It’s fair to say that 2020 has been among the most consequential years ever for the fintech (financial technology) industry. Thanks in no small part to a deadly pandemic that swept across much of the world, consumers, households and businesses alike have all had to depend on the digital world a whole lot more than at any time previously.
Many of us are now familiar with the concept of software as a service (SaaS)—that is, the licensing and delivery model that enables users to subscribe to use-specific programmes and applications over the internet rather than having to buy them outright and install them on their computers.
It’s no secret that the last decade has been one of the most transformative periods for the global banking industry, at least from a regulatory perspective. Financial institutions have been forced to evolve under this new era of transparency, with authorities taking unprecedented steps to ensure that consumer protection
Banks have traditionally been considered the “owners” of whatever data they manage to collect on their customers. But that entrenched viewpoint was challenged by Open Banking, an initiative of the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority. Under this model, the consumer owns his or her data. Now the concept is spreading not only to other parts of the world but to non-payment financial products and services via Open Finance.
Financial services, as we enter 2020, have never been more open to innovation, collaboration and transformation, as established banks are challenged to adapt, like it or not. Worldwide, and especially in countries in which access to financial services was previously limited or nonexistent, financial technology is offering a bold and exciting new world to those financial firms that will employ it. What are the probable trends in the coming months?
It is hard to believe that we just wrapped up another year. The beginning of a new year is one of the best times to both reflect on the previous years successes, while looking ahead at what the biggest challenges, priorities and opportunities will be for companies as they enter the new year.
The issuance of new regulation is not always met with elation, but financial and accounting industries in the European Union have reason to applaud the new PSD2, as it brings advantages for customers and businesses alike. Although the advantages for customers are clearer, such as increased control over their personal data, banks, too, will benefit from such features as better data, increased security and, in the end, more satisfied customers.
The current decade has not been kind to Greece’s financial sector, which has been beset by one crisis after another. And yet, from the rubble, a fully digital bank has arisen, the first in the country. In our interview, Praxia bank’s CEO Anastasia Sakellariou describes what it is like to create a bank with a vision to meet its customers’ needs solely through digital channels while remaining completely human.
Once upon a time, traditional banks could depend on customer loyalty, no matter what. A bank was the one-stop-shop for all things related to consumer finance. Not anymore. Not now that neobanks and fintechs are competing for the same consumers. Although bank customers are reluctant to move their financial business, banks are being increasingly challenged to address their needs first, which is all working out to their advantage.
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.