The current business landscape is becoming increasingly dependent on technology. With advances in AI and accessibility to information customer interaction is faster than ever. Businesses large and small need to keep up to date and banks are no exception. There have been many reports on the predicted bank trends for 2018. Some of the most common and important predictions revolve around technology, regulations, and the customer experience.
The need for banks to incorporate financial technology, more commonly known as fintech, was near universally mentioned. Fintech was originally defined as any technology used for financial purposes, but has since evolved to refer to programs that rival traditional banking methods. Fintech software makes banking much faster, offering easy client accessibility from personal devices. They also decrease the time needed to transfer money, especially when converting it to another form of currency. As such, potential bank customers have grown to expect quick service and will turn to alternative methods if banks cannot compete. Thankfully, there are fintech companies willing to partner with banks and help them improve.
One way to improve is cloud banking. By having all financial services in one place clients and executives alike have quick, portable access to everything they need. Some cloud banking companies, such as nCino, include graphs on financial information with the ability to upload legal documents and immediately communicate with an advisor. Mobile banking alone makes this an option to consider.
Cloud computing is not the only major technological change. Financial staff have started to shift towards using AI in addition to the traditional workforce. The AI may serve several purposes from handling simple math and transactions to collecting and analyzing data regarding client trends. Employees will have to learn new skills in order to cooperate with their robotic coworkers but in the end it will help with comfortably integrating AI into the workplace.
Updating cyber security is also a plan worth considering. Cyberattacks have advanced significantly to the point that even major corporations are being hacked. Without proper protection, thousands of dollars in financial improvements could be stolen.
Not every trend relates to computers—there are also potential regulation changes for US banks. The current national administration has started to consider reforming parts of the Dodd-Frank act. In particular, they plan to make the regulation fees tiered based on bank size, allowing smaller banks to have less tight regulation standards. Also up for consideration is removing some of the stricter regulations created in the wake of the 2008 stock market crash for small to mid-size banks. These changes combined are predicted to help increase the available income for banks, allowing them to purchase the new technology needed to compete in the market.
Finally, the most important trend of all is to keep customers in mind. A bank needs customers to operate and those customers need to feel appreciated. Much of the new technology being implemented in the financial industry is to make the process easier to access, easier to navigate and easier to understand. The sales-driven approach to banking is not the effective machine it once was. What matters now is appealing to and communicating with the client.
Rachael Ruszkowski is a student at the Bergen County Technical High School in Teterboro. She serves as a contributing editor for Meadowlands USA.