Aldo Agostinelli

As it has already happened in other fields: people’s habits with regard to banking and financial services are changing, too. We have witnessed to the same phenomenon in  on line and off line retailing which has been heavily affected by Amazon, and we can also see it in all other services. The banking world, which is not an Island on its own, is no exception  to this. The point is not WHETHER or WHEN it will change, but HOW. That is why Deloitte Consulting joined the World Economic Forum, to conduct a survey and try to provide a picture of the financial services and the changes the sector has been undergoing to keep up (Cleared for takeoff-Five megatrends that will change financial services).

Bank teller windows are bound to disappear

The scenario described by Deloitte illustrates five different future trends. The first concerns the bank experience which, according to the forecast, shall become fully virtual and will not only deal with transactions.

Clients, more and more technologically savvy, are going to have an influence onto financial institutions.

Moreover, banks will be expected to meet the expectations of increasingly demanding  customers and to do it consistently, according to the virtual model which is starting to catch on. The offering in terms of services is going to evolve, getting more and more segmented and customized, to satisfy the needs of every single client.

Finally, financial institutions will have to rely on consultants which could promptly provide them with online and mobile solutions.

In short, if the forecast will come true, the current universal bank model we are all used to, is bound to break apart and new, unconventional actors will start operating in the field.

Payments are intangible

It’s a fact: currently cash is less and less used, whereas virtual payments made by cards and smartphones are increasing. According to Deloitte the future of payments involves the progressive disappearance of cash even for small transactions, while processes will be invisible for final users, affecting their behaviour and habits. And the cost of all this, thanks to the introduction of new technological solutions, will progressively decrease. The huge amount of transactions, then, will bring about a relevant added value: data. A massive flow of data, actually, which will allow services suppliers and retailers to get to know their customers better or, at least, their habits as consumers.

Insurances get personalized and capitals distributed

The report issued by Deloitte takes into consideration two more elements of the financial world: insurances and the so called capital raising. The former is to  become more and more customized, accurate and clear. Thanks to connectivity, allowing cars to provide data about their drivers and the vehicles themselves, thanks to sensors which can check people’s health status and their homes, the rapport with insurers is going to become on the one hand more hi-tech and on the other hand, closer and more trustworthy, which obviously implies a higher responsibility on the part of the operator, who will be also liable for the confidentiality of the data collected. In exchange for such customizations, however, the cost of leaving an insurance company, once a contract has been signed, will be higher.

With reference to capitals, distributed platforms for their collection are making the management of investments a more “democratic” process. Indeed, we are talking about virtual markets, often specialized in specific sectors, such as  start-up businesses, within which investors can compare proposals and those in search for funds can attract potential investors. Traditional mediators are therefore being forced to develop new proposals to compete with such new actors, and to come up with new protective measures for both those who ask and those who give money.

All such changes are connected by a common fil-rouge : connectivity. However, despite their dramatic effects, they haven’t come out of the blue. Operators will just have to observe the market and analyze its trends to keep up.

What do you think about Deloite forecast and trends? Are they realistic acceptable or not, and why? Tweet @agostinellialdo.

To find out more about the digital world, you may read my latest book: “People Are Media

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Aldo Agostinelli