5 Defining Banking Trends to Watch Out for in 2016 and Beyond


It’s rather an irony that I chose a title that I always thought of avoiding to start with.  But the power of the thoughts and message was so overwhelming that I ended up choosing it any way.

I do observe the future gazers and thought leaders like Warren Buffet, Bill Gates who predict the future through their own crystal balls with awe and a ton of reverence.  At times, I bookmarked their posts to revisit them at the end of the year to see how much did it really turn out to be true.  Mostly they were spot on except for few rare occasions which were beyond their control.

Today, its my turn and would wish to keep my fingers crossed and revisit this page again some time later to study its relevance.

Banking and Financial Services industry is undergoing a massive change.  A change that is far reaching in many aspects.  A change that has the potential to shake the very foundations on which they had been built and operating so far.  Its mostly due to the emergence of changed consumer expectations driven by tech and a lot because of their nonchalant attitude of these institutions towards customers at large.  While I spoke to a variety of folks including my customers, peers and practitioners, this message was coming out resoundingly.

Below are the five defining trends (in no particular order) which might have a resounding impact on Banking & Financial Services in the year 2016 and beyond:

Tech Innovation Would Move Beyond Retail Customers

During the past couple of years and even now the focus of the Banks were on retail customers .  Digital Banking is still being attributed pretty much to the end customer and his experience.  Banks had spent a ton of money and resources on innovation focussed on this area.  However, in the coming years the focus would be more on the commercial / wholesale customers.  There is a sense of discomfort with the corporate customers that they are being pushed to the bottom of the pyramid on innovation despite being up on the volume of business they conduct.  Banks such as the US Bankcorp have already fired their first shot.  US Bank launched a mobile payment app last month for its general aviation customers, which allows private and business pilots to pay for fueling and services directly from their phone.  Efforts are on to make the commercial product line similar to the consumer apps / products.  Citigroup for one is having its commercial innovation team work with their consumer counterparts to improve the UI / UX for the commercial apps.

Neo-Banks Would Turn into Full Fledged Digital Challenger Banks

Last year, Venture Capitalists had poured around $250 Million on the Neo-Banks with a focus on improving the consumer banking experience and providing digital services.  Neo-Banks such as Moven, Number26 etc. have been the beneficiaries.  Now these Neo-Banks are turning up to be the Digital Challenger Banks by converting themselves into full fledged Banks.  The impact is high in Uk and could possibly impact the rest of the world.  In UK, the regulators have already approved licenses for several startup Banks like Fidor, Tandem, Mondo.  Agile processes combined with cutting edge tech would make these Banks a premier choice for millennials to bank with.

Internet of Things Comes to Banking

Internet of Things is being talked about the most in 2015.  Advent of wearables, connected devices, smart meters etc. has already begun the data deluge.  However, Banking was not an area which was high on the impact list.  But that state would be changed soon.  Neo-digital Bank Moven had recently showcased its integration with Amazon Echo.

Check out this cool video demonstration below from non other than Brett King, CEO of Moven.

Welcome to the world of Augmented Banking !!

Get Ready for the Blockchain Tsunami

Blockchain tech has been the toast of the Banking and Financial Services of late.  While they were weary of the Bitcoin tech but to everyone’s surprise they were willing to embrace the underlying ledger framework aka Blockchain with open arms.  At the recent, SIBOS Singapore, several Banking executives had confirmed that they are working or have been keenly looking at Blockchain.

Applicability and the utilization of the Blockchain tech is beyond the Banking and FS areas which has led to formation of several consortiums like R3 and the latestOpen Ledger initiative led by the Linux Foundation.

Source : Lets Talk Payments

Magister Advisors recent study observes that Banks would be spending on top of $1 Billion in 2017 on Blockchain tech.   Right now the focus is mostly on conducting Proof of Concept (PoC).  However, the year 2016 would be Blockchain’s ‘race to production’ and move beyond the prototype stage.  Few early adaptors like Goldman Sachs, Overstock have already production instances of Blockchain for specific use cases.

If you haven’t looked at Blockchain yet, I’d recommend to take a look at the below links which would well serve as a primer on Blockchain:

Rise of the Algorithms – AI & Cognitive Computing

In order to cut cost and increase the operational efficiencies Banks have been resorting to massive adoption of simplification and AI / Cognitive technologies.  The regulatory pressures has increased the cost of operations and has taken a toll on the operating margins of the Banks.  The threat from Neo-Banks, FinTech hasn’t done any favor either.

Most of the Back Office Processing (KYC, Client On-boarding / Screening), Investment Advisory Services (Robo Advisors), Tech / First Line Customer Support is expected to be automated to a greater extent to ensure that significant cost reduction is achieved.  Sensing this trend major IT System Integrators have either started to develop such offerings or have resorted to acquisitions and mergers to acquire the required skills to service their Banking customers.

The impact is so high that the ex-CEO of Barclays Anthony Jenkins commented that the Uber Moment for the Banks has arrived.  In a recent study conducted by Financial Times, it was found that 100,000 Bankers have lost their jobs this year which is equivalent to the 10% of combined strength of 11 large European and US Banks put together.  The trend is expected to continue and its being predicted that the half of the Banking jobs would be taken over by the APIs, apps and algorithms in next ten years.

Other Trends Worth a Look

  • Big Data based Advanced Analytics and Data Science continues to grow
  • Disruption by FinTechs would prevail
  • Everything P2P will continue to challenge the traditional Banking model
  • Inward looking initiatives by Banks through Hackathons and incubators for FinTech Startups
  • Bank of the Future
  • Wearables and Virtual Reality based Banking
How many such trends you have already observed and are already experiencing?
Have I left out something interesting?

Please post your thoughts and views as comments below.

Wishing you and your loved ones a Merry Christmas & a Prosperous New Year !!

Happy Holidays !!!

BI Trends For 2011 – What To Expect & What Not To

What a year 2010 was !! Business Intelligence was the toast of the town, proof of which could be assessed with the number of acquisitions and consolidations that had occurred in the market place.  Now with 2010 passing by and 2011 just knocking our doors, I felt that the current topic would be an apt one to sign off this year’s last blog post.

What To Expect

  • Increase in BI adoption thereby increase in the number of BI users
  • Preference for a single BI vendor platform for better support and bang on buck
  • Greater support for mobile BI and native BI data presentation for smart phones
  • Increased usage of in-built analytics or packaged analytic solutions
  • In-memory BI applications finding their foothold through departmental BI
  • On-demand BI to service the SME segment via SaaS model
  • New versions from most of the tool vendors essentially necessitated due to the latest mergers and acquisitions
  • Big data solutions like Hadoop being looked at as an alternative to EDWs
  • Aggressive push from appliance providers like Neteeza, Exadata etc.
  • Social analytics – Ability to aggregate trends, hash tags, discussions from social media into native BI applications
  • Excel continues to rule
  • Master Data Management (MDM) would surge forward with increased executive sponsorship

What Not to Expect

  • BI on cloud – Can the hype sustain and deliver?
  • Key innovations from the big tool vendors
  • IT holding the key to BI & DWH initiatives
  • Decrease in IT spending on BI initiatives

Pundits are already in town with their predictions and I am sure that you too would have few of your own.  Feel free to share them.

Wishing you all a wonderful and prosperous 2011 !!