In recent years, technological advancements have ushered in new-age FinTech players, who are continuously challenging and disrupting traditional models. As we gear up for 2018 and beyond, we expect modern technologies to continue to transform business models of financial institutions and service providers, and the ways customers interact with them.
FinTech is a rapidly evolving segment of the financial services sector where tech-focused startups and other new market entrants are disrupting how the financial services industry traditionally operates. New FinTech companies and market activity are reconstituting the competitive landscape, blurring the definition of a player in the financial services sector.
India has experienced the emergence of numerous FinTech start-ups, accelerators and incubators over the last few years. India has everything going for it to establish itself as a global FinTech hub. With a large market of underserved/unserved customers, increasing mobile penetration, favourable demographics, an active start-up ecosystem and a large technology talent pool, India has a potent opportunity that is waiting to be seized in the FinTech space.
Our India leaders and FinTech experts share some insights and key trends from PwC's latest report Redrawing the lines: FinTech's growing influence on financial services (India FinTech Survey 2017).
FinTech is a dynamic segment of the financial services sector that is gaining significant momentum and disrupting the traditional financial services value chain. New FinTech companies and market activity are reconstituting the competitive landscape, blurring the identity of a player in the financial services sector. FinTech is an exciting area with a lot going on.
Below are a few sectors in FinTech that we at PwC track actively and believe are the key areas to look at for the next wave of innovations.
Financial Services companies face intense pressure to increase efficiencies and reduce costs while delivering next-generation digital services. Partnerships with financial technology startups and other nontraditional market entrants can give them the agility they need to support digital transformation and create a digital ecosystem that will retain existing customers and attract new ones. New startups are emerging to meet both customer and bank needs for channel integration and dynamic customer experiences that make banking easier to accomplish on the devices customers want to use. These vendors challenge the traditional often incumbent vendors of traditional online and mobile banking and core banking solutions
Robo-Advisory is the use of algorithms to support the entire investing process from setting financial goals to portfolio re-balancing and monitoring whilst bringing more transparent, traceable, efficient and customer centric standards along the overall value chain. Robo Advisors seek to disrupt the traditional asset and Wealth Management model by disintermediating the service with Direct-to-Consumer (D2C) platforms. These platforms provide an easier, faster, and more user-friendly investment based solutions to both end investors and asset and wealth managers.
Cyber and Financial Crime is an increasing concern for all financial institutions, from the largest global organisations to the smallest companies and partnerships. Preventing and detecting Financial Crime is rapidly evolving to be one of their biggest challenges, the impact of which extends well beyond monetary losses to reputation and brand, employee morale, business relations, as well as regulatory censure. Regulators and Law Enforcement Agencies are equally focused on ensuring that both their standards and also those of the financial institutions they regulate are set at the highest level. Today’s FinTech startups are taking on some of today’s greatest security challenges .
Omnichannel customer engagement combines orchestration and journey management to provide multi-channel contact center best practices for great customer experience with compelling business outcomes. It is about a seamless and consistent interaction between customers and their financial institutions across multiple channels. Leading companies with multi-channel contact centers are moving to the Omnichannel Engagement solution to further their competitive advantage. With an Omnichannel Engagement Center solution, a company can deliver consistent and personalized customer experiences across all channels, touchpoints and journeys.
Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR): AR involves a real-time view of the physical world around us, which is then improved or enhanced by digital information. VR, on the other hand, involves creating a simulated world, instead of reflecting the real world around us. Early adopters and technologists have started developing some noteworthy experiments with AR and VR in the financial services space. AR- and VR-aided solutions are gaining popularity in data visualisation, marketing and branding, training and development, etc.
Fintech is altering the way consumer and wholesale payments are made today in terms of when, where, how and who has facilitated them. Fintech start-ups are taking payments to the next level in terms of speed, convenience, efficiency and multichannel accessibility. They are driving client behaviour and fuelling expectations for better, faster and more innovative solutions across the payments spectrum, and making existing customer relationships with banks a lot more vulnerable than ever before.
AI is already around us and used everyday within payments, money management and for robo-advice, particularly in the area of intelligent digital assistants that handle regular customer service enquiries and tasks. Smart machines and technology can turn data into customer insights and enhance service provisions, bringing the digital experience closer to the human interaction for consumers. Machine learning technology has advanced rapidly over the last ten years, and there are now more flexible and cost-effective solutions that Financial Services companies can implement, even with their often legacy-burdened IT systems.
The impact of Robotic Process Automation (RPA) on a company’s operations and competitive positioning is significant on a number of fronts: economic value, workforce advantages, quality and control improvements, and flexible execution. RPA allows separate business units within a company to customize solutions to rapidly digitize processes, delivering significant and sustainable value in short timeframes while reducing overall risks. RPA is dramatically streamlining a wide variety of back office processes in Financial Services companies. It is also helping them in compliance by handling all of the documentation and without errors and thus making audits much less cumbersome. Overall, RPA presents a great opportunity for Financial Services companies to reduce task handling times and automate end-to-end processes allowing them to speed up core business activities.
The blockchain is a new technology that combines a number of mathematical, cryptographic and economic principles to maintain a database involving multiple participants without the need for any third-party validator or reconciliation. Blockchain is a single, shared, immutable writeonly ledger of transactions that is updated when multiple, decentralised actors achieve a consensus on the validity of a participant’s new entries. The blockchain has the potential to disrupt the banking industry to its core through its adoption for storing, lending, moving, trading, accounting, reconciling and guaranteeing money through its consensus ledger, cryptographic security and digital signature.
The application of drone technologies in existing business processes is allowing companies to create new business and operating models. Insurance companies are contemplating the uses of Drones in three areas where drone operations can enhance an their procedures: risk monitoring, risk assessment and claims management (including fraud prevention). In the future, by combining drones with other disruptive technologies such as machine learning, Insurance companies will be able to improve predictions of damage by assessing risks better than ever before.
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Partner, India FinTech Leader, PwC India