For Financial Services, the Future Is Now

Investing in innovation isn’t just improving financial service organizations; it’s also evolving tried-and-true business models.

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As the CIO Survey demonstrates, an innovation-based future is upon us. So it’s no surprise that organizations in all industries are paving the way with significant investments in next-generation technologies.

Within the financial service sector, the cloud is ripe with potential and CIOs are quick to appreciate the positive side of the balance sheet. BBVA in Spain is one of the best examples of a major bank using a commercial cloud. Leveraging Google for Work, BBVA employees are using Hangouts and Docs to dramatically improve collaboration. Specifically, employees are engaging in real-time interaction with coworkers, regardless of time zones. This investment ultimately facilitates a work/life balance with reduced travel between locations while providing a platform for face-to-face connections within a virtual environment.

The biggest hurdle is the noticeable lack of guidelines on how banks can use the cloud. However, some forward-thinking banks have found ways to integrate the cloud into daily operations, primarily by leveraging private cloud configurations hosted within the bank infrastructure. Taking this approach shelters the organization from the perceived dangers of the public cloud, including breaches and uncontrollable outages of shared infrastructure.

Of course, the cloud isn’t the only technology with a potential future impact on financial services. Although farther out, the Internet of Things (IoT) shows great promise as well. For instance, by leveraging cameras or beacons, IoT makes it possible to immediately identify customers as they walk into a branch, simplifying the ID&V process without requiring customer action. Connected technology empowers banks to utilize multilayer identification methods rather than relying on easily deciphered security questions. This has proven out for banks that are deploying technology to recognize specific voice patterns when customers call in on their mobile phone, having used a fingerprint ID to unlock the device.

IoT could present new opportunities for financial institutions to monetize data within the partnership ecosystem – for example, applying analytics to data pertaining to customers’ monthly bill payments to identify ways to save money or alternative products that the banks or its partners could offer. In this instance, the bank could receive a percentage of the added value provided to the customer, thereby “earning” its fee from the customer.

Ultimately, innovation and next-generation technology are paving the way to a business model that will evolve today’s institutions away from the status quo. Legacy banks that are stuck with high service costs may find themselves funneling hard-earned revenue back into lagging infrastructure rather than innovation. So it behooves them to embrace innovation. In the end, the most future-focused institutions plan to fuel their revenue streams by sharing in the value it creates for the customer—a prime example of innovative thinking!

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