The changing landscape of the financial services industry

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The changing landscape of the financial services industry

South American International Bank Curacao

The financial services industry is one that is often referred to as being traditional, conservative and far from innovative. As we speak, this industry is subject to a far reaching digital transformation or, as some suggest; entering a digital phase. If one starts searching on the internet about the trends in this industry, you come across many interesting examples of innovation, change and new technology.

A closer look shows that the industry is welcoming a large number of new, technology oriented companies and their services. They are called FinTech companies and they are launching products, services, completely new banks and underlying technologies at unprecedented rates. Banks and financials that refuse to respond or deny to acknowledge are loosing customers and are called legacy financials.

The FinTech companies, or FinTech’s, use different and improved user experiences and more-transparent practices. Together with the potential of electronic devices, mobile technology and good old internet, the financial service industry seems far from being non-innovative.

Altogether, it is summed up as a large digital transformation of the financial service industry and some even predict that banks that do not follow or evolve digitally, will see their turnover decline and lose market share. It’s imperative that changes are real, predictions of consequences for the industry are different per article.

So what are some of the bigger trends or predictions currently changing the financial industry?  

Clearly, the rise of FinTech and digital has a huge impact for the financial services industry and its customers.  The following are a few of the trends currently impacting the industry.

Online & mobile versus branches.

Since online banking was introduced in the 90’s, banks and other financial service providers are trying to find a balance between digital channels and physical channels. Physical branches were the popular places to go to meet your advisor or arrange your everyday financial things. But that changed dramatically when mobile banking was introduced when the iPhone debuted in 2007.

New technologies, new entrants

Fintech is in fact a container for multiple technologies in the financial services industry and is at the intersection of finance and technology. It can apply to technical changes or innovation onto a traditional financial services context or even bigger; when an existing (part) of the financial services market is being disrupted by an innovative technology.

But there is much more. Numerous articles can be found on the impact of artificial intelligence on investment services, or what about peer to peer technology in the payment market? Then there is Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence, Big Data, Blockchain, Crowdfunding and Wearables.

With all those new technologies come new entrants. Some of them grow fast, others disappear or change their strategy as quick as they came. Large incumbent banks are increasingly collaborating with new entrants, combining the new technology and working culture with an existing market.

User experience

Another trend in financial services is the growing demand of customers for a better customer experience, also referred to as user experience (CEX or UX). Customers feel empowered with all the new technologies. They experience retail, e – and m-commerce in other industries like travel and demand the same from their bank. Marketeers and distribution managers in financial services know how difficult it can be to sell and distribute financial services, specifically when customers demand that banks should be there where their customers are.

Why is this so relevant and what does it mean for you and SAI-Bank?

SAI-Bank is aware of the changing landscape of the financial services industry. We realize our customers are aware of it too and this is why it is relevant. We are currently looking into the many new possibilities, technologies and digitalization to see what it means for our customers and our organization and how we could leverage for better and improved services.

First things first

We decided to start with an improved website first. You might have noticed that the contents, structure and design have changed. It is now more personal with showing pictures of our own people blended in and it is easier to find information through a different layout.

It is also responsive now meaning it fits both computer and mobile device screens. This will provide a more user friendly experience and also takes in account future changes that we will elaborate on in our future blogs through this website. The blogs are meant to share opinions, involve you in our steps towards better services and provide information on trends in our industry.

Chat, for direct contact

Furthermore we have built in a chat functionality on our website that provides a new channel for you to stay in touch with us when you have a question or comment. It is easy to use and saves you from having to call or e-mail us. We are learning on the way and we’ll answer your questions as soon as possible.

Last but not least are we working on a monthly newsletter. Follow the button below to leave your e-mail address if you wish to receive it and stay updated.

As we are thinking and building forward on more improvements to follow, we appreciate your thoughts and opinions. Do not hesitate to contact us.

Yours sincerely,
F. Girigori,
General Manager Sai-Bank