Although not a new concept, big data is now gaining the world’s attention like never before. Some call it the “new oil”, given its growing reputation as a valuable, largely untapped resource. Indeed, today we are seeing data being unleashed across many different walks of life, as a growing global consensus believes it could dramatically transform the way the world works.
There are enough new terms floating around banking to make one’s head spin, and along comes greenfield bank. This refers to the growing trend among incumbent banks to create standalone digital banks that are as agile and innovative as the fintechs and neobanks. After considering how difficult and expensive it is proving to be for banks to break out of their legacy-infrastructure moulds, this approach makes a lot of sense.
The word revolution isn’t used lightly, so when we are told that we are in the midst of Industrial Revolution 4.0, we can expect to see major changes—especially in that most fundamental of industries, banking. Providing guidance to their 33,000 strong membership, in the midst of the upheaval, is the UK’s Chartered Banker Institute, which through multiple avenues is preparing bank professionals, current and future, to serve their customers well during the transformation.
Banks are a mixed bag when it comes to utilising technology’s full potential: some are taking full advantage while some are trying, and often struggling, to apply technology to their existing businesses.
The term “operational efficiency” is not new, and in fact, applies to many industries because it works toward a common goal: to optimize operations so they provide greater returns – whether they be faster time to market, greater volume and/or increased revenue – relative to inputs.
International banks are rapidly evolving to cater to the digital world. With pen and paper signatures nearly obsolete, banks are investing in electronic signatures as a more secure, trustworthy replacement. But questions remain: How secure are the systems that consumers and businesses use and what happens if a transaction is disputed?
Although Shariah-influenced finance has existed for centuries, the first modern Islamic banks were not established until the early 1960s. Today, Islamic banking is spreading throughout the Middle East and Africa, in countries where a majority of the population is Muslim. Combining modern technology with ancient religious principles, Islamic banking is rich with opportunity for financial firms seeking to serve this growing consumer market, especially those who have not been served well by conventional banks.
Banks exist to serve the financial needs of consumers, through whatever avenue works best. With the rapid evolution of technology, more tools and resources are available than ever before to determine and meet those needs. Personalization in banking works when the customer is the focus, but without customer-centricity as their anchor, banks drift from what really matters. What steps can banks take to stay focused in today’s changing financial environment?
No one can deny that around the world, bank branches are shutting their doors, alarming consumer advocates. But who is mainly behind the trend away from brick and mortar and toward digital? As research proves, the prime mover is the customer, whose changing demands and expectations are causing the shift. Fortunately, today’s two main banking channels are not mutually exclusive; they can work successfully in tandem.
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.