The landscape of the financial sector has changed dramatically in the past few years, constantly evolving as new technologies are developed. As the sector increasingly moves online, standing in long bank queues and filling out reams of paperwork is fast becoming a thing of the past.
In this post we’ll take a closer look at how advances in technology have shaped financial services and digital trends, how it has changed the way that these companies operate online and what we can expect in 2018.
With online and mobile banking becoming increasingly popular and safe platforms for users, there’s no longer any need for using a physical bank. What’s more, it’s opened up many alternative options for people to budget, pay and crowd-fund that are often faster than using a traditional bank.
When it comes to financial management, the internet has introduced new ways of saving, lending and investing money. This has certainly contributed to the decline of physical banks and due to the growth of digital banking services available, consumer visits are set to drop 36% by 2022 and mobile transactions to rise by 121%.
This popularity of mobile banking is a clear sign that financial services should consider improving the mobile versions of their website to meet consumer trends. In doing so, you’ll attract tech-savvy clients, whilst reducing bounce rates on your mobile site. Investing in responsive design is a worthwhile option as it will scale your website to fit any device, without losing the impact of the content.
Using physical currency is no longer a requirement anymore with the rise of Bitcoin. Created in 2009, this purely digital currency is described as a ‘peer-to-peer electronic cash system’ and it doesn’t require the backing from any nation or government.
In a relatively short amount of time, Bitcoin has changed the rules within the financial world and the coming year could see more merchants accepting the digital currency as a payment option, brokers trading and dealing in Bitcoin more regularly and perhaps even a more streamlined process for buying it to make it more accessible.
Financial services should consider accepting Bitcoin as one of their accepted methods of payment as the digital currency is likely to become the norm in coming years.
A platform for safe and secure trading of almost anything of value, Blockchain can be used to exchange money, ideas, copyright, as well as manage investments – all without a middleman to manage the transaction.
What makes it so unique is that there is no single central authority with a blockchain. The ‘blocks’ (most recent transactions) are permanently added to the chain in chronological order so that market participants can keep track of transactions, then the authenticity is verified by the entire community using the blockchain.
It was originally developed as an accounting method for Bitcoin, but it can do so much more than oversee digital payments. It’s largely used to verify transactions in commercial applications today, but many startups are attracted to the possibility of removing the middleman and democratising their operations.
Cheaper to maintain, fewer errors, minimal processing delay – blockchain technology is likely to transform the financial sector even more than it already has and it’s a digital trend that shouldn’t be ignored.
Increasing adoption of cloud technology in business has caused a significant shift in how organisations operate and, although it is no longer a new phenomenon, the financial sector has been reluctant to fully make the transition into cloud computing. This is perhaps due to concerns over regulations, compliance and security, but this all looks set to change for 2018.
In 2016, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) published guidelines for UK regulated firms outsourcing to the cloud, giving financial services the confidence that they could use public cloud services so long as they comply with FCA regulations.
Adopting cloud technology can help streamline your business as you’ll enjoy faster and more connected operations. For UK financial services, digital trends like adopting blockchain technology and moving over to the cloud could be a positive step for 2018. It’s time to rethink the traditional ways of money exchange and embrace the digital services transforming the financial sector.