With federal regulators becoming more receptive to large deals, bank merger approvals have sped up under the Trump administration. Although the anticipated merger activity volume has slowed relative to early 2019 projections, the fact remains that attention to detail in the execution of these combinations has never been more important.
A persistent problem in Africa is the financial-inclusion deficit. With 11 million citizens in South Africa alone being either underbanked or unbanked, the need to gather them into the banking fold is urgent. Recognizing this imperative, innovative teams such as Nedbank’s Retail and Business Banking have prioritised customer-centric digital avenues to reach more customers, entrenching themselves as the money experts who do good and give clients back the gift of time.
Artificial intelligence is infiltrating almost every industry, including banking, and automating tasks in ways that outperform humans. But is this cause for nail-biting or rejoicing? A lot depends on how intelligently artificial intelligence is first viewed and then put to work by humans. Banks worldwide, such as Alawwal bank in Saudi Arabia, are proving that this powerful technology, if exploited smartly, will be transformational for banks and customers alike.
In the age of specialization, many organizations turn to intermediaries to do business. They take the form of partners, suppliers, distributors, or agents, and many firms can have thousands of “feet on the ground” doing work on their behalf around the globe.
What’s not to like about a process that simultaneously slashes costs and boosts efficiency? Increasingly, senior executives of financial-services firms, with eagle eyes focused on the bottom line, are jumping enthusiastically into the RPA game. Perhaps surprisingly, others in these organizations, such as IT employees, are reluctant. But adopting robotic process automation to best advantage must involve the active participation of the whole company-wide team.
Digitally native customers are driving banks to jump into the future by embracing technological breakthroughs such as artificial intelligence, machine learning and robotic process automation. And in the process, banks are discovering the many advantages of these innovations, from cutting down on costly human errors to improving everything from fraud management, operational efficiency and trading. As they progress through their digital evolutions, many are reinventing themselves for the better.
When A.G. Bell invented the telephone, he had no idea that less than a century and a half later, the phone would be used to talk through—and text, shop, even bank with. Smartphones are small enough to be held in one’s hand and big enough to handle nearly any function. How are banks making fraud-vulnerable processes such as onboarding fast, efficient and secure by verifying the identity of customers?
Make no mistake about it: Open banking will transform how the financial industry operates. The movement has yet to realize its potential, but the shift toward rich, data-led customer experiences is just around the corner.
In spite of the recent rise of protectionism amongst major trade partners, international trade growth is strong, with emerging markets providing the main impetus. Trade growth could be even stronger if not for the shortfall in trade financing supply relative to demand, a gap that is partly due to regulation compliance. Technology is coming to the rescue, not only in addressing the trade finance gap but ameliorating operations throughout trade channels.
Following on from our recent piece, “Five Industries in Which to Invest in 2019”, we now turn our attention to some of the most promising individual stocks within those industries. Looking forward to 2019, each one of the five sectors certainly appears to have some winners.