New sanctions are continually being imposed, making life difficult for banks, which must comply or face stiff penalties. In the past, much of the work toward sanctions compliance involved burdensome manual tasks, but today, technology can lift off much of the load. Since compliance is not an option and pleading ignorance doesn’t work, banks are turning to tools such as intelligent process automation to do the job better and quicker.
Most banks have processed the message that they need to change if they plan to stay competitive in today’s financial world, increasingly infiltrated by fintech and bigtech disruptors. But the change that is required goes beyond changing strategy; it involves transforming the entire culture of a bank, from the top down. What are the practical steps banks must take to change their internal cultures and use technology most effectively?
Many financial institutions are facing a perfect storm of pressure on revenues and increasing costs driven by regulatory mandates and the need for overdue investment in infrastructure.
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.
Banks once were the movers and shakers of the financial world, but in the aftermath of the global financial crisis, mired in new regulations, many have lagged behind rising fintechs in technological innovation. What fintechs have discovered is artificial intelligence’s considerable contribution to meeting customer needs and maximizing operational efficiencies. Now that the regulatory climate has eased, banks are catching up and employing carefully implemented AI to help them achieve their customer-centric goals.
A recent report by Access to Cash has suggested that cash transactions could fall to just 10% of all payments within the next 15 years. This is not very surprising given thatlast year, debit cards officially overtook notes and coins as the UK’s most popular form of payment.
There has been a rapid increase in the size and number of investments into UK fintechs with the likes of Monzo and Revolut leading the charge. Interestingly, it is not just the VC funds driving this; banks are also investing or in many cases, acquiring fintech companies outright.
It’s now pretty much universally acknowledged that the UK retail banking market is being disrupted by new, digital-first competitors – the so-called ‘direct’ banks. The narrative is that these agile upstarts are stealing customers away from incumbents by offering compelling new services and unprecedented levels of convenience.
The hold traditional banking once exerted over consumer finances has seriously eroded in the Digital Age, with fintech presenting a formidable challenge to banking’s sovereignty. Customers are shrugging off any loyalty they may have had to their main banks and are opting for the providers with the most convenient, efficient, secure and, above all, speedy financial solutions. Can banks survive in the fintech world, and if so, how?
Societies face a stark reality: their 65-plus members are claiming a rapidly increasing population share. Japan may be the guinea pig in this predicament; in the Land of the Rising Sun, the death rate already eclipses the birthrate. How the innovation-savvy Japanese respond will be a model for other countries that will follow in their footsteps. Will Japan’s empathy for its elders be duplicated elsewhere, especially in financial industries?