As financial technology continues to revolutionise the future of banking, with more and more traditional lending institutions evacuating their concrete walls, the fintech trend appears to have infiltrated even the most mundane of human activity: drinking coffee.
The vastly-known myth of coffee increasing worker productivity levels has turned into an almost divine belief, with leading coffee producers worldwide building their foundations in the world’s most populated commercial districts.
In terms of coffee supply chains, fintech is also revolutionising the way we consume the world’s third-most popular drink.
Firstly, industry giants such as Starbucks have assisted customers by allowing them to digitally purchase their caffeine fix. The American coffeehouse chain provides its customers with an application and a prepaid digital balance which could help them dodge queues by pre-ordering and simply collecting the coffee when it is done.
However, it is not just the coffee consumer who is being influenced by the fintech revolution, but also the supply chain itself. The idea of introducing fintech into the coffee consumption process was initialised with the aim of increasing accuracy and transparency in purchases.
From farmers and processors to shippers and retailers, the surprisingly complex supply chain of coffee production means that it could take one single cup of joe roughly six months to reach the consumer’s hands. Additionally, the middlemen and various state bureaucracies involved further complicate the already intricate process of the black-bean producing industry. The complexity of coffee production often means that the farmers delivering the hard labour are undeservingly under-rewarded for their hard work and strife.
The adept use of blockchain and fintech in the coffee industry could help trim layers of bureaucratic procedures in order to speed up the coffee producing process. This in turn would force prices to plummet, subsequently rewarding farmers for their work.
The appeal of blockchain is that it could efficiently speed up monetary transactions, therefore shaving time and money spent on the futile paper work demanded by the bureaucratic chain.
Less paperwork would equate to less middlemen involved, therefore transactions would become more direct and transparency in purchases would increase. The digitalisation of transactions also means that all transactions can be traced and fraudulent actions could be tracked down easily.
Logistical errors such as delays, selling and trading errors and errors in cost transactions would also decrease using blockchain improved methods. The streamlining of the blockchain revolution would result in improved quality both of coffee, and of the service rendered.
Blockchain transactions means that coffee farmers could also be independently capable of negotiating their own deals with distributors, without relying on middlemen to handle their paperwork.
While several improvements are still lacking in the coffee industry, the fintech revolution is already underway. Supply chains across various industries are already being streamlined in order to increase time and cost-effective methods of payment. The reality is that as new software becomes more available to the common consumer, the era of traditional banking will soon be phased out as we welcome the entirely new phenomena of mobile payments.