The Top 5 Challenges Facing Financial Services in 2018


Against the backdrop of transformative technologies and the latest regulations, Graham Lloyd, Director and Industry Principal of Financial Services at Pegasystems, identifies for Finance Monthly what types of challenges financial services will have to navigate in their journey through 2018.

Successful social mediaThe growing discrediting of social media content and its practices comes at an awkward time for banks. The last thing they need is association with anything that could contribute more mistrust to their profile, but they cannot afford to ignore a powerful channel with such reach and strong links to here-and-now impact. It will be interesting to see how banks learn to handle social media with success.

Evolving customer engagementSocial media is just one element of customer engagement and there are far bigger issues on the horizon – digestibility, cost and effectiveness. Data mining is now so huge and its outputs so great that we should perhaps be referring to ‘big insights’ as there are so many of them. For most players, the problem is how to work out which insights to leverage within whatever time and budget constraints prevail.

Time to tackle trade financeWith trade finance risk-weighting kicking in properly in March 2019, we are entering the home straight for finalising the necessary business changes. Most players will presumably look to offset some of the costs of introducing capital requirements in this hitherto largely unweighted portfolio by seeking greater productivity/process efficiencies.

The truth is out about challengers! – Thus far, challengers and Fintechs have been portrayed as somewhere between a benediction and a panacea. The great generic USP – “we’re not a traditional bank” – has helped them weather all sorts of issues from low take-up to sub-optimal IT to almost-but-not-quite products, with scarcely a hard question asked. But the honeymoon period may be drawing to a close, and even in combination, they have still to take any serious market share away from big/traditional banks.

Possibilities of PSD2 – In the final run up to PSD2, there are sizeable revenue opportunities for a bank positioning itself as the ‘destination of choice’ for PISPs (Payment Initiation Service Providers). These new players will gravitate towards the banks offering a higher service standard and the least hassle, as the effects will flow through to the PISPs’ own customers and their expectations of security, certainty and convenience. Banks stand to recapture not only some of their own lost transactions, but also some which have flowed out of their competitors.