If you feel as if your every move is being tracked, you may be right. Investment firms and other businesses are paying a premium for alternative data, including geolocation data, hoping it will give them a competitive edge in their quest to maximise investment returns by lending them greater insight into consumer patterns and preferences.
Crises bring out the best in humans, and that has certainly been evident during the COVID-crisis, especially with banking, which has risen to the challenge more successfully than many expected. Sustaining the momentum post-pandemic will be critical, as economies struggle to recover. To remain robust and profitable, banks will need to pay particular attention to key areas such as transforming costs and reimagining customer relations, aided by talent and innovations.
Traditional banking hasn’t worked well in some areas of the world, including sub-Saharan Africa, where a large percentage of the population has been financially underserviced. New, innovative fintechs have been only too happy and qualified to fill the void. By expanding access, fintechs are promoting economic and social growth in the region, especially in high-tech hubs South Africa and Kenya, which are setting an example for others to follow.
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?
Financial-technology development is full of promise but is lacking one thing: talent, especially female talent. Few young women are jumping on the fintech bandwagon as a career option. There are many reasons for this reluctance, from stereotyping in elementary school to viewing a tech career as “too male”, but efforts are underway to change this attitude and bring gender diversity to one of today’s most pivotal fields of influence.
China is investing heavily in financial technology while the rest of the world is lagging behind, propelling the country to the forefront as the global leader in the fintech revolution. A favorable regulatory environment and a welcoming, underbanked domestic population are a few of the factors contributing to this eastward fintech migration.
We are pleased to be joined by Karl Meekings, who is the Lead Analyst within EY’s Global Banking & Capital Markets division. Today, Karl will be providing us with further insight into EY’s recently released report “Global Banking Outlook 2017”. Karl, thank you for taking the time to be with us.
Customer trust is the foothold of all commercial activities, especially financial services. Customers need to trust their financial institutions to protect their assets and work toward their best interests. Without first gaining customer trust, a bank is likely to find itself constrained from warding off competition and pushing forward into further growth.
Real estate investment trusts, which pool resources to invest in rental-income properties, have led as the top-performing asset class and been the ideal response to low interest rates. Recently the GICS recognized this success by introducing a new equity market sector category for real estate companies, guaranteed to attract investors.