It’s High Time for a

Revolution in Financial Technology

It’s High Time for a Revolution in Financial Technology

There’s an old saying that goes: “If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it.”

This has been the motto of the financial sector for far too many years. The current system may be slow and expensive, but it works, so why risk incorporating new technology into the world’s financial infrastructure?

The fact of the matter is that the world is very much in need of a revolution in financial technology. It might not seem obvious at first, but many of the social, political, and economic crises we are facing today are related to fundamental deficiencies in the technology used by financial institutions today.

Source

Setting Money Free

Imagine transferring money instantly and securely worldwide, as easily as sending an instant message. It would not only be more convenient — it would also generate huge amounts of additional wealth.

As it stands, international wire transfers can take up to five days. Funds are sometimes transferred through as many as three intermediary banks before arriving in the recipient’s account.

SWIFT, the world’s biggest wire transfer network, processes approximately $5 trillion USD a day in monetary transfers. Having this amount of capital tied up for days at a time translates to huge productivity losses for the global economy.

It’s often those who can least afford it who pay the price. Over $700 billion USD a year in remittances go to low income countries, and much of that goes to supporting the world’s most vulnerable people. Approximately 6.3% of that, or $44 billion USD, goes toward paying transfer fees, directly slashing the income of some of the poorest people on earth.

Source

Many people argue that this state of affairs directly aggravates some of the most severe crises of our time; that poverty is the catalyst for crime, conflict, extremism, and even aggravates climate change by contributing to deforestation.

The transition to a better global financial architecture can do more than increase prosperity by improving the efficiency of the present system. It can pave the way for entirely new modes of economic organization, expanding and increasing opportunity for everyone.

Expand Inclusion, Expand Opportunity

Global payment networks like Visa and Mastercard, combined with e-commerce platforms like eBay, Amazon, and Alibaba, have opened up new possibilities for small and medium businesses worldwide. Nonetheless, access to the global marketplace remains restricted to both large market demographics and innovative business models.

Conventional card payments do enable international transactions, but the number of intermediaries required to make even the most simple card transaction means these networks typically come along with fees of up to 3.5%. More critically, the complexity of setting up an account for processing bank card payments excludes many merchants from these networks.

Source

Setting up digital payment processing often requires opening multiple accounts with different financial institutions; you need a business account, a merchant account, and in some cases an account with a payment processor. There are services that simplify this process, but they usually require payment from a bank account. All of this presents barriers to those presently excluded from the financial system.

Microtransactions also show huge promise for generating new opportunities, especially in the fields of art, entertainment, and online gaming. Current minimum transaction thresholds and fee levels set by the card network duopoly are not suited to supporting microtransactions. A more flexible, agile architecture like that of Millicent could open new income streams for millions of people.

The Tools for Success

A faster, cheaper, more interconnected financial system also means a proliferation of high quality financial services and opportunities. Tools that were once the exclusive domain of the wealthy can now be accessed by anyone with an internet connection and smartphone.

P2P microloans, crowdfunding, robo advisors, trustless escrow services, and global digital asset marketplaces are a few of the services that are helping us to advance towards a truly global, equitable financial system. This is the bold and exciting vision of the future of finance.

Unfortunately, all of these bold ideas are unnecessarily hamstrung by the outdated, rigid, financial infrastructure that underpins them.

What is standing in the way of the evolution of our financial system, and what can we do about it? Understanding the answer to these questions is the key to understanding the rationale and design philosophy of Millicent.

Millicent is designed to take advantage of this historic opportunity and accelerate the evolution of our financial system. This system is fundamental to our world in so many ways, so while we embrace innovation, it’s also necessary to be aware of the impact of adopting new technology on a massive scale.