Accelerating the digital future in banking

If you feel like we have accelerated digitally 3 years in 3 months, you are not alone. From grocery delivery to curbside pickup, consumers have adopted new habits in the shadow of the pandemic; or in some ways, re-adopted old habits (such as drive-through banking). As more people switch to online and acquire digital alternatives to in-person collaboration, exercise, retail, and healthcare, businesses must adapt to the fast-changing world. 

Welcome to the Zettabyte World, one full of data from exponential growth of smart connected ecosystems.

So what is in store in our data-rich future? 

“Data is oxygen” is a saying that you are likely familiar with. 

Alternatively, data is the fuel that powers our businesses.

Imagine an infrastructure that is architected for exponential growth and scaled on demand, with data that can be remotely managed seamlessly across domains.

Imagine a virtual assistant that observes your behavior and learns your consumption habits; and protects your assets from being exploited. A machine that understands your financial obligations — current and future, taking into account your health, your habits, and caregiving responsibilities. An algorithm that considers your dreams and aspirations — one that not only looks back upon the past, but also helps you chart a course towards the future. After all, looking back to review last month’s expenses is only part of the story; knowing how much money we can afford to spend while navigating the rest of our lives comfortably and securely is more important, especially given human longevity. 

Having such a personal CFO in our pocket, however, will require reimagining the role of financial services — one that moves the business model beyond value extraction. It will also require a new paradigm in data management and analytics, forming unlikely alliances across institutions and industries. It will require a holistic view of customers — not just as individuals with unique needs, but also balancing their responsibilities with their families and loved ones.  

The central role that data plays toward further understanding customer needs cannot be understated. And a new openness toward technologies that enable advanced analytics to drive more empathy-driven solutions based on personalized data will be a stakeholder component of this new future — one that needs to transform from transactional to more meaningful relationships. 

From onboarding to identity management to fraud mitigation; from CRM to personal finance management and investment management — how well do we really know our customers along the different points of their life journey? And how much do we know beyond the singular financial relationship we maintain with them? Just as customers generally have multiple financial relationships across several firms, there are multiple data sets across verticals that can be leveraged to ascertain financial needs. 

Which is precisely what has been driving the recent tie-ups between big technology firms and financial institutions: the need to gain insights into consumer habits beyond one vertical set of data. And it follows the model of some of the technology companies in Asia, where data on consumer activities is being used to predict behavior and credit risk, in order to offer customized services. 

What we have witnessed though is only a glimpse of what is possible. While current use cases mostly seek to improve operational efficiency in asset management, customer management, risk management, and fraud detection, the next evolution of financial services will belong to those who can find creative use of artificial intelligence and big data across siloed activities — to create more value for their customers and partners. This is quickly becoming an important competitive advantage, and the new normal in how customer relationships are built in the long term. Mastercard’s efforts to fight fraud with data analytics and artificial intelligence is a great example.  

Cloud infrastructure, with its extensibility and scalability, will enable organizations to unleash the potential of such emerging technologies. Imagine a future where data is not fragmented; where a vast amount of big data and alternate data from disparate sources can be shared responsibly and accessed securely; where algorithms on cloud-stored data can help guide consumers towards a more fulfilling path. 

“We are not making a single AI. We are creating a world of opportunities.” Genevieve Bell, Director of the 3A Institute and Senior Fellow at Intel, during the TED Salon about “Defining the Future” at Dell Technologies World 2020.

Imagine the power of all the 1’s and 0’s coming together and the opportunities it can unlock. Behind every data point is a person; technology is the key to unlock their dreams and aspirations, and the enabler to greater prosperity for more people.

Not only is cloud the operating model for our digital future; it will propel the evolution of the next generation of financial services, from incumbents and beyond.

This post is sponsored by Dell Technologies. Opinions are my own and don’t necessarily represent Dell Technologies’s positions or strategies.

Published By

Theodora Lau

Theodora Lau

Founder, Public Speaker, Writer, Podcast Host, and Advisor


Not only is cloud the operating model for our digital future; it will propel the evolution of the next generation of financial services, from incumbents and beyond.

#Cloud #DigitalTransformation #Banking #FinancialServices #FinTech #DellPartner Dell Technologies

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