How will 5G transform the finance industry?

From wearable payments to IoT, the future of Financial Services is mobile

by Tony Leggio, Vice President of Finance Solutions, AT&T Business

From ATM machines to online and mobile banking, the Financial Services IT Solutions has often been an early adopter of digital technology.

For example, according to research done by AT&T and IDG, 81% of financial institutions have made technology changes at the corporate and/or branch level in recent years.

With mobile usage continuing to accelerate a rapid pace, many customers are actively seeking new services to match the evolving technologies in their pockets and on their wrists. To meet these demands, banks must be more agile than ever.

5G technology is poised to help banks and other finance companies deliver the new, innovative mobile services consumers want.

The low latency, high data capacity and reliability of forthcoming 5G networks will help create a new platform for the delivery of services – virtually wherever the customer is.

One example of a technology that could be powered by 5G is the remote teller. This service would enable customers to get personalized attention via a video session without necessarily finding and traveling to their nearest branch.

Teller services could potentially become available wherever the 5G network exists, either on smartphones or via personalized ATMs.

Wearable devices

Another promising pivot point for 5G in financial services lies in wearable devices. Wearables are already becoming an important channel for mobile payments, and this is likely to increase even more in the future.

In the past, wearable devices have relied on local authentication using biometric data to enroll fingerprints and then check them against a new scan each time the user accesses the device.

These biometric checks are becoming more sophisticated, moving from fingerprints to faces, and even beyond that to voice recognition and to behavioral analysis, in which the service checks the user’s typing patterns to authenticate them.

By connecting to the cloud using 5G technology, these devices could share that data with financial services and with each other – potentially with even more reliability and lower latency than ever before. This data sharing could enable cloud-based services to apply more computing power, evaluating these new biometric data types with even higher degrees of accuracy.

Ideally, banks and other finance companies would no longer need to rely on just one form of biometric authentication.

By using real-time 5G connectivity to aggregate biometric data from a user’s different devices, financial organizations could also provide multi-layered authentication for extra account protection. This would help substantially reduce the risk of false negatives during biometric authentication.

Data collection and wealth management

5G’s ability to collect a steady stream of data from customers will help enable banks to do more than just protect their accounts.

Low latency bandwidth offers real-time information gathering and delivery of data ranging from location to payment information, paving the way for new artificial intelligence-based personal banking services. These services could aggregate a user’s behavioral data in real time to create context-aware financial recommendations.

An automated financial assistant could remind users that they’re reaching a weekly budget limit for entertainment services when they go to the cinema, or suggest new ways to save at the grocery store. Using high-speed, low-latency services, they could offer more accurate advice where it matters most.

Beyond customers

5G’s benefits are expected to extend beyond customers. Financial professionals will also be able to use them to create more efficient back-end processes.

In insurance, damage appraisers could use 5G-enabled high-speed connectivity to send dozens of photos back to the head office quickly, without having to wait to reach their office or home network. Using this technology, insurance companies could serve customers more quickly and automatically, especially when combining claims adjustment processes with AI.

The future of financial services is mobile. As 5G enhancements create more reliable, responsive networks, it can help banks and other financial institutions ensure that this future is more productive, efficient and protected.

To learn more about how 5G could help you achieve smarter, more trusted interactions, download our concise collection of promising possibilities for financial institutions.


AT&T Business is a leading provider of Edge-to-edge solutions for Financial Services Solutions and is the largest SD-WAN provider globally. Achieve smarter, more trusted interactions with business solutions that integrate our unique ecosystem of technology and expertise with our highly-secure global network to obtain near real-time intelligence from every corner of your enterprise.