Wednesday 28 July 2021

Deloitte study: Is your bank ready for tomorrow?

MANAMA, November 18, 2020

Professional services firm Deloitte has launched a report exploring key technologies in the banking sector from those at the frontier of today, to ones that form the bridge to tomorrow, and others which seem to be hovering over the horizon.

Titled "Evolving the trends", the report finds that prior to Covid-19, the Middle East financial services industry was evolving at a measured pace, driven by changing customer expectations, heightened competition from incumbents and new entrants, evolving regulations, and advancements in technology.

“In a matter of weeks, Covid-19 upended those conventions. As the threat and uncertainty from Covid-19 will remain for the foreseeable future, banks have no choice but to remain hyper vigilant and rewrite their business continuity playbooks as circumstances change,” Khaled Hilmi, Consulting Partner, ME Financial Services industry leader, Deloitte Middle East.

 “While it is reassuring to see some aggressive fiscal and monetary policy responses around the world already, clarity on how these actions will stabilize markets and accelerate the path to normalcy is slowly emerging, and in some cases yet to emerge.”

The financial services industry is moving towards digitization at a rapid pace and adopting the latest technologies such as cloud, artificial intelligence (AI), to meet rising customer expectations to remain competitive in today’s challenging business environment. The Deloitte report highlights the following technologies:

•    Cloud computing: By leveraging cloud-based services, banks are able to decrease data storage costs through saving on capital expenditure (CAPEX) and operating expenditure (OPEX), while ensuring customer data is protected. Cloud is an essential tool of today’s service delivery model, and enables banks to penetrate new business opportunities and access new delivery channels.

•    AI and cognitive technologies: Artificial Intelligence (A) is now becoming a part of the business environment and is reinventing the entire ecosystem of the banking sector. By increasing the level of automation and using dynamic systems, AI supports decision-making, enhances the customer experience, and improves operational efficiency. AI also provides a strategic oversight for getting value out of data, which is now needed more than ever due to the data influx from a wide range of sources.

•    Fintech: In just a few short years, FinTech companies have defined the direction, shape, and pace of change across almost every banking subsector. Customers now expect seamless digital onboarding, rapid loan approvals, and free person-to-person payments, all innovations that FinTech made popular.

•    Blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT): Blockchain technology and its associated distributed ledgers were devised as a simple yet smart solution to keep track of the Bitcoin cryptocurrency in circulation. The solution leveraged a ‘distributed ledger’ architecture under which all users who participated as ‘nodes’ in the network had a copy of the entire ledger.

“Banks need to actively consider the immediate needs of their customers and simultaneously the multiple near, short and medium-term operational, financial, and regulatory risk and compliance implications. Banks that have embraced today’s technologies may be better placed to weather this crisis and facilitate a quick return to recovery. Now more than ever, the accelerated adoption of these technologies can enable the industry to recover and thrive from the impact of Covid-19,” concluded Hilmi. – TradeArabia News Service


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