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Smart Finance for Smart Cities

Lower Manhattan_NYC_081522A
[Lower Manhattan, New York City]


- Smart Finance (FinTech) and Smart City

An oft-cited benefit of a closer relationship between consumers and businesses is inclusivity, a more inclusive city. 

Mastercard estimates that 2 billion adults worldwide are "unbanked" and rely entirely on cash for most financial transactions. While the shift away from cash had already begun before the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, subsequent events have increased interest and growth in digital payments. As the simplicity, transparency and convenience of exemplary digital financial services become apparent, many consumers are opting for a practical measure to avoid exposure to pollution. 

Keeping up with the expectations of modern consumers is arguably the sticking point where smart cities must integrate digital payments into the post-COVID-19 new normal. As a consumer in the digital age, convenience is a hard thing to give up, and often one form of convenience ultimately tells people what to expect in every aspect of life. People are starting to expect next-day delivery, click-and-collect, and access to a wide range of markets. A lot of these things existed before COVID, but now they're in the spotlight. 

Voice-activated business applications go beyond oil and into retail, grocery and many other verticals. This is only going to become more true as IoT (Internet of Things) devices continue to proliferate and 5G enables faster connections between them. In such an interconnected society, the possibility of a truly cashless society driven by the growing popularity of cryptocurrencies and digital wallets seems almost inevitable. 

Digital wallet spending itself is estimated to reach $10 trillion by 2025, an 83% increase from the 2020 figure. Further consumer integration with platforms like Google Pay and Apple Pay could see digital payments surpass their current status as a relative "new thing" as household staples like bill payment bring the same convenience and convenience.

 

 

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