Three trends to watch in 2020
By Kelly Switt, global director, financial services ecosystem and strategic partnerships, Red Hat
The fragmented business models in banking and financial services have created vast opportunities for big tech and fintech to step in and solve customer needs. These new players are free from the 100+ year old heritage operating model, allowing them to take a more agile approach to innovation. It remains critical that industry investments shift towards the customer – to reduce the risk of being perceived as transactional firm rather than a relational one. Although the industry has been slower to adopt new technologies, 2020 is expected to be a ‘catch up’ year with wider adoption of artificial intelligence, blockchain and public cloud.
AI has the potential for great impact in the industry. An Accenture study confirms that 84% of C-suite executives believe they must leverage AI as an enabler for their strategic priorities. The most visible use cases are represented by robotics, chatbots and virtual assistants allowing for 24/7 customer service. Those initiatives are now table stakes and the demand for personalisation and efficiency across the entire value chain requires a shift in focus. The two largest AI related trends will be in scaled data analytics and embedded AI. Introducing AI capabilities to big data environments to drive predictions, identify patterns, anomalies, and alike – will aid the bank to anticipate customer needs, and thereby build more seamless experiences. Such experiences are more rich in personalisation, with unique offers relevant to that customer’s need at that time. Embedding AI technologies, like pattern recognition and anomaly detection methods, into the core banking platform will help in further reducing exception handling to improve straight through processing for the consumer.
The hype of blockchain and distributed ledger technology (DLT) is set to deliver on its promise in 2020. The market will be made in the institutional banking arena because of the infinite potential in market exchanges and corporate financing. The expectations of the institutional client has begun to resemble those of the consumer banking business. The need for transparent processing, efficiency, security and speed are becoming strategic pillars for the business. Blockchain and DLT provide unique security requirements while helping improve transactional privacy and integrity in the process.
To truly maximize the potential of these emerging technologies, the core infrastructure must migrate to cloud. The shift to cloud computing is the catalyst of the innovative solutions that will transform this industry. Over the next five years IDC believes that cloud platforms, both private and public, will be the accelerator for digital innovation.Managing business critical applications on the cloud can be a challenge from a security, data protection and regulatory perspective. Those that are successful will choose a consistent technical foundation across the private and public cloud in order to have consistency, control and flexibility for infrastructure management.
In 2020, banking and financial services will continue their journey to digitally transform.As customers continue to base their expectations on personalised experience, their action should be to invest in technologies that will provide further differentiation. Leveraging AI to drive personalised experiences and automation will be key for consumer banking. Blockchain and DLT will drive unparalleled transparency and efficiency to institutional clients. And cloud computing is a key enabler to driving digital innovation across the industry – indeed to scale to delight customers.
This article is also featured in the holiday season Dec 2019 /Jan 2020 edition of the Banking Technology magazine.
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