The personal finance industry has been witnessing shifts in trends every year, especially as technology and its applications continue to develop. But the pandemic has put a spotlight on personal finance. It gained higher priority as people realised the importance of financial planning and protection, leading to many experimenting with digital offerings at a time when physical interactions were restricted. As with several other industries, the personal finance market too saw a boom in digitisation, with existing digital players seeing an uptick and legacy players rushing to modernise.
The increased awareness of one’s personal finances and the rapid adoption of technology will continue to have an impact on the industry and influence the trends one can expect during the next year and beyond.
Rise Of Personal Finance Apps
Personal finance and wealthtech apps have become common, especially in the past two years. The economic uncertainty created by the pandemic led to people understanding the importance of strategically managing their personal finances, increasing the uptake of apps that digitise the wealth creation and management process.
According to AppsFlyer’s State of Finance App Marketing report, India emerged at the top of the global market for finance app downloads last year with 149 crore downloads.
As we enter the new year, personal finance and wealthtech apps will continue witnessing significant traction and growth. Many have become comfortable with the seamless digital experience and are expected to continue to explore additional features and apps offering a diverse set of investment avenues from stocks to gold, along with wealth management advice.
Millennials And Gen-Z Accelerating Digitisation
Millennials and Gen-Z are expected to become a significant influence in the personal finance sector in the coming year.
Both generations are known as digital natives and have been found to be more conscientious of their wealth management from an early age. These characteristics will result in higher demand for personal finance apps and digital experiences.
While older generations relied on financial advisors to build wealth, the younger generations tend to prefer modern educational mediums such as in-app tools or social media. Hence, personal finance apps will cater to these needs by offering wealth management assistance on the platform itself, resulting in higher time spent in-app.
Essentially, millennials and Gen-Z will become more involved in personal finance and accelerate the digitisation of the industry.
Fractional Investments Lower Entry Barrier
Fractional or bite-sized investing has been gaining traction lately. Earlier, when one wanted to invest in an asset, they often had to shell out a significant amount of money which was not possible for many. Now, with the integration of technology into personal finance and the rise of apps, the entry amount is much lower.
For instance, an asset as reliable and trustworthy as gold can be a part of everyone’s portfolio, no matter the budget, with apps that offer ownership of physical gold digitally in fractions as small as a gram. Even real estate, which has largely been inaccessible to retail investors due to high ticket prices, can now be invested fractionally.
Fractional investments are expected to garner wider attention and adoption in 2022 as people become aware of the transformations that technology is enabling in the personal finance industry.
Outlook For 2022
India is fast emerging as a global leader in fintech and, coupled with the country’s young tech-savvy population, technology will be the overarching factor influencing personal finance trends in 2022. For instance, the integration of new-age technology such as blockchain opens up possibilities for absolute asset ownership and the security of one’s personal finances and assets.
The year 2022 promises to be an exciting one for all the stakeholders in the personal finance industry as it becomes more democratised through innovations suitable for a diverse group of people and their needs.
By Ashraf Rizvi, Founder & CEO, Gilded