Prior to Covid-19, digital transformation in the financial services industry was well underway. However; customers’ and institutions’ willingness to adopt these digital trends remained inconsistent and questionable.
But this health crisis has definitely acted as a catalyst to the trial and adoption rate, forcing radical changes in customer behavior by increasing their willingness to engage digitally. Therefore, the shift to digital banking became a necessity to survive the “New Normal”.
New technologies have been adapted at a fast pace foreign to the finance sector: advanced analytics, artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning, to help identify peculiar payments, cross-border B2B payments, API layers to corporate customers, digital wallets, digital credit cards… the list goes on, but one thing is clear: banks reached the future they always aspired to and shall now maintain the security and innovation of their services.
While improving customers experience remains top priority in a highly competitive landscape, transformation to fully fledged digital banking services raises concerns in terms of providing a personalized experience, data security, willingness to partner with 3rd party providers, and the need to continuously invest in emerging technologies to stay ahead of competitors and hackers alike.
Global financial institutions reported that the top challenges they face through the digital transformation process include the absence of supportive legal systems, the lack of existing skills, data quality and resource allocation.
However, with challenges come the opportunities, as banks can capitalize on digital banking to attract millennials whose lives are centered around mobile phones and customized applications that help them manage their finances remotely.
The UAE has seen a relatively high number of bank customers who would engage in a full digital banking experience, with 87% showing their willingness to open an account with a branchless digital-only bank, according to a study by Boston Consulting Group.
All these topics and more pertaining to banks journey to digitalization will be discussed during “Banks of the Future” webinar organized by the UAE Banks Federation and Al-Iktissad Wal-Aamal, on the 16th and 17th of June 2021.