree that the growth of the wealthtech sector – which includes tools covering tax planning, investments, wealth protection, estate planning, retirement structuring and planning and broader saving – is assured for many reasons including the availability of and access to the apps.
Another significant driver is the Great Wealth Transfer. During the next couple of decades, baby boomers, who represent the richest generation in history, will transfer more than $30 trillion to their children, who themselves belong to more tech-orientated Generation X and Millennials.
Fintech companies really took a foothold in the financial services market, as a concept, in the aftermath of the 2007-2008 global financial crisis, when traditional financial companies, were in most cases, caught off guard by the crash.
Fintech businesses filled the void left between what traditional financial services companies, especially banks, were offering and what customers are now expecting, especially in terms of customer experience.
The global wealthtech industry is booming, having had a phenomenally successful 2022, despite funding levels were off the all-time highs of more than $25bn experienced the year before. But this should be expected considering the bleaker global macro-economic landscape of last year.
However, with more favourable market and economic outlooks for 2023, the wealthtech sector is predicted by most experts to surpass the 2021 levels of venture capital, private equity, M&A investments and research and development.
The deVere CEO concludes: “We are witnessing a personal finance revolution and it’s driven by technology. The shift is far-reaching and permanent. The fintech genie is out of the bottle.”
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