March 8, 2019

7 FinTech Trends That Transform the Financial Services Forever

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FinTech solutions play a significant role in the financial services market and the financial industry in general. The world has become one huge marketplace. Customer expectations and new technologies rapidly evolve. Even the highly regulated financial sector (banks, insurance companies, payment providers, etc.) has witnessed the constant metamorphosis of its core business models to stay ahead in these disruptive times.

When it comes to the financial services ecosystem, the latest FinTech industry trends play a significant role in determining how the sector evolves and digitally transforms people’s life. Now, FinTech disruptors are changing how everything works with transforming the core of insurance, payment methods, lendings, credit settlements, and even more. To respond accordingly, banks and payment providers started partnering with FinTech companies or developed and deployed their own FinTech solutions.

A report by PricewaterhouseCoopers states that:

“… global investments in FinTech have more than tripled since 2014 to cross $12 billion. FinTech solutions now play a significant role in the financial services market”.

In this blog post, I’ll present to you 7 FinTech trends that will transform the financial industry in the next two to four years.

1. The Banking and Incumbent Payment Providers Transformation is Just Starting

Banking and FinTech

The evolution of online payment methods is an emerging FinTech trend which will continue to have enormous impact on the financial industry. Today, banks and incumbent online payment providers are changing dramatically, but the change is yet to come. Digitalization, Digital Transformation, and the new customer-centric and internationalized business models transformed many financial companies and will continue to do so. Meanwhile, boundaries between previously disconnected industry sectors are disappearing because of the rapid technological FinTech advancements and changes in consumer preferences and behaviour.

Latest industry transformational FinTech trends have opened up doors for incumbents and FinTech companies from different industries to collaborate and provide value-added FinTech services. New FinTech players challenge the traditional banks and steal their customers because they dare to innovate and embrace financial disruption.

Today, people choose to go digital more often when we talk about financial services. According to a study published by Ernst & Young, the average global adoption rate is more than 33% compared to 15% in 2015. The global FinTech adoption rate is forecasted to reach 52%, suggesting that most of the world population will use FinTech services in by 2025.

The FinTech revolution is changing the way banks and payments companies win and retain customers. Thanks to next-generation payment methods that bypass banks and credit cards, technology-driven FinTech companies take the lead and shift their focus to providing customer-centric financial services.

Now, incumbent payment providers are fiercely competing for a share of $100 trillion-plus market consisting of large and small retail, cross border transactions, peer to peer services, and e-commerce companies.

Smart Contracts and Blockchain technologies that startups introduce every day are redefining the relationship between financial vendors, suppliers and last but not least customers. Consumer behavior is changing, and the financial industry is experiencing a significant transformation. The industry has moved from traditional checking/savings accounts to seamless “one-click” messenger applications like Alipay, WeChat and PayTM. These incumbents are trying to remain relevant by expanding into adjacent markets, including point of sale and peer-to-peer services.

In the future, traditional banks will be more likely to adopt or integrate innovative FinTech services as part of their core service offerings in order to stay in the business. National regulators will also influence the landscape of the payment industry by implementing game-changing laws which might give either side an advantage in the financial market. This is why the FinTech companies should also aim to provide innovative services to traditional banks globally. As the industry saturates, we are likely to see a melding of both parties. There will be many interesting innovations to watch in the digital payment space in the upcoming years.

2. The Secure or Seamless Dilemma

Secure or Seamless Fintech Dilema

What’s the main problem with Fraud and Chargeback?

Fraudsters continue to adapt. Even with the growing range of fraud prevention tools that merchants implement in their checkout processes and systems, it is getting extremely complicated and costly to protect themselves from fraudulent invasions. The lack of seamless integration is pointed out as a fundamental problem between card issues and merchants. Even worse, the chargeback processes are broken because they have never been designed to share actionable intelligence. As an outcome both the card issuers and the merchants suffer from completely avoidable significant losses.

The challenge with the chargebacks is costly and painful for all parties. Moreover, merchants and cardholders claim that the current process experience is confusing and stressful. And it’s not just about cost! Chargebacks come as a direct expense, due to the high rates of accepted customers disputes leading to loss of revenue. For merchants, this means less sales and increased customer friction. For card issuers, it could mean more good customers get turned away due to the high cost of recovering fraud losses.

Fraud and Chargebacks are costly, and they can easily damage the reputation of your business. If you receive an excessive number of chargebacks, your merchant account will be closed. This will kill your business. According to Mr. Michal Jarski, one of the most important elements of any transaction is the identification of the parties. Here is what else he has to say:

“We tend to translate our “real life” experiences to the internet reality, where checking IDs or passports is not that easy or obvious. Combined with our embedded naive trust in what we see is true, leads to many disastrous events. People get easily manipulated by the criminals, their accounts are hijacked and used against subsequent victims.

Of course, we can make transactional systems more immune to hacking attempts, with more security checks and mechanisms, but they are usually clumsy and cumbersome to use; do not fit the ergonomics and speed required by online customers. This results in social rejection of such “protected services” and usually service providers do not want to take such business failure risk.

The answer seems to be coming from a recent development called behavioral biometrics, where identity of the user is verified not by username/password/fingerprint, but by the way such customer is working with the system. Keystrokes or mouse speed, rhythm, errors are checked against such user profile. The analysis can go deeper in how the customer is navigating through the interface, which options he/she selects, in which order, pace etc. If we add also some terminal fingerprinting (this user is typically logging from Android phone and now suddenly is using an Apple device), the geolocation (sudden changes of the location) or time/day of the week activity, we are getting pretty good profile check.

The customer can freely use the service based on simple authentication. And only if the current session looks too different from a typical behavior of the user, we can employ the stricter and less ergonomic identification mechanisms, like two factor authentication with hardware token. This way we can combine the ease of use with high level of transaction security.”

Michal Jarski

Security technologies like EMV (a payment standard that stands for EuropayMastercard, and Visa,) and fingerprint recognition have been already introduced to the merchants and aim to reduce fraud and chargebacks. They are used to validate that a payment card is genuine and facilitates the authorization of the transaction. When a payment is made offline – for example in-store, the card is inserted into a compatible card reader, the EMV chip is read, and data is exchanged in a highly secure manner, using encryption.

But when making an online payment, the buyer manually enters card information, so the chip appears to have no benefit. However, EMV still provides an indirect security benefit for online payments. If card information is stolen online, it’s much harder for fraudsters to clone and use a card with an embedded EMV chip.

Adyen’s research has found that 60% of retailers across Europe saw an increase in fraud in the past two years. Finextra’s research has also found that retailers are turning to biometrics to help authenticate payments securely.

57% of retailers are looking to implement fingerprint biometrics, and 56% are looking to use voice authentication to bolster their cybercrime defences.

However, it is important to remember that managing payments fraud and chargebacks is not only about keeping out the “bad” from the “good” transactions. It is also an exercise in removing friction. Merchants need to do everything under their power to prevent fraudulent transactions and protect their customers. Meanwhile, they should do their best  not to go on the overly cautious side and decline legitimate transactions.

In this regard innovation is the key. Machine learning and advanced data analytics play a vital role in accurately identifying the shopper behind each transaction in real-time and reducing fraudulent chargebacks.

In Fintechnews article, Mr. Lie Wee Chian gives an example of a system consists of 200 algorithms to verify transactions in 1 second. His Fraud Engine guarantees 100% chargeback protection, which is rare for the industry. This success rate comes from a combination of big data, machine learning, optimization, and fraud detection.

To protect from losses and drawbacks merchants add spending limits to their users. But the question here is:  “How to set your limits intelligently without losing big spenders for clients?”. Here you can leverage Machine Learning technologies to look at your customers’ profiles and set their limits dynamically in order to decrease losses.

3. SuperApps Powered by Payment Services Directive (PSD2) and Open Banking

Super Apps powered by PSD2 and Open Banking

The future of Banking extends well beyond the well-known Financial Services. It will depend on its ability to leverage the power of Customer Insights, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Advanced Analytics and latest Digital Technologies to provide services that help today’s tech-savvy customers manage their personal finances.

The question is not about FinTech or TechFin. The question is how the Banking Industry can leverage the latest regulations and directives like PSD2 (Payment Service Directive) and Open Banking Standards.

As you know the banks’ monopoly on their customers’ data disappeared on January 13th, 2018. The date on which the European Commission administered to adopt and to replace the old PSD Directive with the new PSD2 Directive. Since then, the Banks were obliged to open their customers’ databases and provide API’s to third-party payment providers like Revolut. This way Bank Institutions become infrastructure platforms providing endless business opportunities for third-party service providers that are PSD2 compliant.

Here is how Mr. Loic Le Pichoux sees the future of the industry.

“PSD2 and Open Banking open great opportunities for FinTech companies and their customers.

For Klear, I see at least 3 major concrete areas where we can benefit from it and provide great improvements in the product and the user experience.

The first one is Credit Scoring.

When someone applies for a Klear personal loan, we use a lot of data points to assess the creditworthiness. Part of this information is asked to the applicant, he must fill it, another part is automatically pulled from online databases.

With open banking, the applicant could give us a read-only access to his bank account(s) and we would analyse automatically all the transactions to infer for example revenues and expenses. No need anymore to ask him to provide this information.

In this situation, PSD2 and Open banking will save time for the customer and improve the accuracy of the creditworthiness assessment for Klear.

The second one is our PFM Budget tool.

We have developed a simple budget tool to help people plan their monthly budget, track their daily expenses and monitor all month long if they will achieve their saving goal.

The tool is useful although it requires to enter manually each single expense.

With PSD2 and Open Banking, the user could connect to his Klear budget tool his bank accounts and any card payment account. No need anymore to enter manually each transaction. Besides, thanks to the codification of each transaction, we could automatically categorize the transaction and allocate it to the right bucket of expenses.

It’s another example where PSD2 and Open Banking will enable the automation of actions which are now manually performed by the user.

The third one is to automate regular payments.

After a customer received his personal loan, he must repay it by sending to Klear his installment each month.

With PSD2 and Open Banking, we would give him the possibility to initiate, from his self-service zone in Klear, regular permanent payments from his bank account. No need to exit our website and to login on his online banking service, enter our IBAN and set up the permanent bank transfer…

There is the similar idea to give the possibility for an investor with Klear to initiate directly from our website regular payments to Klear, with the amount he intends to invest each month in the P2P investments.

This is an example showing how PSD2 and Open Banking will facilitate integration between various platforms to let the customer set up everything in one unique place.”

Loic Le Pichoux | CEO | Klear

Today, competition for customer touchpoints and secure access to customer data is fiercer than ever. Organizations from diverse industries like Media, Telco, Banking, and other technology-driven companies compete for them. But customer expectations for secure payments got lifted by financial industry disruptors and FinTech companies. Attacks from FinTech and Digital Companies that have well-established eco-systems add additional pressure on market price.

Aggregated super apps are not something new. Peer-to-peer lending and investing platforms too. ZopaMintos, and Iuvo Group are good examples of providing financial services to individuals and businesses through the latest technologies. All of them have websites and sophisticated platforms, but they also provide their customers with personal experience through aggregated super apps.

Super task-specific aggregated apps using PSD2, Open-banking, Machine Learning, and Artificial Intelligence provide their customers with higher returns to their investments, more accessible source of funding and lower interest rates. This way these innovative FinTech companies win market share and earn competitive advantages over the traditional Banking Industry.

Next-gen consumers prefer P2P lending platforms over traditional lending platforms. No one enjoys the cumbersome and long-lasting tasks of filling numerous forms and providing a whole lot of documents and then the indefinite wait. Even after all this, you are not sure if the bank will approve the loan. With P2P lending platforms, everything happens almost immediately – online. In most of the cases, your loan can be approved in up to 72 hours.

According to The Global Treasurer “UK Investors aged between 18 and 34 are four times more likely than those aged 55-plus to put money into the peer-to-peer asset class.” According to a survey from P2P platform ThinCats, which focuses on secured business loans, 29% of millennials cited the ability to cut out banks as the sector’s biggest attraction, while 28% like that they can lend directly to businesses and 23% have had P2P recommended to them by a friend.

There are no hidden fees and charges, and no penalties for repaying your loans before the stipulated time. Banks charge huge interest rates on personal loans. They consider them as unsecured loans. With PSD2 and P2P technologies, you often get competitive interest rates.

And last but not least, Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence allowed FinTech’s apps and platforms to gain a competitive advantage over Banks because this way they can offer their customers highly personalized services.

4. Time-to-Market for Forking Applications Enabled by Digital Transformation in FinTech

Time-to-Market for forking applications enabled by Digital Transformation in FinTech Industry

Both Emerging Markets and most of the European Developed Markets show significant cashless payments growth in 2018. PSPs and banks are on the constant race to address this market acquisition opportunity by quickly releasing best product-market fit FinTech applications. Players that have invested early in FinTech Digital Transformation programs and disruptive newcomers are now way ahead, as their time-to-market for forking new financial solutions is times smaller.

DevOps, CloudOps, and SecOps are already considered a core business advantage as they allow lightning fast software builds and thus timely high-quality software products releases. Automation is key on all layers: software infrastructure, source code management, testing, deployment process, release, monitoring, self-healing, and elasticity.

What is more, top fintech solution providers have a tremendous focus on streamlining software engineers’ work. FinTech Developers now have a set of artifacts (software libraries) and services (APIs) that let the software experts focus extremely on the user experience. This is a huge win for the company itself as all products use now based on standard (approved and tested) services, libraries and frameworks and have out-of-the-box automation, monitoring and security capabilities.

“Today’s fintech innovators and winners are not bound by on-prem/hybrid infrastructures and leverage the Financial Cloud. For example, the Alibaba Blink cloud service is fintechs’ favourite stream computing engine that allows for real-time A/B testing, product selection etc. We are focusing on providing a Cloud Platform with embedded DevOps, Security and Elasticity. It provides out-of-the-box all the SDLC automation tools and processes that allow finance companies to stay ahead of their competition.”

Eva Zhang | Head of Financial Services | Alibaba Cloud

Real-time Payments, API-driven core platforms, and Microservices architectures further boost consumer centricity and ease of B2B integrations. But without the proper orchestration, monitoring, security, strict legacy decoupling and decommissioning, these transformation engines become part of the cumbersome infrastructure that hampers product innovation. Once again, these pure technology pillars enable direct business outcomes such as reducing reconciliation and settlement-related costs, reducing invoice processing times, eliminating late payments and reducing fraud risk.

“We’ve seen that growing PSPs constantly release new FinTech apps. For example, they could address specific time-boxed consumer needs to gain market share. Some FinTech products are quickly designed, produced and released to serve a temporary money transfer need in a concrete relatively small region. Onboarding these customers gives the PSP significant upsell and cross-sell opportunities for its main FinTech products. None of this would be possible without fully automated and standardised software development.”

Mladen Tsvetkov | Business Development Executive | ScaleFocus

5. The Future of Payment Solutions – Merchants’ PoV as a Centerpiece

future of payments and financial services

Today, with the astonishingly quick adoption of next-gen FinTech solutions, everyone can be a merchant and receive online payments with utmost ease. Almost every mobile device with the Internet can accept payments. Now, merchants are in control of their own destiny when it comes to set up payment methods for every point of sale. In a world of StripeSquarePayPal, and Venmo, there are countless ways for individuals and small businesses to accept payments. Most of these FinTech companies are processing billions in online transactions every year.

Moreover, card payments are accepted from entrepreneurs selling out stuff out of their basements to corporations like Amazon, Etsy, Shutterstock, and Lyft, moving to the market huge amount of goods and services on a daily basis.

Previously, payments were location bound. Today, they are device enabled. Everyone can pay from everywhere. We are gradually moving to the future with universal payment methods that will alter relationships between merchants, customers and payment intermediaries. All it takes for a merchant to take advantage of a next-gen point of sale is to have a good internet connectivity and a portable card reader.

“Our own strategy is to transform every device into a payment device. We are not fully there yet, but we are on the way to get there.”

Gabriel Ghita | Business Development Manager | CEE Mastercard

Watch what Gabriel has more to say in one of the latest discussions about the future of payments at Webit.Festival 2019.

Technology will continue to evolve. The FinTech trends in the past few years show that card growth has outpaced merchant outlet growth. In the future, there will be more cards than places to accept them. The only way for merchants to bridge this gap is to start universal acceptance. With that, the payment network will become bilateral for the first time.

Merchants’ point of view focuses over words like contactless, cryptocurrencies, Artificial IntelligenceMachine Learning, Open Banking, and PSD2. There is a strong desire to revolutionize the in-store checkout process according to 300 US and Canadian merchants interviewed by Paysafe. Their prediction claims that contactless card acceptance will rise by 74% between 2018 and 2020. They also declare that the acceptance of mobile wallets will grow even further, raising from 29% to 62% through the same period.

Here is how Dr. Hilmi Erdem, Principal from nGen.Consulting describes the future of Financial Technologies from the merchants’ point of view.

”The trend to enhance digital selling capabilities with AI will accelerate in 2019 and beyond. The two areas that will benefit most from AI and Machine Learning capabilities are improving customer experience and securing online payment transactions.

Customer Experience

Chatbots are already widely used: the AI engines driving the user interaction will be enhanced making the dialogue appear more seamless; integration with service desk and learning from recorded dialogues are actively pursued.

Classical statistical learning technique such as A/B testing, using historical data to better segment customers and position products/services, real-time recommendations will further be augmented by the seamless integration of tools for brand perception and sentiment analysis.

These improvements will be provided seamlessly across all channels: web sites, mobile apps.

Securing Online Payments

The most significant enhancements to be brought about by AI and ML will come in the domain of fraud detection and prevention. Old rule-based fraud detection and prevention engines will be quickly replaced by ML-based classification systems that exploit vast amounts of data to detect potentially fraudulent transactions and help financial industry players prevent such transactions in real-time without having to reprogram the anti-fraud engine”

Dr. Hilmi Erdem | Principal | nGen.Consulting

When selecting an online payment service provider (PSP), merchants choose security as the number one priority. Security is everything for them. In a report called Lost in Transaction by Paysafe, 59% of surveyed in the US, Canada, UK, Germany, and Austria name security as a critical differentiator when selecting a PSP.

Another solution that will become more prevalent by 2020 and continue to be a solid FinTech trend in the future of payments is Automation. Merchants consider Automation as an important trend. It is almost everywhere, but if you don’t restrict some automation processes in your organization, you may experience the effect of losing control over some of your business process.

Merchants also consider the penetration of the Blockchain technology in the financial industry a significant FinTech trend and look for it in the FinTech solutions they choose to rely on. Data breaches and the increasing need for privacy as well as online verification that provides an outdated user experience, are opening doors for technology companies that offer FinTech solutions based on the blockchain technology.

Mobile ordering and mass personalization will be part of the competitive advantage of every merchant. Consumers already are familiar with in-app payments. This will allow them to purchase a variety of products from vendors and have them delivered directly to them via localized curated marketplaces. Every order will be highly personalized with the help of Artificial Intelligence. Personalization alternatives will be close to infinite.

“As a game production company with more than 25 titles, we at Imperia Online JSC expect a complex, intuitive and convenient solution combining all payment options into the framework of one widget. Our PSP partners help us optimize user experience, which results in added transactions, conversions, and satisfaction.

Imperia Online’s players from all over the world can take advantage of over 700 payment systems available through our payment partners to purchase their favourite in-game packages. Entering markets in developing countries is often combined with a requirement of a local entity in order to operate, which is solved by our PSP partners.

Security, convenience, and support are at the root of our relationship with these companies, therefore charge-backs and fraud are minimal number of cases. Imperia Online’s payment partners are like an extension of our team and help automate things like support, taxes, and authentication.”

Mariela Tzvetanova | Chief Marketing Officer | Imperia Online

6. The Future of Digital Money: Beyond the Horizon of Cryptocurrency

Digital Money, Crypto and Fintech Industry

Over the last decade, the growth of the digital economy and mobile devices have already enabled an explosion in non-traditional financial services, allowing FinTech companies to thrive. New forms and methods of online payments and interactions between individuals were adopted. Devices have become connected and the Internet of Things (IoT) took off. There are expectations for the second round of machine-to-machine transactions. Some people call it a digital-only world.

The physical money concept is becoming redundant. Today, most transactions are invisible. The act of paying cash is disappearing. Digital-money already takes a substantial amount of our life. Applications let customers book tables at restaurants, hotel rooms, flight or event tickets and buy products and all kinds of stuff online without actually paying with real money. Money, as a physical form of exchange, become just a number with digits in your bank accounts and mobile wallets.

The Future of Payments: Cryptocurrencies

Digitalization and transformation of our world introduced new types of money and currencies – the Cryptocurrencies. The evolution of cryptocurrencies is one of the FinTech trends that has enormous impact on the financial industry. Blockchain technology that underpins new cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin opened the doors to endless opportunities. Moreover, they already gained some traction. Their impact has already demonstrated the opportunity for all sides of the financial ecosystem. They help to reduce costs, improve efficiency and extend the reach of financial services.

In a survey by Capgemini Financial Services Analysis, from 2016, non-cash worldwide transactions between 2010 and 2014 raised:

  • from 282.1 billion USD to 387.3 billion USD worldwide
  • from 116.4 billion USD to 139.8 billion USD in North America
  • from 77.0 billion USD to 93.6 billion USD in Europe
  • from 27.2 billion USD to 41.3 billion USD in Mature Asia-Pacific
  • from 25.7 billion USD to 38.3 billion USD in Latin America
  • from 16.4 billion USD to 38.3 billion USD in Emerging Asia
  • from 19.4 billion USD to 35.9 billion USD in CEMEA

The explosion of FinTech companies, digitalization, and virtualization of the money, accelerated the growth of the digital economy. Operating in a world beyond physical cash raises important questions for the role of regulators and traditional financial services intermediaries. Governments across the globe are very interested and try to put limits and create different types of regulations. This endeavor is hard for them because Blockchain technology is decentralized. It enables you and any user on the network to make and verify transactions that are permanently recorded on the ledger. To reduce cost and time of verifying transactions across a wide range of industries and users, most blockchain applications so far have been on public ledgers.

While the short- and the long-term potential of investing in digital-money and cryptocurrency remains heavily debated, the volatility of Crypto markets and the possibility of quick gains, investing in Cryptocurrency have attracted significant attention from some of the biggest names in business and financial industry on a global scale.

Here are some Pros and Cons investing in cryptocurrency:

Pros:

  • Cryptocurrencies have a potential for huge returns
  • Cryptocurrencies are very liquid
  • The Crypto market is open 24/7/365
  • The potential of cryptocurrencies to withstand financial and political instability
  • Investors are able to clearly and accurately evaluate cryptocurrency companies

Cons:

  • The Crypto market is extremely volatile
  • Security is a major issue
  • Most Crypto Exchangers do not provide insurance
  • Government regulation may negatively affect stock prices
  • If cryptocurrency ICOs run out of resources or fail to raise money, stock prices will plummet

The Future of Payments: The Quantum Computing Power

The future of digital-money surely is beyond the horizon. Now, quantum computing is a reality thanks to the work of Paul Benioff. As of 2018, the development of quantum computers is a fact. Famous physicists and engineers give quantum computers a hypothetical competitive advantage against classical computers. Back in 2017 Google announced that they expected to achieve quantum supremacy by the end of the year. In 2018 IBM said that the best classical computers would be beaten on some practical tasks by quantum computers.

The power of quantum computing is considered to break many of the cryptographic systems in use today. The digital-money world, the cryptocurrency world, today’s most sophisticated protection, and encryption algorithms will be easily cracked by quantum computing. Therefore, quantum-based cryptographic systems could be more secure than traditional systems against quantum hacking.

“Quantum computing is very often mentioned as a game-changer of the financial industry. Some analysts consider it to be on a very early stage, but nonetheless, several of the most popular FinTech events such as Money 20/20 have Quantum Computing as a topic in their agendas.

It’s very hard to explain quantum computing. Perhaps the easiest way I’ve found is if you first think of the game of tic-tac-toe. Everyone learns it pretty quickly and can easily keep in mind all possible outcomes. Or in other words – with little effort you will never loose. Think now of the game of chess – it’s impossible for us to keep in mind all possible outcomes. In fact, it’s a massive effort for a computer too, so big that it’s deemed not worth it. Or in other words – strategically you’re better off if you risk losing occasionally.

In this context, quantum computing is literally game-changing: it turns chess into tic-tac-toe, all possible outcomes are actually already there for you. It does not take time to compute them, they are there. Inevitably, some companies will be the first to adopt quantum computing. They will have a tic-tac-toe solution to problems that everyone else considers as ‘worth losing occasionally’. I would say, for them, in such a scenario it won’t be just ‘never loose’.

It will be ‘always win’.

Just to put things a little bit more into the business perspective – here are a few examples of chess-like problems today. Obviously, security, everything cryptographic – think of somebody having all security keys. Cryptocurrencies – again, think of somebody waking up and having all the Bitcoins. Or should I say – even all credit card numbers? Think of all the investments companies have made in ‘digital’ – verifying identities, business automation, etc. For those who are not among the first to adopt quantum computing it will be back to square one.

And just like this isn’t enough – think of the Business Intelligence you’re doing now, how you identify gaps in markets, how you analyze customer behavior, investment risks and just generally how you make strategic decisions for the future.

Would you agree it’s a chess-like problem? And would you like it if it is a tic-tac-toe problem?

Yes, the technology is not here yet, it will take time until it is developed to this level. You might even say it is still largely in the academic domain. Or believe people are largely exaggerating its potential, that it is still all buzz. And that therefore you should wait, not act.

But all that hype wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t catching on a trend. And that trend is very clear and very real – business is switching from reports, meetings and planning to COMPUTING outcomes and best bets; from people making decisions to computers analyzing data to arrive automatically at a conclusion; from taking risks to solidifying winnings under all circumstances. Quantum computing or not, this is what’s happening today. This is the one thing worth acting on today, the one thing that is accessible today, the one thing that will put your business on the chess-to-tic-tac-toe track.

So that, eventually, your company will be among the first to adopt quantum computing.”

Andrey Rusev | VP Real-Time Analytics | mishmash.io

7. Processing, Operations Optimization, and Automation

Processing, Operations Optimization, and Automation in FinTech Industry

Ten years ago, the average consumer had only a few interactions with financial services companies. Through that time consumers worked with just one or two institutions at all. But today, FinTech companies are disrupting the industry.  They are focusing on specific services that banks haven’t done yet and deliver them to the market with great ease. The result is that the average consumer today deals with numerous financial service providers, each with a clear-cut purpose.

The FinTech revolution started right after the 2008 financial crisis. Through that time banks pulled back dramatically on almost all their activities to reduce risk. This left a significant gap in the financial marketplace and allowed innovative FinTech companies to step into the market and bring new ideas to life.  But today, we live in a digital transformation world where the economy changes its direction and banks are aggressively running into that gap to recapture what they lost.

The problem is that both sides realize that the business is much more customer-centric and customer relationship oriented than simply offering great products or services. Now we are living in a world, where every week a new tool, application or web service using artificial intelligence or machine learning is introduced to the market. To shrink the cost and to improve the volume, speed, and quality of customer information, financial services providers like Banks and FinTech companies are implementing machine learning and artificial intelligence to significantly improve the operational efficiency and reduce processing costs. This way they can automate key business functions and save time and other precious resources.

Here is a valuable input from Mr. Arsh Maini, the Chief Executive of Candela Labs.

“Process improvement and optimisation programmes have changed quite significantly – from being largely focused on cost and efficiencies, to truly integrating the end-customer at the heart of every process.  This has resulted in traditional boundaries between the front and the back offices coming down, and we are increasingly seeing such programmes deliver business cases that include a step change to top-line growth and customer satisfaction.

At Candela Labs we believe that Intelligent Automation (IA) is where the next big leap will take place, to unlock very significant value for both Banks and Insurers. Intelligent Automation goes much beyond traditional piecemeal efforts – to encompass Digital, Business Process Management or Human-in-the-loop, Case Management, Robotics Process Automation and Artificial Intelligence. The impact of such programmes is multiple times what we have traditionally seen. These capabilities are leading to new ways to provide differentiated service for micro segments of customers, and indeed to design and offer new products.  Technology was an enabler, it is now certainly a key driver by itself.”

Arsh Maini | Chief Executive | Candela Labs

According to Capgemini’s Digital Transformation Institute Report, the financial services industry can reach up to $512 billion in new revenues by 2020 through automation. The report called “Growth in the Machine” gives valuable information about automation and operations optimization. There, you will find out that robotic process automation, artificial intelligence, and business process optimization will be the technologies that will add great impact in the future. Plus, what would be the advantages of applying them for your business?

Robotic process automation

Robotic process automation (RPA) is one of the most impactful and ubiquitous FinTech trend that transforms the financial services industry nowadays. Automated robots (bots for short) are providing digital speed to market and cost take outs for financial institutions, but the successful financial institutions of tomorrow will be those who embrace the next wave of automation technology and future technology to drive business outcome.

FinTech companies, Insurers, Pension Funds, Banks, and other financial services providers operate in a highly regulated industry and are faced with high demands for security, data quality, and operational resilience. Robotic process automation allows modern financial companies to meet these demands easily and achieve significant operational efficiency.

The benefits of RPA are:

  • Cost saving – RPA reduces the cost up to 80%
  • Higher quality – RPA increases quality by reducing human errors
  • Time-saving – RPA reduces time to perform tasks up to 80-90%
  • Scalable solutions – Solutions that fit into your current setup
  • Integration – RPA runs on top of existing IT infrastructure and requires no IT transformation projects
  • Local competency – RPA keeps competencies and control locally

What financial companies find exciting about the robotic process automation technology is that it is capable of not only delivering cost and productivity benefits, but also driving more transformational client engagement and personalized services.

Reconciliation and Settlement Automation

No matter how efficient an organization’s finance team is, it carries out reconciliations and settlements discrepancies mostly manually. It is a necessary evil. There are no two opinions that this process is slow, costly and prone to human errors.  High transaction volumes, different transaction types, multiple bank accounts, multiple currencies, and different types of bank formats add even more problems. These are some of the reasons why you need to consider a tailored but affordable automation alternative in your reconciliation activities.

To automate your financial processes, you need software with rich functionality. It will allow you to integrate your main systems with a variety of reconciliation-specific modules. This will provide you with transparent and accurate information.

An implementation of adaptive and self-learning automated reconciliation systems can drive numerous tangible benefits for your company.  It will effectively support your finance team, cut processing costs, increase productivity, improve data accuracy, and add greater financial control. Financial companies that do not have resilient automated reconciliation processes will fail to achieve such outcomes. For instance, VSA, a Scottish social care charity, has cut reconciliation of its 15 bank accounts at the end of each month from two whole days to just 30 minutes by using a financial management system with integrated reconciliation functionality. You can achieve similar outcomes too.

Conclusion

Now, you are aware of the top FinTech trends that will transform the financial industry in the next couple of years. You already know that they are going to reshape the financial industry and many others with it.  If you are looking for a guide or starting point to build your disruptive digital strategy, you can give us a call or write to us from the form below.

Please, focus and consider the following:

  • Put the spotlight on cyber security.
  • Take advantage of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning to cut your operational costs.
  • Apply robotic process automation to manage customer requests faster.
  • Be client-oriented and provide omnichannel services.
  • Consider digital transformation seriously and act accordingly.
  • Make sure that the level of expertise of your team complies with today’s demands.

If you don’t feel ready and still don’t know where to start, you can just drop us a line from the contact form below and benefit from our assessment framework. We will analyze your business needs and offer you a high-class tailored made solution.

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