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The five key trends defining financial services as we head into 2018

Blog
8th December 2017

I have written extensively in recent weeks and months about the Fintech revolution in financial services and how it has brought the customer experience to the top of the strategic priority list for all financial companies, but there are other changes taking place too. In fact, there can be few industries that are changing as fast as financial services and that’s quite a bold statement given how much digital transformation is taking place in many different industries at present.
The wave of new customer-centric Fintech competition is one big area of change, but according to recent research by PwC, there are four other key trends shaping the entire financial services industry at present. It’s worth keeping an eye on all of these as we head into 2018 as they will shape how customers consume financial services in future:

  1. Decentralised technology: removal of all the legacy estate to create systems that are more agile, innovative, and capable of changing quickly to meet customer demand. Many bank systems are decades old and written using obscure programming languages that nobody learns at university today – this has to change.
  2. Data-driven products: banks and insurance companies have traditionally collected vast amounts of data on their customers, but beyond very specific areas, such as actuarial planning, products have not been built around data. Now this can take place more easily. For example, look at the explosion in the use of telematics by car insurance companies to ensure that you only pay for insurance as and when it is required.
  3. Platforms and APIs: this is especially important in Europe as the PSD2 opening banking regulations will launch in 2018. In short, this means that every financial institution must allow a way for others to access their data. It should be possible to build apps that can login and analyse all of your financial data, across many financial services companies.
  4. Reshoring and localisation: robot processing and automation is reducing the need for banks to keep large amounts of back-office staff in remote offshore locations. By bringing these teams close to the heart of the business again it is likely that efficiencies can be achieved and new innovations will be discovered.

Each of these five adjustments would be a major challenge to handle alone, but with all of them coinciding it is clear that executives in the financial services industry will be busy in 2018. A connecting thread is to ensure that the focus of all these initiatives is the customer. If service and a customer-centric view of the business is used to plan any of these developments then the initiatives cannot go far wrong.
Are there any other major changes ahead in financial services or does this list of five capture most of the changes we will see in the near future? Let me know what you think by leaving a comment here, or get in touch on LinkedIn.


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David Turner
Article by: David Turner

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