Staying Ahead of the Competition Relies on Investing in Financial Innovation

Financial services organisations across the UK have undergone incredible changes. In the last years, we’ve witnessed an incredible pace at which new technology has positively transformed business processes, and the impact this had on how the industry interacts with consumers is tremendous.

According to Ketan Parekh, Head of Financial and Insurance Services at Fujitsu UK & Ireland, Fujitsu recently revealed that 71% of financial services leaders believe that technology is vital to the future success and health of their organisation. Below Parekh discusses with Finance Monthly the prospects of fintech innovation in 2020, and the benefits for Financial services companies therein.

Every year new technologies are transforming the financial services industry, with technology such as the Internet of Things (IoT), Robotic Process Automation (RPA), Artificial Intelligence (AI) and blockchain completely changing the services that banks can provide to their customers. For example, Metro Bank is using a selfie technology to allow consumers to open current accounts online, whilst Facebook will soon let you send payments via WhatsApp. With so much innovation on offer, there is a huge opportunity for organisations to take advantage of new technologies to improve efficiency and customer service.

Our recent research of the sector also revealed that over half (55%) of UK financial services business leaders feel their organisation has been a leader in technological innovation over the last five years. And while many embrace the positive effect of technology, there are some risks associated with this rapid innovation. The explosion of new technologies combined with the rapid pace of change and ever evolving consumer demands means some organisations can be left playing catch-up and falling behind on innovation.

Investing in the future

It was recently uncovered that more than half (56%) of UK financial services business leaders worry their organisation could miss out on the benefits of technological innovation, because they haven’t planned radically enough. The truth is – organisations with the right foundations in place will be those to take advantage of what technology has to offer.

With no signs of innovation slowing down, it’s vital that the financial services sector builds on its existing strengths. Although significant steps have been taken already, to succeed in the digital age and bring innovative solutions to the market, business leaders will need to make a sizeable financial commitment. Now is the time for them to put the right plans in place to ensure they are prepared to tap into the innovations to come, and this includes making investments in digital technologies a key priority for the business.

Although significant steps have been taken already, to succeed in the digital age and bring innovative solutions to the market, business leaders will need to make a sizeable financial commitment.

Customer first

Financial services leaders have been faced with no small challenge. Currently, over half (55%) of financial services business leaders admit they are not able to predict what customers will want from their organisation in the future. Today their customers are hunting for convenience, and seeking innovation, new digital services, low rates, speed and security.

Take retail banking for example, where some banks are now beginning to roll out systems that learn the behaviours of their individual customers, and can recognise in real-time the ‘signature’ abnormal behaviours when these customers are influenced by scammers. It’s clear that financial services organisations are innovating but these organisations must ensure that the technology they offer actually meets the demands of individual customers.

Keeping the top spot

Financial services leaders have been faced with no small challenge. Their customers are asking them to innovate and provide new digital services, alongside threats in the form of data governance, protection and public trust. Yet one thing is clear – financial services leaders must continue to put the organisation at the forefront of innovation.

It’s now the time for them to put the right plans in place to ensure they are prepared to tap into the innovations to come. When organisations ensure they prepare, plan and put the customer first, successful technological innovations are possible. This way organisations will be able to stay ahead of competition and keep the UK’s financial service organisations at the forefront of innovation.

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