In a recent survey by PricewaterhouseCoopers (pwc), 70% of financial service leaders cited the speed of technological changes as one of their major concerns. The consensus is that modern technology is being adopted far quicker, far more often.
Customers expect faster, more convenient digital services that don’t sacrifice security, having grown accustomed to industry-leading technologies; it almost makes the industry’s rush for internet banking services look humble.
Within the finance sector, a hunger for disruption is growing. With the likes of insurance broker Lemonade already making waves, and plenty more online-only services blossoming into 2020, both the industry and its customers are hungry for services that automate and innovate, making managing finance easier than ever.
Yet fintech will dominate more than just customer expectations. Considerations, legislative and economical, will drastically transform the way the industry manages its internal IT. Digital delivery for services will become the new normal. The industry’s technical architecture will be increasingly cloud-focused. Cyber security will continue be a present and expanding concern.
Whether offering the next major tech disruption, or simply perfecting its service delivery, leaders might hear industry chatter dominated by the following technical trends:
If you’re new to blockchain, this YouTube video is a great way to get acquainted. But to understand why it’s so useful to the industry, one need only look at its key benefits; its data is especially resistant to change, verifies transactions with an open and recorded register, and relies on the accuracy of adjacent data to confirm its accuracy. In other words, financial transactions within the chain could be more secure than any system before it. Blockchain, of course, was devised to facilitate the BitCoin cryptocurrency – but given that that was originally designed to rival the banking system, it’s unlikely to be the currency of choice.
Unsurprisingly, regulatory bodies such as the BoE or FCA will govern the UK banking system with their own breed of technology. Regulation Technology, or Regtech, will automate the monitoring, regulating and compliance of institutions to ensure that financial standards are upheld. The technology is designed to be a quicker, simpler and more precise way to manage regulations.
Yet aside from giving more power and – dare we say – punitive abilities to regulators, this should allow for cooperation between institutions and regulators, helping to confirm and collate data and put both parties on the same page. The result will be a more consistent approach to regulations, which protects the safety of companies, regulators and customers.
As with any other high-value, data-dependant industry, talk is turning increasingly to artificial intelligence.
AI will reduce the strain on Human Resources by automating lengthy or laborious tasks. This might mean something similar to smart document managing, whereby data is intelligently extracted from documents based on keyword searches and character recognition. There’s also talk of chatbots with language processing capabilities – though this would arguably need to be far more elaborate than current chatbot technologies; their emotionless, automated response to queries is often considered a detriment to customer satisfaction.
For industry leaders looking to take control of the sector, there’s value in all the above prospects - but the wider demands of the finance sector are comparatively basic. In fact, those looking for a more immediate return on investments can often find them in existing technologies.
If we return to the pwc report, the industry’s top priorities for 2020 are updating existing IT models, simplifying legacy systems, bolstering cyber security and investing in SaaS technologies – solutions which are already easily sourced. SaaS solutions for Microsoft Word are practically an industry standard now, while Managed Service Providers are especially equipped for the provisions and maintenance of cloud solutions. Similarly, automation via multifunction print devices takes much of the rigmarole out of paperwork with the aforementioned smart document management and character recognition.
Whether adopting the latest technical disruptions for that next industry breakthrough, or perfecting existing technologies for unparalleled customer service, the finance industry will be dominated by the direction of the tech landscape. Its in the smart adoption of that technology that companies will remain competitive.
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