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Leveraging technology: driving significant benefits at today’s financial institutions

Edward van Dooren

STRATEGIC ADVISOR

26 November 2020

Leveraging technology: driving significant benefits at today’s financial institutions

Technology has long been a critical enabler of the financial services industry. Nowadays, innovations in smart technologies have the potential to significantly enhance payments and liquidity management. During the session Leveraging technology on the second day of EBAday, four experts address three innovative technologies that are driving significant benefits at financial institutions today.

1. AI and ML

Technologies that help with automation, such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML), is one of the key technologies. Those technologies should be used to augment human capabilities. As Patrice Amann, EMEA Regional Business lead – WW Financial Services at Microsoft, pointed out: “We must better or faster understand how to automate simple tasks. This way, humans can focus on more relevant work.” One fact all panelists agreed on is that AI can be used in all kinds of products and that we are just at the beginning of its potential to create smarter and differentiated customer experiences. With innovative technologies such as AI and ML, the possibilities are endless.

2. APIs and real-time payments

Application programming interfaces (APIs) are now conquering the world of finance. Tino Kam, Head of Product Management at Nordea, sees APIs have been developing in recent years. “You could say that APIs have become more mature. APIs have been and will remain to be one of the enablers from a technology aspect to deliver fast and relevant added value towards our customers.”

According to Adrian Lovney, Chief Executive Officer of New Payments Platform Australia, the value of payments has shifted: information about the payment is more important than the payment itself. The biggest area of interest for APIs is to provide information about payments in real-time. “Real-time notifications that payments have been made, real-time acknowledgement that payments have been received and confirming that the payment is going to the right recipient; that is where we see most demand. Nowadays, you create value for customers through automation and reconciliation.” The panel agreed that API continues to be extremely important for connecting services together in the future.

3. Public cloud

The public cloud is the classic form of cloud computing. In the public cloud, a cloud provider makes an enormous amount of computing power, storage and other resources available to the public via the internet. Although innovations with APIs, AI and ML might seem more obvious, the panel agreed that the technology of the public cloud also benefits financial institutions. Travers Clarke-Walker, Chief Commercial Officer at Thought Machine, thinks that now may be the point where the public cloud is being recognized for its benefits. “We might be at that cloud awakening moment within financial services. We are globally seeing acceptance and recognition. Public cloud has the potential to provide greater innovation, more resilience, more scalability, better security protocols and the ability to deploy seamlessly, quickly and continuously.” He believes that cloud opens new doors for businesses. “Cloud allows us to both create a generation of applications that are modern and protective, create innovation, do that in a cost-effective way and do that continuously.”

In this session it became very clear to me that innovation and emerging technologies are supporting us to become and stay relevant, to add value to our customers and to deliver more business results. It is really about creating different customer experiences, and technology helps us with that. Technology is important, but understanding your customers is even more important. Innovative technologies are here to help us with creating outstanding customer experiences. And we are just at the beginning of this exciting journey. I am curious to see what the future will bring!