10 areas of financial services in dire need of innovation

Any bank that calls itself a digital bank is bullshitting, according to ANZ chief technology officer Patrick Maes.


Speaking at the Fintech Melbourne meetup last week, Maes says there are 10 problems facing the financial services industry that are in dire need of innovation. Only when these 10 problems are solved, can banks truly call themselves digital. Maes says these 10 problems have the potential to be very lucrative for fintech startups that solve them.


1. Consumer payments

“Especially from a disruptive perspective. How can we add layers upon layers upon layers of convenience atop of something that’s still old fashioned, that still has a Visa or a MasterCard scheme.


“Look at Apple Pay. Apple Pay is an absolute disaster. All they’re doing is building something on top of an existing scheme, and all they’re doing is making it more expensive by a few basis points.”


2. Distributed ledgers

“When I talk about distributed ledgers, it’s not always in payments. I think there’s a lot of future in using this technology in the capital markets.


“Derivatives confirmation. Where you use the blockchain as a transport mechanism, almost a little truck, and put something heavy on top of it, and you do the exchange with all the transparency the blockchain offers you.”


2. End point security

“Our customers are using mobile devices for payments, we don’t only want to secure the little container where we are operating in our cosy little world. We want to secure our customers at the end point, ensuring their mobile device over there is secure. How do you do that?”


3. Omni-channel

“How do you share information across multiple touch points? The customer has looked at loans on the internet, walks into the branch, and the branch officer knows you’ve been looking at a loan. How do we share information in context?”


4. Enhanced scoring

Banks already have access to a considerable amount of internal data that can be used to build a picture of the financial health of their customers and potential customers. But there’s a vast swathe of public data that isn’t being tapped into.


“How can we use social media (for example) to enhancing our scoring,” he says.


“How can we use public data to make our scoring more intelligent?”


5. Helping individual customers across multiple providers

“Very rarely do you have a customer that’s working with only financial services provider. So how do you do that across multiple providers?”


6. Data analytics

“This is going to explode. And only very few companies will really take advantage of this extremely powerful science in the advantage of the customer. There’s a global problem here because there’s a shortage of the people who have the real skills to do that.


“We haven’t really seen a lot of compelling models.”


7. Trade supply chain and financial platform management

“A very important function of financial services and there’s very little innovation in that space. ”


8. Peer-to-peer lending

“To consumers, but I would say focus more on SMEs. Lending from businesses to SMEs.”


10. Digital on-boarding

“Using electronic verification and so-on.”

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