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Digitalization in the Banking and Finance Industry

Digiteenuste määrus | Fondia

M&A and Finance
Financial services

We have interviewed 40 companies in 13 industries, over the last two years, to learn from their digital experience. Digitalization has, and will continue to have, significant effects on the banking and finance industry.

Each new technological innovation creates an opportunity to provide new products and services, or to provide existing products and services in another way. Digitalization has, and will continue to have, significant effects on the banking and finance industry. Even though much of the industry has been digital for decades, it is now focused more on how digital tools can be used in an agile and cost-efficient way and what these tools will enable.

New business opportunities and changes in the future

These companies foresee that the automation of manual work will allow their employees to work on more complicated tasks that require a human touch. It’s expected that physical location is likely to become less significant and we are also going to see banking services where banks will play a more active role in saving and budgeting on behalf of the customer.

“It’s not the technology that counts, but the services that can be made with it.”

Use of new digital tools can lead to significantly better customer experience and internal efficiency. Our interviewees plan to continue update, develop, and redefine services around their products. In addition, as a long-term goal, they plan to utilize artificial intelligence (AI) and to use their budgets on updating and making basic improvements to existing systems, as well as pursuing completely new digital business models.

The interviewees believe that almost every actor in the industry has on-going AI and software robot pilot programs, and that the use of these will increase in the future. They also believe that AI and the blockchain will become more relevant over the next 5 to 10 years. The same applies to 5G used together with other technologies. Other trends that are seen to be affecting the industry are Cloud services, Virtual, Augmented, and Mixed Reality and The Internet of Things (IoT). Also, one of the important themes in the future is open banking. The EU payments directive is disrupting banking as we know it. Because of PSD2 (second Payment Services Directive), banks have the opportunity to open their services for developers.

The main investments for now are developing data systems, developing online services, launching online store, improve interactions with customers, update project management processes, creating BIM solutions and investing internal operations such as IT services and registers. The interviewees are also planning to test the software robotics in backend functions over the next year.

The interviewed companies have noticed that they need to get more out of existing machinery, people and premises, to stay cost effective and competitive. This is an internal driver for them, leading to investments in more efficient processes and automation tools. An important competitive advantage for businesses is the emphasis on customer experience. The interviewees have identified a change in customer behavior. Nowadays customers appreciate more convenient and easy-to-use electronic services, around the clock.

Threats in the banking and finance industry

It is expected that in the future of the industry new competitors will be international giants like GAFABAT (Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon, Baidu, Alibaba, Tencent) and agile fintech companies because they are more cost-efficient without the legacy of offices.

“There are fintech startups that aim to operate the old business model in a new way. Considering cost-efficiency, this is a big threat. Because, if you start building from a clean slate in a world where there are no physical offices, of course you can do it much more efficiently. The other threat is the big internet companies that are re-defining customer experiences and industry lines.”

Is your business related to the banking and finance industry? How do you stay legal in a digitally disrupted world? We find that current legislation and regulations are not suited for the new technologies and the business models they enable. In fact, they may even entirely prohibit them.

On our Digireport, you can read more of our key findings and recommendations for companies to follow from a legal perspective. We hope that you find something useful that can help your business on your digital journey. Download the full report from here.

We law your business <3

ps. Fondia supports financial sector companies at all stages. We have expertise particularly in business, compliance and regulation activities in investment services, mutual funds and alternative funds.