The wealth-management industry is in the midst of some seismic changes at present. The traditional channels through which money has been managed and advice dispensed are now being decisively disrupted. And as a result, those who are being affected the most—from multi-billion-dollar hedge funds to retail investors managing their own portfolios—are now operating in an almost entirely new landscape.
With all of the new developments in banking these days, it’s easy to lose touch with what really matters: the customer experience. To enhance their customers’ journeys and earn their loyalty, research shows that bank staff need to develop effective communication channels, listen and then learn what matters most to customers. What’s important to them may not be precisely what bank employees expect.
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.
Data lineage is becoming more important for financial services organisations today. Increasingly, it is becoming hard-wired in regulations and in data quality frameworks like the European Central Bank’s (ECB) Targeted Review of Internal Models (TRIM) – and ultimately this is all related to the need for ‘explainability’.
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.
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.
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?
Most headlines around fintech disruption focus on consumer-facing services, such as digital mobile only banking or money transfer services. Consumer services, after all, resonate with the public—it’s easier to tell a story about a new peer-to-peer money transfer service with consumer branding than a better way to do SME lending.
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?
Everyone recognizes the benefits of going digital these days, especially governments seeking to advance their economies. The value of any national economy hinges on its assets, and a digital economy has its own assets that are distinct from those of traditional economies. These digital assets joined together within a thriving ecosystem are intrinsic to the formation of a truly inclusive digital economy.