Many financial organisations are looking ahead to the future, driving forward innovative approaches to working and introducing new technologies to drive productivity. Over the next few years, we are likely to see significant changes in the finance industry with the rise of mobile banking, social networking, and video collaboration already beginning to reshape the finance sector. Financial institutions are looking to the latest technology not only to improve their business processes but to gain a competitive edge and to keep up to date with the latest trends in a constantly evolving industry.
We have compiled a list of the 4 biggest technology trends that executives, IT teams and HR leaders should pay attention to if they want to succeed now and in the future.
1. Video Collaboration for Customer Service
In the future, it will be the norm for bank advisers to effortlessly communicate with their customers through video to provide expert advice and video consultations. One method already in use is video banking machines. Like ATMs, these machines perform basic transactions such as deposits and withdrawals. But they also come equipped with video and audio capabilities, enabling customers to carry out transactions with a live teller, as well as cheque scanners and signature pads to accommodate more complicated requests. This technology is ideal for financial organisations to offer personalised transactional services to customers more flexibly. Not only does it provide a more personal and human experience for customers, it optimises branch resources by reducing the use of staff in the branch, permitting a wider range of services in branches which may be understaffed.
Putting technology to use in a smart way can be the decisive competitive edge for banks in creating an ideal environment for individual and superior advice in the future, while enriching customer relationships and building trust.
2. Virtual Branches
Although still a long way off, the trends in online banking and video collaboration point towards the growth of “virtual banking.” A virtual bank branch goes beyond simply enabling customers to conduct their day to day online banking requirements, and will embrace live chat and video messaging, online authentication, shared screens and collaborative documents & form-filling to provide all the services that the traditional high street branch provides but with the convenience of being open for business 24/7.
3. The Internet of Things
By 2020, the number of physical objects connected to the Internet will grow to 50 billion and the long-term economic opportunity of “The Internet of Things” is estimated to be between $10-15 trillion (GE). The Internet of Things will facilitate communication by making it easier and more natural for people to interact with the tools and objects of the physical world.
But how can financial organisations leverage Internet of Things technology?
We are seeing this concept applied in insurance through telematics, in which your insurance provider installs a device in your car which monitors driving behaviour. Your insurance premium is then based on the standard of your driving – saving the more sensible drivers huge amount in insurance costs.
Other potential applications include ATMs, information kiosks in bank branches and credit/debit cards that may use sensing technology to monitor activity and take action on the consumers’ behalf.
It must be noted that such innovations always come with new risks. The deluge of new data is likely to complicate data management for financial services firms, and cyber-security may become an even greater challenge.
4. Workplace Flexibility
Workplace flexibility is more in demand in the financial sector than in any other, with 94% of workers claiming it is important to them (PWC). We are moving away from the traditional methods of working and the concept of the “office,” seeing growing trends in remote working and Bring-Your-Own-Device policies. Nearly a third of employees are working from home at least one day a week (Forrester) and by 2017, half of all employers will no longer provide devices to their workers. Instead, employees will be expected to bring their own devices to work with them. (Gartner)
For more information on how technology is shaping the financial and banking industry, download our whitepaper Video Collaboration in the Financial Sector. The whitepaper looks at some of the biggest technology trends in this industry as well as the key considerations financial organisations should take into account when implementing video collaboration solutions.
Image courtesy of Polycom