FinTech – A Banking Industry Disruptor

By IBM

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Technologies such as mobile, social and cloud have greatly empowered today’s customers. This has led to customer behavior changing across sectors including banking that managed to stay immune to change due to high regulatory barriers for a long time. Banks are now beginning to take notice and walk shoulder to shoulder with Fintech start-ups that are working to live up to their consumers rising expectations.

Rapid changes in the services industry demand very high levels of customer focus. Today’s generation looks up to Fintech startups to access services that were once a forte of the Banking industry alone. Now services such as payments, wealth management, investment management, risk assessment etc. are all being executed in a shorter span of time with the help of mobile technology and analytics; allowing for more personalized experiences.

Zanroo Limited, a company tapping into IBM Cloud to gain insights from real-time brand monitoring and trend analysis could scale and grow by more than 400% in 4 years. This is just one example of how fintechs are using digital technology to boost performance. Zanroo now leads Thai and Indochina markets with six out of 10 banks, retailers, telcos, auto manufacturers, electronics brands and airlines using Zanroo’s social media tools. With Watson tools access to IBM APIs and data for fintechs, we might see further innovation in the banking ecosystem due to Fintechs.

Banks today are also experimenting with technologies such as Blockchain to revolutionize the transaction processes. For example, Singapore FinTech Startup KYCK! is experimenting with Blockchain to enhance the customer onboarding process in financial institutions.

Kasikornbank Public Company Limited (KBank), one of Thailand’s largest bank has been successful in reducing the time to process a document from 24 hours to as less as 30 minutes with the help of new enterprise Letter of Guarantee network based on IBM Blockchain. Besides making the process paperless, transparent and more streamlined, Blockchain also helps to do away with the need for third party verifications. Blockchain adoption also promises more secure transactions which is fast becoming the top priority for all organizations to survive in the digital era.

Fintech has become an impactful disruptor in the traditional banking set up, challenging the older, more traditional ways of work. The radical change in service modelling that Fintech has brought in allows for a better user experience, smarter technology usage, and convenience to customers. The banking ecosystem therefore, needs to either embrace new and improved interaction models or risk becoming defunct. To offer benefits that are comparable or better than the Fintech industry, banks these days are choosing to collaborate with the Fintech startups and rise to the new challenges of changing customer expectations and demands. As new technologies evolve, the day is not far when collaboration between banking and Fintech could lead to superior services resulting in customer delight.

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