Thursday, January 8, 2015

Every day, technological advances are revolutionizing the way industries do business, and the financial sector is no exception. However, due to the necessities inherent in the financial industry, like privacy and accessibility, the key players in this industry have been slow on the uptake – but that’s all about to change. In 2015, we will begin to see many changes in how businesses perform financial services, and it has everything to do with consumer habits and developing technologies. Here are some of the changes we will see coming down the pike in 2015 for financial services technology.

Open-Source Programming Creates More Options for Consumers.

The creation of APIs and other open-source programming platforms is making its way into financial services. Companies like Allevo and OpenGamma have made their banking technologies readily available to others who wish to join the financial industry as a startup. APIs, or application programming interfaces, are making the development of banking platforms much simpler as well. This is creating a boom of new players who can offer financial services – often with many perks and lower fees for their new clientele.

Identification of Customers Will Be Streamlined Using Social Media-style Platforms.

Historically, financial services has been wary of any new technology that inhibits privacy. The ubiquity of the internet has made checking your accounts online possible, though not without a series of cumbersome checks to ensure that the consumer’s identity is verified. Currently, these safeguards are necessary. In the future, however, you will be able to check all of your accounts using a single social media-style login, akin to how Facebook and Google allow you to verify your identity using your login from those networks. There will be some kinks to work out, of course, but don’t be surprised when you can finally examine all of your assets quickly and safely from a single app on your smartphone.

Mobile Technology is Changing Client Relations

With mobile communication technology, like mass text messaging, financial professionals are now reaching thousands of clients instantly. SMS mass texts are often divided into groups according to categories, interests, account status, etc., and messages are tailored directly to each group. Results from each campaign are tracked and analyzed, so CPA’s and banks can understand just how clients respond to communication campaigns. This personal and fast customer engagement tool is certainly changing the way financial institutions and tax professionals interact with a wider and more tech-savvy customer base.

Financial Firms Will Become More Customer-Centric.

Throughout history, banks and financial service providers have been powerful enough to set a high price of admission to their clients. This will change. Since the Occupy Wall Street movement of 2011, we have seen many consumers avoid the use of credit and banking, preferring cash as their optimal currency. This has left many consumers “unbanked” or “underbanked,” leaving a void in the financial services industry. Recently, services offered by online-based startup companies have started allowing consumers to shop around for the lenders and providers they prefer. This will force all financial services businesses to adopt a more customer-centric business model, carefully catering to the needs of the average customer while offering “white glove” options for their premium clients.