Iryna M. Voznyuk-Bohiv Senior Lecturer, Lviv Institute of Banking University, Lviv (Ukraine)
Abstract. In this paper the importance of financial sector is determined. Global changes, trends of development and their impact on financial sector are presented. Technological progress and changes in skills, required for financial sector personnel are summarized. Conclusions about the further development of global financial sector are drawn.
Key words: financial sector; financial technology; customers; skills.
Financial sector of any country is the indictor of the level of their economy development. The financial services sector is huge. According to the Investopedia, — more than $7 trillion in market cap in the United States alone . Despite the world financial crisis, growing occupations in the job market, financial sector still is very popular as an employment area. Thus, LinkedIn offers ten suggestions for fields where there is room to make at least $100,000 a year. And “investment banker” is on the 2nd position among them .
So, the question arises: “which further directions of development will be inherent for global financial sector?” Thus, Jagdev Kenth determines the main 6 trends that are redefining financial institutions . They are:
- Regulatory changes and complexity;
- Digitalisation and technological advances;
- Changes in investment and capital sources and returns;
- Demographic and behavioural changes;
- global talent and skills race;
- Business operating model pressures.
As the technological progress (TP) is entered all the spheres of our everyday life, the most interesting for us is the digitalisation and technological advances. TP is changing the way that customers interact with financial institutions. Although investment in IT infrastructure has increased massively over the last few years, many traditional banks remain behind the curve. Social media companies such as Facebook, Twitter and google have a huge user base and are moving into the financial sector, bringing new sources of capital and investment .
This year, the banking industry faces a notable challenge that it can no longer attempt to downplay — one that can be summed up in a single word: FinTech. A shortened form of financial technology, FinTech is not new but in the past it referred to a group of seemingly modest startups offering limited online lending or retail-payment services. Now, this group is entering the mainstream, rapidly and voraciously. FinTech companies are no longer mere startups; some, like Lending Club, have become household names; others include such giants as Apple, google, and Samsung. Each delivers (or plans to deliver) highly focused financialservices applications, often more effectively and less expensively than traditional companies. They have been attracting customers in larger numbers. And incumbent financial-services firms have had no choice but to take notice .
As we can see, financial sector is going to become more and more closer to the customers. Nowadays, it is not necessary to go to the banks department for the different operations implementation. The UK financial institution Nationwide was the first to offer Internet banking access directly from the Android-based smartwatches. The app developed in collaboration with IBM is already available to download from the google Play. Another way of using tech as a competitive advantage for bankers is improving security. Thus, RBS and Natwest introduced a fingerprint recognition technology to verify transactions. Halifax bank has gone as far as testing the unique customers’ heartbeat pattern as a security verification. The bank has collaborated with the heart-rate measuring wrist band Nymi that can be synced either with a windows, iOS, or Android mobile device. According to Marc Lien, director of innovation and digital development at Halifax, a heartbeat pattern is more secure than fingerprint or iris scanning because it can’t be stolen or replicated to access the bank account fraudulently. .
Changing any business model is difficult; transforming into a FinTech-focused organization is also potentially harmful. If mishandled, the transformation could lead to brand erosion. Quickly integrating a raft of different technologies and new products, while raising the learning curve for account holders and employees, could easily produce a hodgepodge of frustrating customer experiences. For that reason, you must set high standards for customer interactions and be able to draw a comprehensive picture of customer expectations for the firm’s brand. Your service and brand metrics should serve as primary guidelines for choosing new technologies to embrace .
For attracting more customers, not only financial technologies are implemented into services spectrum. More and more banks tend to become friendly places like retail shops rather than intimidating serious places where you can understand very little. Following on this trend, the RBS-owned bank Natwest started implementing new positioning centered around people and their life plans. Clients dream of buying a house, not getting a mortgage as such, so the bank shifts focus from financials products on to people’s life journey. In February this year, Natwest in collaboration with agency Boldrocket temporarily redesigned two London branches with black-and-white cartoon-style pop-up settings. The idea was to illustrate that ‘life was a blank canvas,’ so money/loan/mortgage was just a means to move forward in life. This human-centric approach aimed to draw attention to an in-store technology and a new mobile app .
So, as we can affirm, despite the difficulties which are inherent to the financial sector, trend of its further development is through the closeness to the clients. Banks will no longer be the old type institutions. Financial operations, including banking too, will rapidly move to the virtual electronic sphere. And it will be the massive and significant process.
However, the part of clients, which will be the supporters of the “classical banking” operations, though remain. And such clients, seeking at least some changes will increase their requirements to the bank (or other financial institutions) employees. And this fact also can be mentioned as projected and logical. In the report of this year world Economic Forum in Davos (Switzerland), the main professional skills, which will be demanded in the near future, were determined. They are:
- Complex problem solving;
- Critical thinking;
- People management;
- Coordinating with others;
- Emotional intelligence;
- Judgment and decision-making;
- Cognitive flexibility .
All mentioned skills will be relevant for financial sector as well, as any others. And for non-technological clients will be necessary to cooperate with banking managers with some of these skills. Thus, such characteristic, as complex problem solving nowadays is required in great number of financial institutions. Critical thinking and creativity are also demanded for potential employees, as lots of financial institutions claim about their individual approach to customers. People management, as well as coordinating with others, service orientation, negotiation and cognitive flexibility are necessary for managers of different hierarchical levels. Emotional intelligence means an opportunity to understand emotions, intentions and motivations of other people and of course an opportunity to manage them as well, as their own. Judgment and decision-making allow for not only opportunity but also responsibility for taken actions.
Some conclusions can be determined that financial sector is not only important part of every economic system. It is also very demanded employment sector. But all the changes, which are inherent to global technological progress are common for this sector too. Technological changes, which can be experienced by our everyday life requires equivalent changes in financial sector. Of course, it does not mean that typical banks departments will be disappeared. But all the financial employees will also have to change. There is no future for narrow specialized managers. Except traditional skills and knowledge, it is necessary to be good at critical thinking, people management and others.
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