The future of finance
Placing an order on Amazon is remarkably complicated.
Between the moment you click on “Buy Now", and the moment you receive a package at your front door, a million things happen. Your intent has to be securely communicated to Amazon’s servers. Your payment details, encrypted using a bunch of complicated mathematics, have to be processed, the transaction authorised and money moved from your account. Your order has to be sent to the right warehouse, prepared and dispatched to your address. The postal system or courier has to see that parcel through to you.
If anything, this description massively simplifies the process. The infrastructure required to do this is intricate, needing the collaboration of many entities working on your behalf.
All of this is hidden from you. The only thing you need to focus on is what you want, and how you want to get it.
Finance, as it stands today, is very different.
Understanding what you want is only the start. Let’s take a goal that is most common to Multiply customers: buying their own home.
First, you have to save a deposit. You need to know how much, and keep an eye on the market in case that changes. You need to understand the best savings vehicles for putting aside your money, and be alert to any teaser interested rates dropping to a very low level after the first year.
You then have to understand mortgages: how they work, how much you are able to borrow (based on your income, your partner’s income, whether you can get family support). You have to understand the timescales involved with these.
Then, you need to fit this into your lifestyle. When is the perfect time for you to actually buy a house? When should you start looking? Given the economic situation, maybe you should actually wait a few years?
If you’re self employed then tough luck, because everything just became ten times harder.
What does the future of finance look like?
It looks like not having to worry about every detail yourself. It looks much more like the experience of online shopping today, than it does spending hours each night reading newspaper finance columns written by people who bought their houses 40 years ago, scouring mortgage apps to find the best deal, and maintaining an increasingly complicated spreadsheet to manage your savings.
Something to make really clear: the future of finance is not about ceding all control, any more than online shopping is about artificial intelligence automatically ordering our Christmas presents for us.
We’ll still make decisions, but they’ll be the kinds of decisions only we can make. Decisions around what’s important to us, what we want to do with our lives and how we want to balance our different hopes and dreams based on whats possible.
We won’t be constantly having to pick between the best savings accounts, choose the best time to remortgage, or transfer money manually into our investments, any more than we have to think about encrypting our bank details when we buy a product online. These things will be automatic.
At Multiply, we call a product that delivers this an Operating System for Finance. It’s what we’re building. It’s autonomous, it takes care of the things that you don’t want to take care of yourself, and it translates the things you want to do into the underlying system of savings, investments, mortgages and other financial products.
Mike Curtis is co-founder and CTO of Multiply. You can reach him here.