We’re living in one of the most interesting times in human history. If you told a small business owner in the 1950s that they’d be conducting business with customers located halfway around the world in real-time without a plane ticket, they’d probably throw a typewriter in your face.

That’s the bold new world we live in, one that’s getting disrupted by fintech every waking minute. Fintech isn’t the flashiest buzzword we’ve seen over the past decade, but it is one of the most impactful for businesses.

Fintech, short for financial technology, embodies a wide field of disruptive technologies that are changing the way businesses conduct financial transactions. It includes everything from blockchain-powered asset management platforms to alternative lenders who use artificial intelligence to disburse loans in less than a day.

And even though multinationals and large companies have been the biggest beneficiaries of fintech so far, home-based businesses can also draw many benefits from fintech, especially when it comes to staying competitive.

Here are some of the most significant ones.

1.) Easier access to enterprise-level tools and resources

Every productive business needs the right assortment of tools and resources to stay competitive, even home-based businesses without an office and staff. According to a BI Intelligence report, 66% of small businesses use technology to manage payroll, with 51% using tech to automate accounting.

However, for many of these businesses, these tools can be expensive to acquire and maintain, which limits the possibilities for them.

With fintech, however, home-based entrepreneurs have access to cloud-based solutions that are tailored to suit the small business. For instance, fintech may enable a home-based e-commerce entrepreneur to use complex, AI-powered platforms to make sense of customer data and improve the business’ service offerings – all without spending cash on expensive IT infrastructure.

2.) Enhanced cybersecurity

With the recent spate of malware attacks, information and identity theft, payments fraud, and other forms of insecurity on the internet, cybersecurity has become an important issue in the business world. For home-based businesses that often depend on the internet for day-to-day operations, security lapse s can be costly. It may mean losing funds directly to hackers or losing the trust of loyal customers who’ve helped to build your business.

You can still go a notch higher by using fintech tools and platforms to help fortify the security of your services. These may include things like voice recognition, thumb print technology, and other forms of biometrics that have become more accessible to small businesses owners in recent years.

3.) Easier and faster access to working capital

Small business financing is another significant area that continues to experience the disruptive effects of fintech. Banks and other traditional lenders have long been known for their long, restrictive policies when it comes to processing and disbursing loans. In addition to the long waiting periods, home-based entrepreneurs and small business owners are often denied loans because these traditional financial institutions don’t understand the small business model or because of bad credit ratings.

Enter alternative lenders. Alternative lenders such as Kabbage and Lending Club use artificial intelligence, big data analytics, and other aspects of modern technology to disburse loans almost instantly. For home-based businesses, this means faster access to working capital without ever visiting a physical office or dealing with tedious paperwork.

4.) Takes your small business across borders

A few years ago, working with clients internationally was a jungle for small business entrepreneurs. Because banks used to take days to clear payments, transactions were painstakingly slow for businesses. Additionally, banks charged high transaction fees in addition to currency conversation charges that took huge chunks of profits for businesses.

With fintech, however, many cheaper payment alternatives have burst into the scene, making it easier and cheaper to send and receive payments online. Peer-to-peer fintech platforms can usually mediate financial transactions between businesses and individuals in different countries at a fraction of the cost by banks.

Additionally, payment gateways such as PayPal and Skrill are continuously making it easier for small businesses to send and receive payments online, which has opened the door for home-based businesses with big dreams.