The financial services industry has a duty to ensure that clients receive the best advice with regard to policies, investments and insurance products in an often-volatile market. However, over the last few years the latest technology has offered options and benefits that have enhanced systems and created faster and more efficient services.
Some of these changes are significant and have even proved disruptive, but the result is often that the industry can provide more cost-effective and innovative solutions to customers. The impact of technology can be seen in various areas, such as banking, payments, investment, insurance and regulatory compliance.
Banking: There is no doubt that technology has revolutionised the banking industry. The introduction of online banking, mobile banking and digital payments, has transformed the way customers access banking services. Customers can now easily check their account balances, transfer money, pay bills, and perform various other banking transactions from the comfort of their homes or on-the-go via their cell phones. Furthermore, technology has enabled banks to provide personalised and customised services to their customers through the introduction of AI-powered virtual assistants which offer customer support and respond to customer queries in real-time.
Payments: The use of technology has also transformed the way payments are made. The traditional cash and check payments are being replaced by digital payments such as credit/debit cards, mobile payments, digital wallets and even cryptocurrencies. Digital payments have made transactions faster, cheaper, and more secure. Moreover, financial technology companies (fintech) have entered the market with innovative payment solutions, such as peer-to-peer payments and mobile payments, that offer customers more convenient and efficient payment options.
Insurance: The rise of insurtech companies is currently disrupting the traditional insurance industry. These companies are leveraging big data, artificial intelligence and machine learning to provide customised insurance solutions to their customers. Additionally, the use of telematics devices and wearables has enabled insurance companies to collect more data on their customers, allowing them greater leverage to assess risk and offer personalised insurance policies.
Investment: Technology has had a significant impact on the investment industry. Online investment platforms, known as robo-advisors, have been introduced to provide investors with automated investment advice based on their risk tolerance, investment goals and other factors. These platforms have made investment accessible to the masses by offering low-cost investment solutions that were previously harder to access for individuals. Moreover, blockchain technology has enabled the creation of new investment products, such as digital securities and cryptocurrencies, that despite the reservations of some, offer investors a fresh approach to investing.
Regulatory Compliance: Financial services is an industry that is highly regulated. Compliance with regulatory requirements is essential to maintaining customer trust and avoiding legal and reputational risks. It’s a sphere clearly suited to use of technology to advance compliance of regulations by financial services companies. Regulatory technology (regtech) has enabled solutions that use artificial intelligence and machine learning to identify potential compliance issues and mitigate risk. It’s in this arena that blockchain technology is seen to have the potential to streamline compliance by creating immutable and transparent records of transactions that can be easily audited.
Cybersecurity: While the impact of technology on the financial services industry has been largely positive, the challenge of cybersecurity has been amplified. With the increase in online transactions and the collection and storage of sensitive customer data, financial services firms are unfortunately vulnerable to cyberattacks. It is essential therefore, that financial services firms invest in robust cybersecurity measures to protect their systems and data, offering opportunity for further developments and inventions in the future of technology.
Employment: It’s inarguable that the drive of technology will affect people’s jobs. Some jobs will be swallowed up, and new jobs will be formed. Technology in itself has led to increased efficiency and productivity, but has also led to the automation of certain tasks, resulting in job losses. The impact of technology on people should be seriously considered and carefully managed. Reskilling and retraining programmes can be developed to assist people to transition to new roles and redefined futures.
Getting to know you – biometric verification
- A significant area affected by the growth of technology, is the insurance industry and the way customers are assisted on an entry basis. If you are wanting to verify your policies and investments for instance, many companies are now using biometric verification as a security measure to verify clients’ identities.
- Biometric verification is a means by which a person can be uniquely identified by evaluating one or more distinguishing biological traits. These biological identifiers can include fingerprints, facial recognition, hand and earlobe geometries, retina patterns, voice prints and written signatures.
- Facial recognition depends on matching your photo taken by your webcam or mobile camera with your identity document. Facial recognition maps facial features and compares them to stored facial biometric data to authenticate a person’s identity. This is one of the most common verification methods because of the number of unique points on an individual’s face.
Find your policies. Make them count.
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