The automation study, carried out by fintech firm Avaloq, also found that increased used of open and collaborative platforms (34%) and more distributed ledger technologies and cryptocurrencies (26%) could play a major role in financial services going forward.
As for what is aiding digital transformation in financial services currently, participants cited compliance under updating regulations (48%), improved customer experiences (46%) and improved cyber security (42%) as frequent drivers of improved performance.
Offering a better customer experience than competitors was the most frequently identified priority for staying ahead of the competition in five years’ time, with 41% saying that it was their most preferred advantage, more than double the next placed aspect, ‘operational efficiency’ (19%).
“The digital transformation of the financial services industry has already begun, with many institutions embracing the significant benefits that digital and cloud-based operating models such as BPaaS and SaaS deliver,” said Martin Greweldinger, group chief product officer at Avaloq. “But it is clear that even bigger changes are arriving, particularly with regards to AI, robotics and automation, which combined with design thinking methodology will enhance the overall customer experience.”
Financial services companies must embrace the cloud
Regarding a preferred strategy for leveraging AI and automation in order to optimise customer service, 42% said that ‘one core platform combined with single add-on applications’ would be most effective.
This figure is more than double those representing views that either ‘several single best-of-breed platforms’ or ‘one integrated front-to-back platform’ would be the best way forward.
“As our research confirms, in this environment and to remain competitive, institutions will continue to move to scaleable, highly efficient and adaptable digital platforms that ‘future proof’ business models in a fast-changing, digitising market,” continued Greweldinger. “These platforms will allow banks and wealth managers to grow and partner seamlessly with a host of third parties and fintechs.”
Avaloq’s study gauged the views of 210 banking and wealth management professionals around the world, including operational and technical employees, middle management and senior managers.