The financial services industry relies more on information technology than any other sector. That makes perfect sense given the high-speed and detail-oriented nature of the industry. Unfortunately, it’s costing a lot more to protect and maintain financial data these days.
Many bankers love blockchain for its potential to maximize efficiency and productivity while slashing costs and security risks. But the crypto-currencies, such as the (in)famous bitcoin, tied to it? Not so much—at least not across the board. While giving the thumbs up to distributed ledger technology for its advantages in areas such as trade finance, industry leaders are maintaining a wary eye on cryptos, due to disadvantages such as volatility.
Combating money laundering is no longer a choice but a must for banks. But the effort that must go into fighting it is daunting. How can technology, especially artificial intelligence and machine learning, battle the costs and drains on monetary and human resources required for AML compliance, making the whole process a lot easier and more effective? Can AI be trusted to do the job right?
All over the world, regulations have been implemented to protect economies, especially following the major recession 10 years ago. But unfortunately they have not always been executed in concert, leading to costly regulatory fragmentation. Banks have been particularly hard hit by the costs of compliance to misaligned regulation, with resources being drained away from more productive areas. But there are ways to mend these divergences, starting with cooperation between regulators.
Blockchain—a cryptographic, decentralized distributed ledger system—is gaining acceptance and prestige as its multiple advantages, such as immutability, become clear, even to normally cautious financial organisations. But it isn’t all smooth sailing. Especially in Europe, some of the new data and privacy regulations clash head-on with blockchain and its attendant crypto-currencies. Can the technology overcome these hurdles and continue on its path toward broad, industry-wide adoption?
How can banks and financial institutions get through to the generation born in the 1980s and 1990s, the so-called “millennials”, also known as Generation Y, given their shorter attention spans and distrust of brand loyalty?
Anyone working in banking knows that customer expectations are charging ahead at full throttle, fuelled by technology advances. Fortunately banks can use innovations such as AI and IoT to meet customers where they are at, and a recent Fujitsu report shows they are doing—or planning to do—just that. So what can we reasonably expect banking to become as a result of this transformative process?
Cobalt, that versatile ferromagnetic metal, has experienced its own evolution; no longer used just to provide blue colour for glass and ceramics, it is today highly valued as a necessary ingredient for making those prized electric-car and smartphone batteries tick. Cobalt has seen its price rise and fall over recent years, but the current trend is in an upward direction as demand outpaces supply.