Digitalization has become second nature to many banks around the world, but not all. In the Central European country of Hungary, many banks—and their customers, who are relatively uninformed of the ways going digital can enhance their personal financial management—are in the early stages of the digital banking voyage. The time has arrived for Hungarian banks to jump into the present, or remain behind in the past.
Using technological innovations to make the process of completing financial transactions seamless and convenient for customers seems like a worthy objective for banks. It’s a good goal, but it doesn’t go far enough. Celent’s recent survey indicates that today’s digitally oriented consumers expect more; they expect to be positively engaged through relationship building, which will result in their banks knowing them well enough to offer invaluable, tailored financial advice.
The good news is that economic growth globally is strong, with a few exceptions, as the world shakes off the effects of the Great Recession. But economists are uneasy about troubling undercurrents, such as protectionist trade policies, that could whip up into a global trade war. Most are hoping that trade relationships can be repaired, acknowledging that the time is now to rebuild rather than burn bridges.
The global financial crisis triggered many changes to the world’s financial system, including the ascension of alternative finance: financial channels, sources and instruments that exist beyond the traditional. Spurred on by the capital needs of fast-growing small and medium-sized firms and prospective real-estate buyers, alternative finance has mushroomed over the past 10 years into a multi-faceted, ever-evolving financial powerhouse capable of overcoming barriers to obtaining finance.
Credit cards have become an essential staple of the financial world within the past century, so a world without them seems inconceivable today. But the marriage of Open Banking with Instant Payments is making that reality look more plausible, and in the not-too-distant future. How can banks not simply survive but excel in the new post-card world, in which the payments process moves in-house, providing a wealth of data?
Lately, there seems to be a frenzy well fed by consulting firms in the enterprise world about digitisation and the necessity to “digitise” companies’ business models and operations.
As the landscape of financial services continues to change, it’s critical to stay ahead of the game. ATMs were groundbreaking achievements once upon a time, while more recently, mobile baking was the logical next step in banking’s maturation.
The name of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 describes its purpose: slashing the US corporate tax rate from 35 to 21 percent would result in executives investing the resultant savings into growing their companies, increasing productivity, creating jobs, equalizing wage inequalities. If only the executives were on the same page. Instead, many are funnelling the lion’s share of the windfall into share buybacks, benefiting their investors.