Of the world’s 7.6 billion inhabitants, two-thirds of the population now have a mobile phone. This very fact should be a clear indicator of where financial services are heading. Mobile, digital and control will lie in the hands of the customer.  

Innovative mobile technologies, Fintechs and even solar are just a few key factors that have created an open ecosystem within banking and financial services. We are seeing new entrants and collaborations such as app-driven and online-only banks. Insurance businesses and retailers are now leveraging their customer base and accompanying data to cross-sell and offer added-value products.  Industry-specific banks, for example, banks that incentivise students to pass with decreasing interest rates on their loans. And then some multi-nationals and even parastatals are offering financial services to employees.

All this choice means customers are no longer bound to traditional institutions, and will bank where the customer, not the money, comes first. This makes for an obvious focus area for banks, which is improved customer service and engagement. These softer and higher level skills will have to be improved and increased within banks to compete with that of retailers and telcos.

To help improve customer experience, along with combatting security risks, financial services will increasingly implement biometric technology, for example, iris recognition and finger scanning. Retailers are also looking to enable frictionless payments by combining biometrics with in-store sensors and tracking devices that will allow a customer a hassle-free shopping experience and as they exit the store payment will be automated.

AI is currently being explored in the form of conversational bots and customer assistants, even within branches, and is estimated to save the industry $1 trillion. But this math is based on current projections without taking into account the exponential changes to come as new digital applications and technologies emerge.

In terms of growth markets, Africa is the second-fastest-growing banking market in the world, taking both retail and wholesale banking together. More specifically Sub-Saharan Africa produces some of the most innovative banking products and services in the world. A few contributing factors are that informal economies are able to adopt new technologies quicker as customers are mostly unbanked and therefore there are no legacy issues. Another is overcoming geographical challenges, which leads to mobile technology innovations that are both cost-effective and can be deployed at scale.

The already over traded digits that are 4.0 has seen the convergence of major technology innovations reshaping the world at large and in turn have lead to seismic shifts within the banking landscape. It has made the future of banking impossible to predict or anticipate. And future in technology terms means from now until the end of this paragraph. At NBS Digital Technologies we apply a future-forward lens that is focused on the opportunity of new business models, keeping an agile approach, no matter the size of the institution and developing innovative digital transformation strategies that will make your business a leader in the 5.0 quantum revolution.

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