How to get rich and mobile banking going social
Compiled by Rikaza Hassan
To all those who've dreamed of becoming incredibly rich - however you may want to define that - Inc magazine offers one piece of advice: you are never going to make it by working for someone else.
The only way to do it while working for another, is to become the CEO of a wealthy organization and how many people can realistically hope to achieve one of the few slots open. Forget work-life balance, it advises, and become an entrepreneur, with the caveat though that it has to be a business that scales.
Whilst fin-tech and mobile payments are yet to take off in Sri Lanka, what with the paltry and painful offerings by our banks who are crying out to be disrupted, it may just be that we skip the whole app/wallet phase and move on to the new evolution altogether - social media. With the West desperate to replicate the WeChat model, Whatsapp is about to launch P2P payments in India and we may soon see our cash/card payment model soon change to our phones.
Fin - social - tech
Forbes [email protected]
The future of banking is in the palm of your hand
The evolution of the payments industry was a cornerstone of the FinTech movement and it's undergoing yet another fundamental shift – this time, into social media.
In 1997, the first payment by mobile device was brought to life by Coca Cola when they introduced the ability for customers to text message a vending machine to pay for their drink. In 2007, M-Pesa emerged in Kenya, which allowed people to send and receive cash through mobile phones.
As FinTech came into popularity after the financial crash in 2008, payments saw some of the biggest technological advances. In 2009, Bitcoin and Venmo were born; in 2011 Starbucks began accepting mobile payments. In 2014, Apple Pay emerged.
The popularity of payments godfather, PayPal, ushered in a new era of evolution in consumer payments, allowing users to send money to others using just an email address. Taking note of PayPal's success in this new area of peer-to-peer (P2P) payments, banks began releasing mobile apps that allowed payments between members of the same bank. Venmo was the one of the first mobile apps to achieve massive adoption by allowing consumers to send money between almost any bank account and from credit or debit cards.
Since Venmo's breakout success and acquisitions by Braintree and then PayPal, dozens of P2P payment apps have been introduced, including Square Cash, Dwolla and Popmoney. None are touted as being bank-agnostic in the same way as Venmo, though up-and-coming payments service Zelle has notably been called a "Venmo killer" due to its relationship with large financial institutions.
While P2P companies and services have evolved, a more daunting competitor has quietly emerged. Social media giants have entered the payments space. Because of social networks' massive reach and high rate of daily use, insiders believe the next wave in financial services will occur inside of these apps.
Facebook launched no-fee P2P payments in their Messenger app in 2015, and just a few weeks ago announced a partnership with PayPal. China's most popular social media site, WeChat, offers a P2P payment service that is used by 600 million users. WhatsApp reportedly has plans to launch P2P payments in India. Apple revealed they would soon allow iPhone users to send and receive money via iMessage, something companies like Circle have been planning to take advantage of since the plans were initially uncovered.
Waterloo-based Kik received attention earlier this year when the company revealed plans to launch its own cryptocurrency, Kin, on the Ethereum blockchain to be used within the app.
This trend is all the more notable when we consider the incredible reach of these apps. Kik boasts 300 million users and focuses on teens, while Facebook claims to be closing in on two billion users worldwide.
Much has been said about the WeChat model. Far beyond a simple chat platform, users can engage in most online services directly through the app, including gaming, social networking, and financial services. Kik's founder Ted Livingston wrote in a blog that the battle is raging to become the "WeChat of the West." The World Economic Forum's recent FinTech disruption report posits that large tech companies offering core banking functions are the greatest threat to financial institutions.
It's a short jump from connecting bank accounts to brokering payments to offering core bank account services. As more services are bundled into existing apps with massive reach, the need for standalone P2P payments, and other financial services, will diminish. The future of financial services could very well be found in mobile networking apps.
Many people want to be incredibly wealthy. (How you define 'incredibly wealthy' is of course up to you.) But you will never become incredibly wealthy by working for someone else. And you will never become incredibly wealthy by living a 'safe', 'positive work-life balance,' time-clock-punching professional life.
How do you become that rich?
Obviously you need to save that much money and saving money means generating more income than you spend--a lot more. That will never happen if you work for someone else.
Unless you're the CEO of a Fortune 500 company for example, you will only make so much money. And your upside will always be capped - your annual raises will come in the 3 to 4 per cent variety, if at all. And your downside will always be unlimited, since you're always at risk of being laid off or fired.
All the people who do get incredibly rich are entrepreneurs. All of them built incredibly successful businesses that were capable of scaling.
The only way to become incredibly wealthy is to start your own business, one capable of scaling to a significant size. Unless you're an actor, or musician, or athlete – in which case you're still an entrepreneur, because you're in the business of you.
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