3 major innovations improving the FinTech and banking landscape

Sebastian Łękawa

Senior Business Development Manager, Financial Services

10 min read

It’s interesting to see old films portraying what banking used to be like. Long lines and checkbooks were aspects of banking before technology began leaping and bounding. And while it sounds like centuries ago, the reality is that it’s not such a distant past. Technological developments have simply skyrocketed banking into a new era.

FinTech in the financial sector is speeding ahead with all of the new and innovative initiatives and technologies being created for online trading and banking, even when compared to the automotive and manufacturing industries. AI, the mobile channel, and cloud computing are examples of tech that make today’s financial services safer and more comfortable for clients, while simultaneously keeping banks and financial service companies more organized.

 

Here are some of the main innovative technologies improving the FinTech and banking landscapes today:

AI and Voice User Interfaces

AI is at the top of the food chain for banks, and most financial institutions have their eyes on the endless possibilities of implementing AI in their processes. In fact, 41% of financial institutions are planning to start using AI in 2019.

 

Voice banking is currently in its early stages, such as finding out your recent transactions or how much money you have in your account. In the future, we could even apply for credit and dive into complex customer concerns just by speaking to an AI representative. And we’re already seeing banks that use this technology in similar ways today. 

 

The Royal Bank of Canada has implemented AI and voice recognition technology to deal with basic customer concerns. The AI representative can handle inquiries about account balances or even transfer the user to the correct representative based on what department they request to speak to. Furthermore, the voice recognition technology is used to identify the speaker by analyzing over 100 characteristics of the user’s voice, giving them clearance without having to answer any more security questions.

The mobile channel is still a central focus

As it stands, mobile apps for banking in the US alone are among the top 3 most used apps, with almost 50% of the population having used them in 2018.

 

The convenience of having a mobile bank allows users to avoid wasting time in a physical branch for simple processes that can be handled over a platform. Things like quick transactions between accounts or between banks, better security and more control over finances are among the main benefits. Banks can also use in-app notifications to upsell specific services, or offer services which are more in line with user spending habits. 

 

Wells Fargo has created a banking app that lets users access ATMs without a debit card. If a user has lost, misplaced, or prefers not to carry his or her card, the app provides them with a code that they can type into the ATM, which grants them access. In Poland, many banks that treat mobile as priority signed up for revolutionary payment solutions provided by BLIK. Polish mobile banking customers can now make payments on- and offline, withdraw and deposit card at ATMs, transfer money mobile to mobile and generate BLIK checks all without using their credit/debit card. In fact, according to Deloitte Polish banks have just recently found themselves among the EMEA leaders in digital transformation.

Cloud computing as a new step forward

Cloud technology makes it possible for financial institutions to scale processing capacity quickly up or down so that they may react to the changes in customer demand. 

 

Cloud computing has the ability to make the processing and storing of user data a lot easier. Also, it has the potential to enhance data security and compliance with regulations applicable to the financial sector. With the introduction of new regulatory standards such as the GDPR in the European Union, it's become increasingly difficult for financial institutions to meet the strictest norms. The cloud approach helps get the infrastructure compliant and secure. In data analysis, the cloud can be used to combine data science and AI to detect fraud or give credit scores. 

 

But the cloud can also help banks reduce costs. This is done by removing unnecessary upfront investment, while still matching the growing demand of ever-expanding business in the sector. Also, using cloud allows companies to try out the best, cutting-edge technologies such as AI and data analysis without having to spend a fortune on dedicated AI clusters. As the market pressure slowly pushes all the companies towards these new technologies, using cloud can help them save their bottom line. 

 

Yet, the most intriguing potential benefit of the cloud is scalability. Simply put, cloud technology enables dynamic allocation of resources such as storage space, processing power or network bandwidth to meet customer demand.  For example, picture a bank rolling out a massive ad campaign, and the users immediately start putting real pressure on the existing infrastructure. The cloud can drastically increase app capacity to answer peak demand preventing potential outage and saving user experience. The cloud can be programmed to learn about peak times and scale the available bandwidth predictively according to the demand it estimates. Then, when less clients are using the apps, the cloud can scale down resource usage to reduce costs. This approach helps companies achieve top user experience while keeping the cost in check.

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