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17 May 2017
The banking sector is one of the most innovative and willingly uses new technologies to meet the expectations of a modern consumer, requesting quick and easy access to services. Along with such a dynamic FinTech development and changes in consumer habits, new trends are emerging. What banking tech trends will increase or dominate in the coming years?
Chatbots: hype or a new era?
Today, chatbots are becoming almost an obligatory component of the bank customer service. To explain such a passion for artificial intelligence is not difficult: due to them, users get quick access to financial services through instant messengers. Virtual consultants help to perform many operations remotely: make online purchases, transfer money, manage bitcoin wallets, as well as carry out work on the standard bill payment. A recent innovation is the communication of customers with the bot consultants in oral and written form.
In 2017, financial analysts predict the emergence of more highly specialized chatbots, able to independently cope with specific tasks. A surge in various tools is expected: visual designers, CRM, integration with all kinds of services, typical task processing schemes. Even now, it is possible to observe how big players of financial services market compete with each other on use of chatbots. Probably, very soon the chatbot fashion will set a certain standard of customer service across the industry.
Blockchain: acceptance and expansion
Last year has become a year of full-scale popularization of Blockchain technology. In 2016, many state regulators, leading banking institutions, and such sectors as medicine, cyber security, insurance and many others drew attention to the distributed ledger technology (in the context of its research and further implementation).
Blockchain prospects, as the main engine and upgrade of the financial industry, suggest that this year there will be a lot of innovative solutions based on distributed ledger technology for the modernization of traditional financial instruments, such as currency swaps, data coding, futures and options. Moreover, applications of new generation on the basis of Blockchain will contain such an important structural element as verification of authenticity. In addition, current year for Blockchain industry will be a year to inflow a new cohort of specialists and enthusiasts, which in the long term will mark a new global stage in the development and operation of technology.
Open API: bank’s door to the digital environment
To date, one of the effective ways for banks to designate the presence in the digital environment is to provide open access to API (Application Programming Interface). Open API enables third-party developers and other businesses to create tools for accessing bank data, as well as applications for bank’s clients. This allows not only to create new, but also to improve old services and products.
An important milestone in the trend development has been the entry into force of the new European Payment Directive PSD2 (Revised Directive on Payment Services), one of the terms of which is the requirement for banks to open their APIs to third parties. For example, HSBC, RBS and Nationwide, along with a number of FinTech companies, have already begun the conversion to open banking platforms that allows customers to set up an account in one bank, and to get services in several other banks through the interface, depending on the convenience. In the near future, the APIs can be access to new markets, even where the bank is not present: all kinds of bots, social networks, Internet of things, etc. In the long term, the bank will receive new customers who prefer to be serviced by new technologies.
This year, financial institutions are actively introducing biometric authentication systems. Due to this, the use of bank services will become faster, such inconvenience as the need to remember PIN-codes, passwords or to carry identity document will be eliminated.
So, Royal Bank of Scotland has become the first bank in the UK to introduce the opportunity to log into the banking application with a fingerprint. However, biometrics can take different forms. According to the financial forecasts for 2017, the bank’s operations can use identification based on the face image, iris and retina analysis. Moreover, voice biometrics is gaining more and more support, it works particularly well with remote customer service, as well as is suitable for the identification and authorization of banking transactions.
Dawn of the “Bank of Things”
A new era of connectivity has begun and with it comes completely different level of Big Data, as devices emit a constant flow of information. Consumers are on the cusp of a new technological dawn that will clearly bring huge changes for banks and banking. It is time for financial services to be provided by the “Bank of Things”.
The birth of a new financial direction is similar to the principle of Internet of Things. According to the boldest predictions of FinTech specialists, e-wallets linked to the client’s account, will be embedded in cars, refrigerators, light bulbs and so on. Thus, so-called “smart cars” will be able to automatically pay for parking or gasoline without human intervention, “smart bulbs” – for used energy, as well as “smart refrigerators” – for the ordered products.
While some tendencies increase and acquire a more important role in the development of the industry, others quickly disappear, replaced by new solutions and ideas. The same thing happens in the banking sector. The direction in which financial services will really develop is a big mystery to try to unravel by observing current trends. However, completely new solutions and technological innovations can appear suddenly, radically changing the banking sector.
Exciting articles several times a month