Algorithms, automation and machine learning are trending towards one thing: reducing or eliminating the need for human labour. But in the world of fintech, humans aren’t just necessary – they’re irreplaceable.
30 years ago, it was perhaps unimaginable to think that enormous financial decisions could be made, without speaking to a human throughout the whole process. We’ve grown accustomed to the fact (and in fact welcomed) that banking, mortgages, and insurance can be conducted entirely in a digital manner.
But, despite society facing an unprecedented level of technological sophistication and increasing innovation, there’s an integral requirement for human intervention, both on the surface and behind the scenes.
Within the business
Although the tech is undoubtedly the focus of any fintech, the humanistic element is integral to the delivery of their product. It’s not just the obvious need for human developers to write, maintain and optimise code nor to imagine the products that make the code necessary. Even if these processes could be automated, the need for humans would remain.
That’s partly because ‘build it and they will come’ doesn’t apply to the noisy, competitive world of fintech. Even the most disruptive, compelling and revolutionary products will add more noise than signal. And so, all things being equal, it’s shrewd branding, marketing and PR that will help a product cut through – all things that require unparalleled human input.
Online mortgage brokers, for example, face unique challenges to convince customers to switch from traditional brokers and loyalty to their banks or existing lenders. This is just one area in which human empathy and creativity can’t be replaced or emulated by technology.
Consumer attitudes
Consumers can be understandably reluctant to trust small, relatively unknown startups with their personal and financial data, particularly if it involves one of the biggest purchases you can make – which means some fintech firms

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