Emerging Technology Trends in Banking

Emerging Technology Trends in Banking

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Description: Preparing for the next wave of reinvention is largely being driven by a rapidly changing technology landscape. Banks seeking to understand how they should transform and invest in programs of work to activate new capabilities, need to consider technology innovation and trends.

Author: Anita Kimber, Meredith Angwin, Mike Backeberg, Sonia Miles-Khan (Senior) | Visits: 515 | Page Views: 574
Domain:  Business Category: Management 
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The road to the
bank of the future

Preparing for the next wave of reinvention is largely
being driven by a rapidly changing technology landscape.
Banks seeking to understand how they should transform
and invest in programmes of work to activate new
capabilities, need to consider technology
innovation and trends.
At EY, we have a view of what may shape this future.

“Disruption is not happening
at the periphery of Financial
Services; it’s pervasive.
Unlocking the potential of
tomorrow’s technology must
begin today and go straight to
the heart of business strategy.”
Anita Kimber,
IT Advisory Leader, Asia — Pacific


Emerging technology trends: The road to the bank of the future

“The next decade in banking will
see both evolution and revolution.
Banks must reinvent themselves,
not just to respond to the pressures
of today, but to be flexible enough
to adapt to the world of tomorrow.”
EY Global Banking Outlook: Transforming
Banking for the Next Generation, 2015

Rapid transformation ahead
Banking has gone beyond the digital tipping point. The sector is gathering
momentum towards rapid and wide scale transformation, driven by both fintech
disruptors and a responding wave of innovation investment from incumbents.
The challenge for banks is to understand the
technologies that are reshaping and will continue
to reshape the future and how to strategically
invest now. The way consumers think about money
and banking is already changing dramatically.
Financial services workers are also empowering
themselves with technology, allowing them to work
more effectively and deviate from traditional
working hours and practices.
In response to increasing opportunities and threats
posed by emerging technologies and competition,
banks are spending a high proportion of their IT
budgets on new investment. In 2015, total bank IT
spending across North America, Europe and Asia —
Pacific will grow to US196.7b, an increase of 4.6%
over 2014. Much of this will come from Asia-Pacific
where growth of up to 5.6% ($70.3b) is predicted.
That said, the US should not be discounted. Nine of
the top ten US financial services institutions have
technology focused innovation centres. Many
countries are not only investing in technologies for
short-term use, but in researching and developing
technologies to support long-term strategies.

At the same time, fintech entrepreneurs are
disrupting the market with new products, capturing
the hearts and minds of early-adopter consumers
and  partnering with high-powered financial services
players. Fintech enterprises think and act differently
to traditional financial services businesses;
technology focus and the ability to work outside
traditional boundaries makes them super agile.
To leverage future technologies effectively and
competitively, banks need to decide where they
intend to differentiate. This differentiation strategy
will create a paradigm to define IT investment. When
this direction is in place, bank leaders will understand
their own technology adoption horizon. Currently,
banks are pursuing competitive advantage through
three paradigms:
• Enhancing and extending enterprise efficiency
through technological transformation
• Improving customer propositions for
greater revenue
• Changing culture by providing resources
to increase collaboration and innovation
Once the strategic roadmap is in place for
technological investment, banks have a wealth
of new technologies to consider…

“Making investments in new technologies before they are fully proven is
increasingly becoming a differentiator for banking services providers.”
Meredith Angwin, Partner, IT Advisory, Oceania Financial Services

1.  ource: EY Global Banking Outlook: Transforming Banking for the Next Generation, 2015

Emerging technology trends: The road to the bank of the future


Navigating the adoption and investment horizon
The horizon below, profiles the technologies we believe most likely to confer
competitive advantage over time, considering proliferation in the market, costs
and usefulness of application in the average bank’s operating model today.
Near horizon

Distant horizon

Cyber security


Robo advice

Machine learning




of things




Technology adoption


Digital investment

Short term and quick wins

Tactical shifting

Future proof
Targeted tactical shifting

These technologies have proven
success in banks and industry.
They can support the existing
organisation and are easy
to adopt.

These technologies have the
potential to become necessary to
the bank of the future. They are
breaking new ground for the
possibilities across the enterprise.

Immature yet highly promising
technologies that are likely to
change the future of banking.

Thinking out to the horizon will enable banks to start
developing new workforce management strategies
and regulatory and compliance frameworks, that
will be required to leverage future technologies.
New and emerging technologies will change the
profile of workforce skills and capabilities, creating
demand for currently scarce IT and technological
skillsets. The worldwide competition for qualified
talent in science, technology, engineering and
mathematics is as its highest level since the global
financial crisis. According to Qualigence, by 2015,
60% of new jobs will require skills that only 20% of
the population possess.

To avoid paying a premium for scarce resources,
banks will have to both invest in reskilling their
own staff and work with education and academic
providers to ensure the workforce of the future
have the necessary skills.
Future technology is also likely to require a highdegree of compliance management. Many new
technologies will require additional government
regulation, others, such as the internet of things
and quantum computing, will require
government support.

2. Source: Talent Acquisition Forecast 2015, Qualigence, 2014


Emerging technology trends: The road to the bank of the future

Certain and mature technologies
Cloud computing

Big data


Clear policy and guidelines will
help financial institutions avoid
breaching regulations, when using
cloud services. APRA already has
a standard for industry, regarding
the use of cloud. As regulatory
and data-protection requirements
change, banks will have increasing
opportunities to scale back costs,
by managing back-office functions
through a cloud computing
service arrangement.

The amount and types of
readily available customer data
are expanding rapidly. Banks are
using big data to develop insights
to fine-tune systems, inform
credit and risk decisions and
develop new products and

Mounting digitisation and
connectivity means cybercrime
is on the rise. With employees
often plugged into insecure Wi-Fi
networks and using their own
devices, business data is
increasingly vulnerable. As
cyber-attacks become more
sophisticated, data breaches are
growing in size and frequency;
the economic toll is rising. The
Center for Strategic and
International Studies (CSIS)
estimates that digital crime and
intellectual property (IP) theft
currently cost between US$375b
and US$575b per year — eclipsing
the annual GDP of most nations.

What we are seeing
in the market:
• A prominent US fintech’s
interactive cloud platform
solutions are powering
Australian wealth management
and integrated small lending
fintech firms
• The Australian online division
of a global bank, has built
a virtualised “bank in a box”
on a private cloud solution,
streamlining back end
operations and creating
new operational flexibility

However, making sense of
the volume and variety of this
information is a challenge.
Advanced analytics software
can identify patterns hidden in
massive data flows, automating
a wider range of knowledge tasks.
In addition, banking data can
create new revenue streams by
selling sanitised information on
spending patterns or activities
to third parties.
What we are seeing
in the market:
• A Big 4 Australian bank
uses information gleaned
from customer transactions
to determine the right product,
pricing and financial advice
for the customer
• Another Big 4 Australian bank
has advisors feed analytical
questions phrased in plain
English into a cognitive
computing software, which uses
customer data to create suitable
product recommendations
for individual clients
At the same time, banks are
facing increased demand to
provide their own information,
with regulators requiring
increasingly frequent submissions
of very granular data.

Although a portion of cyberthreats come from “hacktivistis”,
the most concerning threat for
financial institutions is from
organised cybercrime. In future,
emerging technologies such as
blockchain and quantum
computing will pose security
threats. Banks must consider their
options and opportunities now.
What we are seeing
in the market:
• A global security company
has recently investigated
with Interpol, the theft of over
a billion dollars from global
financial institutions including
those in Australia
• In July 2015, large Australian
banks and the Australian
government held a summit
to discuss cybersecurity, with
intelligence sharing, skills and
workforce development high
on the agenda

Emerging technology trends: The road to the bank of the future


Near Horizon
Different maturity levels, some commercial application, rapid adoption shortly
Internet of Things (IoT)

Augmented reality (AR)

Context-aware computing

Underpinned by cloud and
analytics, IoT will give banks an
unprecedented level of insight into
their customers’ real time needs,
enabling them to tailor advice,
products and services at an
individual level.

The ability to merge the digital
and physical realities will transform
customer experiences, integrating
banking seamlessly into everyday
interactions. Banks must examine
their processes for points where
immersive experiences, interactive
touch points or custom apps can
both improve the customer
experience and create new
sales opportunities.

IoT and AR combine to provide
context-aware computing. This
technology uses situational and
environmental information about
people, places and things to
anticipate immediate needs
and proactively offer enriched,
situation-aware and usable
content, functions and

Beacons are one of the first
opportunities for banks to use
IoT to drive business outcomes
What we are seeing
in the market:
• An Australian bank uses BLE
beacons in branches to
interact with customers

What we are seeing
in the market:
• A property investment iPhone
app from an Australian Big 4
bank, is using augmented reality
insights to help consumers make
smarter property decisions

What we are seeing
in the market:
• An Australian bank uses contextaware computing in its banking
app, which notifies the bank if a
customer is at an airport, so that
overseas transactions won’t be
incorrectly deemed fraudulent

Disrupting internally
To keep customers and sustain profitability, banks must evolve in line with their
strengths through internal transformation. This will involve investing in disruptive
technologies and creating a culture of innovation.
Tackling enterprise efficiency through
technological transformation

Improving customer propositions
for greater revenue

Banks should also look beyond merely complying
with regulations and begin to use these requirements
to their advantage, to support changing internal
processes. Also most post-financial crisis regulation
becomes business-as-usual, banks may finally be able
to think strategically about how technology and data
can transform their internal processes.

According to the EY Economist Intelligence Unit,
as early as 2013 almost 80% of companies said their
customers were changing how they access goods
and services. But only half of these companies were
responding by adapting their pricing and delivery
models. Banks need to be ahead of the curve and
be at the forefront of the latest styles of customer

Banks must transform their IT infrastructure by
changing how they use technology to improve process
efficiency and effectiveness. Aging infrastructure
requires manual interventions for data aggregation
and analytics, preventing the uptake of near and
distant technologies. Therefore creating the right
foundations is essential; banks need to think about
the problems they face today, while also picturing how
they want to operate tomorrow.


Emerging technology trends: The road to the bank of the future

Customers are interacting with brands through
mobile devices more than via PCs. They are also using
mobile more frequently to make purchases. As these
mobile capabilities become more prevalent, customer
expectations will rise in line with them. Increased
mobility and the influence of social media, means
technology users are expecting and demanding cloud
and mobile technologies as staples in their daily lives.

Distant Horizon
Working versions already in play; clear threats and opportunities
Quantum computing
The incredible power of quantum
computing will have a massive
impact on big data, making video
and image analysis fast and
relatively cheap. It will also make
encryption technologies
redundant, requiring banks to
build new software security
measures to combat this threat.
What we are seeing
in the market:
• The emphasis on quantum
encryption to secure payment
transactions and data is
accelerating, to meet the
challenges industry will face

In the future:
• New cyber-security algorithms,
based on quantum computing
will be essential. Without the
implementation of the
infrastructure and security
framework for the new
algorithm, the laggards will be
open and vulnerable to cyber

Advanced robotics
Advanced robotics will rapidly
expand the number and types of
jobs susceptible to mechanisation
and digitisation. This is likely to
drastically reduce the headcount
required to operate a bank.

• An Australian Big 4 bank is
sponsoring research into
quantum computing with a $5m
contribution to an Australian
university leading this research

Changing culture by providing resources
to increase collaboration and innovation

To create an institution that embraces new
technologies successfully, banks need to develop
a culture that is comfortable with disruption and
seeks positive change. The future is likely to require
a move to a more virtual workforce, where employees
connect to work anytime, from anywhere, and on any
device. Remaining office configurations are likely to
be highly flexible, while still supporting teaming
and collaboration.
These greater levels of autonomy and flexibility
are likely to be complimented new means of engaging
with talent. Companies are already able to connect
to resources on demand, rather than owning them,
through tapping into networks of workers and skilled
staff through crowdsourcing and freelance platforms.
However many of these developments will create new
challenges for leaders. Not only are different skill sets
required to manage remote and contingent workers,
but existing organisational cultures will be harder
to maintain.

What we are seeing
in the market:
• The partnership between
a Big 4 bank and a leading
international cognitive
computing software has given
financial planners access to
a cognitive advice solution,
to improve advice quality
In the future:
• A new next generation,
emotionally intelligent robot
may replace branch staff at a
nation-wide telecommunication
retailer with cognitive
computing technology
• Humanoid robots will provide
in-branch services, offering
extended features such as
multi-lingual capabilities and
rapid approval processing to
both improve customer
experiences and reduce cost

In developing the right workforce to support the
digital world, banks must arm staff with collaborative
tools, implement applications based on user
requirements, deliberately encourage mobility
and encourage innovation via programs,
benchmarks and recognition.

Bringing this to life for an organisation
Executives seeking to promote an innovation
culture need to encourage employees to:
1. Challenge — the organisation from the top
down to collaborate, innovate and think
outside defending the core business
2. Create — a technology strategy, shifting
from short- term thinking to long-term
strategic decision making
3. Incubate — solutions through prototyping
and test and validate initiatives through
small scale experimentation
4. Activate — the solution on a commercial scale
to capture economic value for the business

Emerging technology trends: The road to the bank of the future


EY’s IT Advisory Services works with
CIOs, executive teams and boards to deliver
transformational business change. To discuss
how to navigate the technology adoption
and investment horizon, please contact:

Anita Kimber
Lead Partner
Asia — Pacific IT Advisory

Meredith Angwin
IT Advisory, Financial Services, Australia

Mike Backeberg
IT Advisory, Financial Services, Australia

EY | Assurance | Tax | Transactions | Advisory
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© 2015 Ernst & Young, Australia.
All Rights Reserved.
APAC No. AUNZ00000556
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This communication provides general information which is current at the
time of production. The information contained in this communication does
not constitute advice and should not be relied on as such. Professional advice
should be sought prior to any action being taken in reliance on any of the
information. Ernst & Young disclaims all responsibility and liability (including,
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Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards

Sonia Miles-Khan
IT Advisory, Financial Services, Australia