If you were at the Kabuki Hotel in SF’s Japantown Monday, you were certainly engulfed in the future of financial services and technology – or “Fintech!” Look mom, new buzzword! With an impressive panel of financial experts, technologists from financial companies, and a load of people with big ideas, the Future of Technology & Money Summit did a great job impressing upon the audience that our financial futures are in mobile.
Think back 12 years – would you have transferred money online from one account to the next? Would you have moved your complete personal finance systems to the cloud with Mint? Would you trust that one-click checkouts were secure? Probably not. Today, many of us are doing all this and more! I’m still waiting for my bank to offer mobile deposit via smartphone like Chase Bank…Btw, did you know that the company that developed the mobile deposit technology is now working on mobile billpay! Take a photo of that pesky PG&E bill and poof! Paid.
There seems to be a perfect storm of mobile and cloud finance technology popping up for consumers, but what does this mean for the SMBs selling to these hyper-connected consumers?
Here’s what I think it means: We’ve got some friends who opened a great shop in San Francisco last year called “The Common.” They sell hand tailored shirts, bags made of sails, leather boots, hand-made jewelry, and even have a coffee stand in the back selling Four Barrel brew. These boys have got a lot of inventory to manage, and sales ranging anywhere from $2, to $2000. So, what tools are they using to make their lives easier and their business managable? In the SMB world, business owners aren’t usually tech geniuses or professional bookkeepers; hiring a slew of specialists is often out of the budget.
So, what solutions are out there for these SMB owners who need reliable, clear systems at an affordable price? Square, Erply, and POSE to name a few. The boys at The Common are able to take payments from their iPads, iPhones, or laptops and get reports of revenue generated in real-time. They could also potentially use a POS system like Erply or POSE to help them manage all the backend details. These startups are making the lives of SMB owners a lot easier and we think the future is going to see a lot of innovation in this enormous (yet niche) SMB market.
The Future of Money and Technology Conference talked a lot about mobile payments, credit card processing, stock recommendation engines, and checkout technology. Most were too new to really glean anything substantial, but the ladies of Dealmaker Media tip our hats to their ingenuity and drive. Maybe they’ll impress us enough to end up on on a future Under The Radar stage…
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