McKinsey’s 12 Disruptive Tech Trends – how will Trade Credit be Affected?

McKinsey compiled a cheat sheet for the future of tech and it has been a good conversation piece for the many doomsayers concerning the current state of sluggish to no growth in most countries.

Below are the 12 technologies that they believe will remake future business. I provide this list because some of them may impact the way trade finance and trade credit is done. Think 3D printing, where a buyer will select a design or buy a pattern to make something once or many times, as opposed to buying inventory. I admit, many on this list may have little to no impact, but who knows.

Here are the 12:

  1. Energy storage
  2. Genomics
  3. Advanced materials – think nanotechnology
  4. Autonomous vehicles – do I really need to be driven around a busy metropolitan city autonomously? Seriously? Okay, I get it for truck drivers and long distances, but busy metro areas, not convinced.  I think its years before we see this being a reality, I mean we cant even get a critical mass of electric cars
  5. Renewable energy – sun and wind replace fossil fuels –trillions have been spent and will continue to be, but not a game changer for trade credit (certainly for infrastructure and commodity markets).
  6. Advanced robotics – the robot for human substitution is not a good one from a labor perspective and reminds me a lot of the labor arbitrage played when moving labor intensive back offices offshore to places like India. As to a credit impact, certainly payroll (and hence payables will be impacted as we trade off labor for fixed assets).
  7. 3D Printing – probably the biggest potential to change how supply chains function.
  8. Mobile internet – certainly driving a lot of changes around consumer payments now, this buy it now, anywhere culture could lead to interesting b2b finance propositions.
  9. Automation of knowledge work – geez, this is worse than the robots taking my job, its computers doing the work!
  10. Internet of Things – Most devices are not connected to the internet, but as that changes, will the way we order and pay for goods change?
  11. Cloud Technology – We are already seeing data in the cloud being used for new ways of finance, but as more data becomes available and more companies can reach customers globally, how does payments and finance respond?
  12. Advanced oil and gas exploration and recovery - changing oil and natural gas suppliers will impact trade flows dramatically, particularly from the Gulf States.

How do you think trade finance and trade credit will change with the above disruptive technologies?  Will it be much ado about nothing or will these technologies drive substantial changes in the way credit is injected?

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