You may have heard the word “FinTech,” but what exactly does it mean?

FinTech stands for “financial technologies” and represents new financial methods of services such as smart phone money transfers, online small business loans, bitcoin and blockchain based public ledgers and automated investment management.

Businesses are rapidly adopting online components to remain relevant and nimble. Every business incorporates some component of financial technology despite geographic location and personal adaptability to online usage.

  • FinTech is the ability to crowdfund or utilize peer to peer lending to create startup capital for your business, pay for your wedding, or finance home renovations..
  • FinTech is also how you accept payments. It is now a safe and easy way to do transactions which makes it easier to run your business.
  • You can do money transfers and international money transfers where currency conversion is now easier than ever.
  • FinTech is the ability to pay with smart phones anywhere your customers are to quickly make a transaction.
  • It also allows the customer to have more awareness of data and enhances customer’s savviness.
  • FinTech is how you use your phones to deposit a check directly into your accounts.

FinTech makes it easier than ever to start up and run a business. That’s why NAFSA  leads the charge in creating more awareness about the online financial services industry and advocates for tribes and tribal enterprises to embrace innovative FinTech solutions to help grow the economy of  Indian Country. The workforce development opportunities in FinTech are boundless for young Native Americans. The efficiencies of FinTech are vital for Native entrepreneurs, and even tribal nations, to successfully operate their businesses. FinTech solutions provide a hand up, not a handout for businesses. Accordingly, the FinTech industry can revolutionize how Indian country creates a sustainable economy for its citizens.

There are few ways to build reservation economies- one of course is opening a gaming enterprise, or another is entering into the 8(a) small business sector. However, in the ever-increasing tech driven world we live in, those who adapt and implement technology will survive and thrive. The next chapter in achieving true sovereignty and self-reliance for tribal nations is in adopting technology and including it into the economic development vision for Indian Country.

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