eCommerce + FinTech = Love
by Sorin Despot
You might have glanced over that title and giggled at the awkward attempt at yet another click-bait cliché meant to fool you into taking a look inside. Anyhow, you’ve clicked, so here we are.
This article will argue that there already is a lot of value in this seemingly unbreakable union, forged by the web-driven economy. Feel free to quote me on this one:
eCommerce and FinTech are a match made in digital Heaven.
Moreover, as I will put forth by the end of this under-ceremonious blog post, there is a lot more opportunity and value to be unveiled by the propitious marriage of FinTech and eCommerce.
How Did eCommerce Meet FinTech?
They’ve met on the Internet, of course, like most young industry sectors do these days. eCommerce was hanging out online as far back as the mid-90s, but it was almost like it was missing a limb, not being able to provide the world with quick, safe, and extensive online payment solutions.
And it limped through a shifty and hazy web of e-tail offerings for more than a decade, relying on first-generation online-payment systems, transfers and cash-on-delivery until FinTech logged in to save the day.
eMoney, eWallets, eBusiness
FinTech’s most significant contribution to eCommerce has been shifting and refining the online payment industry. For example, without FinTech’s contributions to regulatory progress, cross-platform integrations and thorough software development, cross-border ecommerce would be virtually impossible.
The online payment scene has come a long way since that first timid transaction was completed via PayPal more than a decade ago.
Better eMoney and eWallet solutions enabled greater and faster eBusiness, so eCommerce grew tremendously within the past few years, spawning dozens of new and full-on digital payment systems, all thanks to disruptive developments in FinTech.
And Then There Was Blockchain
Although initially, in 2009, it was developed to support Bitcoin, blockchain technology is nowadays the poster child for FinTech. So, beyond the ability to complete transactions using cryptocurrencies, blockchain has equipped eCommerce with some other impressive abilities. It is not an easy concept to explain, but here is what I am going with:
Blockchain is a decentralised database that stores, across multiple nodes, all the transactions that occur on a particular network. Because every transaction is recorded (chained) and visible across the system, the blockchain is considered to be the safest and most transparent transaction platform ever invented.
Blockchain technology is becoming a player in the ecommerce industry thanks to “its promise of pricing freedom, quicker compensation, clearer transactional terms, and overall online safety for both buyers and sellers”, as Marcia Kaplan puts it on the Practical Ecommerce blog. However, her colleague Gagan Mehra has a significantly more practical approach by authoring an article which he titled “10 Ways Blockchains Can Benefit Merchants.”
Here Is to the Happy Couple!
eCommerce entrepreneurs can benefit immensely by being early adopters of FinTech solutions and technologies. The common denominator between FinTech and ecommerce is the digital payments industry, without which large-scale e-tail would have remained the figment of science-fiction writers.
Thanks to innovations within FinTech companies, buyers now have more options than ever to complete purchases in real time, from any device, anywhere in the world, using a myriad of currencies, faster, more comfortable, and more securely every single day.
Mobile wallets, point-of-sale credit, cross-border ecommerce, blockchain, and cryptocurrencies are the result of FinTech and the developments that continue to shift the business landscape and offer unhinged potential for online retailers.
Merchants who ignore these developments and who do not have a reliable payments processing partner to help them navigate this space will continue to fall behind.