The must-know digital finance and banking trends for 2023
Even though most financial institutions are on stable ground, supply chain issues, persistent inflation, and tightening monetary policy stand to have a major impact on global money flows in the near future. In fact, a recent report from Deloitte suggests rising geopolitical risks, deglobalization, and fracturing payment systems may push us toward a new economic order altogether. The report advises banks to reevaluate traditional product, service, and industry boundaries to find new sources of value amid this financial uncertainty.1
With institutions working to adjust business strategies to address these changes and prepare for the future, four key finance trends and trends in banking have emerged. Those trends are personalizing the customer experience (CX), maximizing digital agility, increasing operational efficiency, and minimizing risk with advanced security.
Trend 1: Personalizing the customer experience
Customers continue to access financial and banking services across multiple channels. This makes building end-to-end customer experiences a priority, rather than focusing on narrow product lines. Consumers want hands-on guidance and support, especially during trying economic times. Addressing these needs, both now and in the future, will be crucial to maintaining their trust.
Yet when it comes to delivering an optimal CX, it’s all about hyper-personalization. Or rather, tailoring marketing and customer journeys to deliver custom and targeted experiences using data, analytics, artificial intelligence (AI), and automation.
A consumer survey conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers on the topic of digital banking found that 61% of bank customers interact with their bank’s digital channels on a weekly basis. And 32% of customers prefer to avoid physical branches altogether.2 This growing preference for digital gives institutions access to a wealth of data that helps them better understand customers’ wants and needs. It also gives them an opportunity to refine the user journey to reflect customers’ unique preferences as they evolve.
By using AI and machine learning (ML), institutions stand to gain greater insight into their audiences. Global professional services firm Genpact also recommends companies use AI to become more instinctive and responsive to customer needs. They add, “With AI embedded throughout their organizations, the next generation of banks will have moved away from simply offering financial services and products, and towards a higher purpose, focused on the financial betterment of their customers. Betterment that also enhances the societies and environments in which they operate.”3
But remember, supporting this betterment, whether through AI or hyper-personalized customer experiences, also means having a network that’s up to the task. For financial institutions, choosing a network solution that can support the bandwidth, speed, low latency, and built-in security these initiatives require is a must. This will enable them to meet the customer and market demands of the present. It will also keep the entire organization primed and ready for new and emerging opportunities.
Trend 2: Maximizing digital agility
There’s no denying change is the new normal. The rapid pace at which financial institutions need to adapt makes identifying and making changes a tall order. That’s why network modernization is so critical. Not only is it the key to a successful digital transformation. It also enables banks and financial companies to evolve at the speed of change, leveraging powerful digital tools and technologies like multi-cloud cloud infrastructures, advanced analytics, automation, and software-defined capabilities to unlock new levels of operational agility.
Why is this important? Because agile methodologies increase product development speed and decision efficiency by five times.4 This enables institutions to harness digitally agile networks to bring context, sentiment, and human touch in a way that elevates the customer experience. Such methodologies are also capable of scaling, embracing, and adjusting to rapid changes in technology and society. This helps institutions stay current and competitive with less effort.
Financial companies should also embrace an adaptable architecture that uses flexible, secure processes to support this business evolution. In doing so, they’ll be better equipped to shift operations when business needs change, whether it’s a result of a merger or acquisition, a disruptive domestic or global event, or a regulatory change.5
Inspire renewed loyalty, streamline operations, and position yourself to outpace competitors with integrated, data-driven solutions.
Trend 3: Improving operational efficiency
You can’t deliver for your clients and customers if your network isn’t up to the task. Nor can you stay flexible and agile with outdated processes or equipment.
As we plunge deeper into our new digital reality, an increasing number of technology breakthroughs have put tremendous demand on our networks and business ecosystems. Digital transformation alone presents huge opportunities for innovation and competitive advantage. If financial institutions want to stay relevant, they must update and implement new technologies, tools, and platforms that will enable them to meet the needs of their customers and their business.
Proving that technology improvements are worth the investment, a survey conducted by Insider Intelligence found that “technology geared toward improving retail banks’ operational efficiency is positively impacting the market.” They added that “39% of retail banking executives say that reducing costs is where technology has the greatest impact.”6
Modernizing your network using software-defined, multi-cloud, and Application Program Interface (API) connected ecosystems that can harness the full spectrum of connectivity will help your institution operate efficiently and effectively. You’ll also remain flexible to changing business needs and stay future-ready for what comes next.
Trend 4: Minimizing risk with advanced security
Cybersecurity in finance remains a crucial priority for companies of all sizes. Operational risks and regulatory expectations are also evolving at a fast pace, requiring banks to adopt new methods of managing those risks.7 According to Beyond Trust: Cybersecurity Trends for 2023 & Beyond, “A transformation in the implementation of zero trust is underway, with positive and negative implementations that will continue to morph in 2023.”8
Many financial institutions are speeding cloud adoption to compete with fintech organizations and to support consumer demand for transformed and digital banking experiences. The need to secure and manage hybrid and multi-cloud environments alongside legacy infrastructure can lead to increased complexity, operational overhead, and talent and skills challenges.
In following Deloitte’s insight in bringing Zero Trust security to financial services organizations, “cyber due diligence, including adversarial simulation, and threat profiling should be conducted during merger and acquisition (M&A) transactions to enhance situational awareness of relevant threats and weaknesses that inform the adoption of leading IT integration practices.”9
Finance and banking trends in action
Keeping clients connected to their assets is key for any financial institution. In the case of one of the world’s largest asset management firms, they recognized the need to consolidate existing data centers in favor of a more modern hybrid network. One that would enable them to streamline the flow of data across their business, all while boosting network capacity and lowering costs.
Working with our business finance solutions team, the firm accelerated its transformation, increasing efficiency and protecting data edge-to-edge in the process. The result? Improved cost savings, greater network capacity, and a more sustainable business path that quickly won over customers, employees, and shareholders alike.
And when one of the oldest and largest banks needed to update over 1,100 brick-and-mortar locations to improve the customer and employee digital experience and optimize network performance, AT&T Business was there, too. Our network and connectivity solutions enabled them to better target their customers through digital signage. It also helped them create a more simplified network architecture with a migration path to future-ready solutions.
Embracing the new normal
As you embrace the new normal of digital acceleration in the financial industry, these four finance and banking trends will prepare you for the present and the future. We have a range of solutions to help you personalize your CX, maximize digital agility, improve operational efficiency, and minimize risk through advance security. We’ll provide you with all the technology and resources you need to build and maintain your future-flexible digital platform.
To view our measurable results and additional Financial Services customer success stories, or to learn more about all the services and solutions we offer, visit our Financial Services Solutions page.
1 Karen Edelman, Hannah Backman, Arpan Kumar Saha, and Aishwarya Iyer, “2023 Banking and Capital Markets Outlook,” Deloitte Center for Financial Services, 2022, https://www2.deloitte.com/content/dam/insights/articles/us175544_cfs-fsi-outlook-banking/DI_CFS_FSI_Outlook-Banking.pdf.
2 Peter Pollini, Greta Lovenheim, and Dean Nicolacakis, “PwC’s 2021 Digital Banking Consumer Survey,” PricewaterhouseCoopers, Accessed March 24, 2023, https://www.pwc.com/us/en/industries/financial-services/library/digital-banking-consumer-survey.html.
3 Banking in the Age of Instinct (Genpact, 2021).
4 Dan Biewener, “Agile in Banking | Why Agile is Now Essential for Banking?,” Simplilearn, February 28, 2023, https://www.simplilearn.com/why-agile-is-now-essential-for-banking-article.
5 Terrance Wampler, “The Big Idea – How Finance Leaders are Solving the Agility Problem,” diginomica, August 23, 2022, https://diginomica.com/big-idea-finance-leaders-solving-agility-problem.
6 Alicia Phaneuf, “The Future of Retail, Mobile, Online, and Digital-Only Banking Technology in 2022,” Insider Intelligence, April 15, 2022, https://www.insiderintelligence.com/insights/future-of-banking-technology/.
7 “2023 Banking and Capital Markets Outlook,” Deloitte Center for Financial Services, 2022, https://www2.deloitte.com/content/dam/insights/articles/us175544_cfs-fsi-outlook-banking/DI_CFS_FSI_Outlook-Banking.pdf.
8 Morey J Haber, “Cybersecurity Trend Predictions for 2023 & Beyond: BeyondTrust Edition,” Nov 2, 2022, https://www.beyondtrust.com/blog/entry/beyondtrust-cybersecurity-trend-predictions.
9 “Zero Trust: Security in the Age of the Porous Perimeter,” Deloitte, 2022, https://www2.deloitte.com/content/dam/Deloitte/us/Documents/risk/us-zero-trust-security-in-the-age-of-the-porous-perimeter.pdf.