How can your business harness technology in order to optimize the way financial services are provided? Have you used financial technology to evolve how your financial services are currently structured?

When it comes to technology that both disrupts and advances traditional structures, there are many questions swirling around the payments and financial services sector right now.

Fintech received $17.4 billion in investments in 2016, if that gives any indication about how technology is transforming the financial sector. Larger, more impactful strides are sure to carry fintech, in terms of both disruptive innovation and investments. There are several fintech trends that are shaping financial service strategies, payments and data.

Throughout the entire life cycle of a financial transaction, data should be used to optimize the experience in terms of payment, pricing, and the ability to communicate seamlessly and automatically.

Having detailed data and transparent information allows all parties involved in a transaction to optimize their working capital. For a consumer, that may mean the ability to communicate whenever necessary, like when it makes sense to pay earlier for a discount.

Having pertinent information can save money. On the business end, a supplier may realize that it makes sense to both offer a discount to customers for earlier payments, and also pay their vendors ahead. Often, work and capital needs should align with how customers are operating.

Synergy like that helps to maximize working capital, because of data accessibility and the level of detail. For example, if your business negotiated faster payment terms for transactions, but it took two months for the transaction to work its way through the life cycle, then data accessibility is irrelevant.

So many factors have to come together in order for this scenario to successfully play out —but unlike non-data-driven processes (paper), bidirectional visibility allows for more agility and speed with the digital platforms and technology that support transactions.