Imagine being able to buy the suit that detective on TV is wearing in seconds without having to visit a mall or online store, or have your business's sales tax collected, filed and paid automatically on your behalf.
Attendees of this year's FinovateFall conference in New York were offered a glimpse of what managing money might look like in the near future.
The trade show, now in its eighth year, presents a platform for innovators in the financial space to showcase their ideas to banks and investors in hopes of becoming the next big thing in finance.
Personal finance highlights of the fall conference include AcceptEmail, a solution that integrates payment options into email, social media, IM and more. Businesses can use this technology to allow customers to pay their bills without the usual hassle associated with making a wire transfer or credit card payment. Once the system is set up, a few clicks or taps is all it takes to pay bills instantly.
Walletron, a Philadelphia-based software company, presented a similar solution with moBills. This billing system makes it possible for customers to pay their bill quickly and hassle-free from handheld devices.
The 2015 Retirement Confidence Survey by the Employee Benefit Research Institute shows a clear link between retirement savings plans and retirement confidence among US residents. With Americans' renewed focus on saving towards retirement, the Retirement Explorer from Washington, DC based HelloWallet may well meet a ready audience. This innovative software product takes a lot of the complexity out of planning and tracking retirement progress.
Owners of small and medium-sized businesses struggling to cope with the hassles of managing sales tax would likely have gotten excited about the presentation by Davo Technologies showcasing its sales tax solution. All data from your Point Of Sale (POS) system (including cash sales) is collected daily, and the sales tax is automatically deducted from your account and automatically transferred to tax authorities.
Perhaps one of the most interesting concepts to take the FinovateFall 2015 stage is a new mobile wallet called Soundpays. What makes this system stand out from the myriad of digital and mobile wallets out there is that Soundpays relies on inaudible sound waves to transmit payment data.
That means businesses can accept mobile payments from any smartphone, from the cheapest to the most chic with no extra hardware needed, as long as the merchant's POS device is equipped with a speaker and an internet connection.
Sound wave technology theoretically makes it possible for advertisers to incorporate this type of system into online stores (for two click purchases), TV shows, web ads, infomercials and even billboards equipped with a microphone and internet connection, allowing customers to instantly purchase the product on their phone.
It isn't likely that we will see these innovations become mainstream within the coming months. But with corporate giants like Google and Apple pushing for change in the financial space, the futuristic visions of payment technology innovators could very well materialize a lot sooner than most of us would expect.