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Financial Services Technology 2020 and Beyond: Embracing disruption

In global report Financial services technology 2020 and beyond: Embracing disruption examines the forces that are disrupting the role, structure, and competitive environment for financial institutions and the markets and societies in which they operate. The post-crisis regulatory frameworks have been gradually settling into place, and financial institutions have been adjusting their business models accordingly. It is now becoming obvious that the accelerating pace of technological change is the most creative force—and also, the most destructive one—in the financial services ecosystem today.

In this paper, we set out to capture the real world implications of these technological advances on the financial services industry and those who must supervise and use it.

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A glimpse of what is to come Let’s say you are a bank executive. Imagine that you are competing against a truly global, multi-service, low-cost, digital bank: customers accessing their accounts through their mobile phones, paying with a tap on their wearables, sweeping savings to an ETF portfolio (designed by an AI (artificial intelligence) engine based on their savings goals and risk appetite profile) offering no-fee, cross-border payments. Imagine if you faced a competitor bank like this, with a low and nimble footprint, prototyping new services quickly, managing regulatory compliance transparently, using an AI system to limit fraud losses, and hedging currency risk using cryptocurrencies.

This competitor does not exist today. But in the next few years, it is a very real possibility. Now what?

The financial services industry has seen drastic technology-led changes over the past few years. Many executives look to their IT departments to improve efficiency and facilitate game-changing innovation – while somehow also lowering costs and continuing to support legacy systems. Meanwhile, FinTech start-ups are encroaching upon established markets, leading with customerfriendly solutions developed from the ground up and unencumbered by legacy systems. Customers have had their expectations set by other industries; they are now demanding better services, seamless experiences regardless of channel, and more value for their money. Regulators demand more from the industry too, and have started to adopt new technologies that will revolutionise their ability to collect and analyse information. And the pace of change shows no signs of slowing.