Technology in Finance: An Overview of the 2021 Landscape
Technology in finance, along with evolving consumer behavior and regulations, are transforming the financial services industry. The COVID-19 pandemic is accelerating the industry’s focus on digital offerings. Government payment schemes, emergency loans, and personal finance management are the need of the hour.
With several bank branches shut and long waiting hours for phone assistance, financial institutions are forced to invest in better IT infrastructure, relevant automation, and technology in finance to deal with the growing consumer demands.
Read more: The impact and significance of digital transformation in financial services.
A study of financial institutions (FIs) by ISMG and OneSpan in North America revealed that providing customers with a top-notch experience is their main priority. 49% of the respondents feel that legacy and manual ID verification are the biggest obstacles to digital opening for FIs, while 35% found that knowledge-based authentication tools were obstacles to onboarding.
Some general FinTech statistics worth knowing are:
- By 2022, the global financial sector is expected to be worth USD 26.5 trillion with a CAGR of 6%.
- 49% of banks and 60% of credit unions in the US believe that FinTech partnerships are worth it.
- Digital payment is one of the most significant FinTech products and holds about 25% of the FinTech market.
That said, many banking and financial institutions are adopting the latest technologies such as artificial intelligence, blockchain, etc., into their operations to benefit their customers, stay competitive, and improve business growth.
Here are the top five technologies that transform the financial services industry currently.
1. Artificial Intelligence
The most crucial advantage of Artificial Intelligence in the finance industry is cost savings, which is anticipated to be worth $447 billion by 2023.
AI systems are a game-changer for the finance industry as they can examine vast amounts of data and find patterns and trends that people may miss, and even predict future trends. AI technology makes it possible to automate processes and manage tasks such as comprehending new rules and regulations or generating personalized financial reports for individuals. For example, IBM’s Watson is capable of understanding complex regulations, including reporting of markets’ requirements in the Financial Instruments Directive and the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act.
Chatbots in banking are helping automate simple tasks such as opening a new account or transferring money between accounts and are proving to be a great money-saving tool.
Many financial institutions such as Bank of America and JP Morgan Chase use AI to streamline customer service. Additionally, AI facilitates mobile banking that allows 24/7 access to customers to conduct banking operations. AI is also helping financial institutions boost security and detect and prevent fraud.
Blockchain is a promising technology that will impact financial systems significantly. Blockchain technology is inspiring to create several P2P (peer to peer) online financing platforms that help monetary interactions happen in a more decentralized way. Blockchain technology can improve existing systems and processes and create cryptocurrencies.
Five typical applications of blockchain include:
- Make cross-border transaction processes faster, more accurate, and less expensive
- Banks can leverage trade finance to create smart contracts between participants, increasing transparency and efficiency
- Clearing and settlement procedures
- Protect against fraud and speed up the verification process with blockchain-enabled IDs
RegTech is a regulatory technology that uses cloud computing technology through SaaS (software-as-a-service) to help businesses comply with regulations efficiently and lower costs.
The various areas of RegTech intervention are:
- Data management
- Reframing regulations and implementing new governances
- Real-time reporting
- Data- analytics and decision
- Fraud and risk management
Non-compliance with mandatory government rules leads to fines and crisis. So most FIs want to do everything in their power to avoid non-compliance.
The need for RegTech solutions is growing as FIs grapple to stay compliant with new and existing regulations. RegTech solutions will create a layer that companies will rely upon significantly. Its high accuracy, single dashboard, data analytics, alerts, and insights will help companies optimize resources allocated to compliance and achieve better results.
4. Machine learning
Similar to AI, machine learning helps create a marketing campaign around the consumer. It enables you to understand what kind of services will attract your target market. For example, how people find a financial website, what page they clicked, and what services they need.
Machine learning algorithms and their capability for sentiment analysis will impact trading significantly in the future. It involves using enormous volumes of unstructured data such as photos, video transcriptions, social media posts, presentations, webpages, blogs, articles, and business documents to understand the market sentiment.
Sentiment analysis will transform the future financial markets, and many believe that machine learning will be central to developments.
5. Big Data
According to the IDC Semiannual Big Data and Analytics Spending Guide, currently, banking is one of the top investors in big data and business analytics solutions. Credit card transactions, ATM withdrawals, credit scores, etc., generate massive amounts of data. Deriving actionable insights from this data is crucial to optimize financial processes and make effective business decisions. It will increase the competency of financial institutions in the future.
Big data can help FIs learn more about customers and make business decisions in real-time. Big data analysis allows FIs to identify market trends and streamline internal processes and reduce risks.
Read more: FinTech Innovation: What Is In Store?
The Future of FinTech Adoption
82% of traditional financial organizations plan to collaborate with FinTech companies in the next five years as they fear losing out. 88% of established FIs believe that they may lose to standalone FinTech companies in the next five years if they fail to adopt FinTech innovation.
Financial companies will have to work towards providing a seamless digital experience for their consumers. To avoid the risk of losing out in the market, many FinTech startups, incumbent financial institutions, and technology companies are entering into new partnerships.
Technology in finance is no different than other disruptive technologies across various industries. It would be wise for even small businesses to consider FinTech as an investment for the future. Fingent has developed end-to-end disruptive technologies and innovative FinTech solutions that will help your business thrive and stay relevant. Contact us for more details.