Financial services tech predictions 2014 and beyond: Asia


The FST Media team has collated the top tips from analysts, experts and industry on what you can expect from technology in 2014.

The age of the customer continues

According to Dane Anderson, Vice President, Research Director, Region Manager for Asia Pacific, Forrester Research, the age of the customer will continue to evolve. “Keeping up with disruptive technology innovation powered by social, mobile, analytics, and cloud enablement is critical, but success in the age of the customer is about more than technology. It hinges on organisations shifting their cultures, organisational structures, and mindsets to win in this new era.” (Forrester Research)

Banks will pay more attention to fraud prevention possibilities, with governments and regulators equally interested in such technologies to counter illegal activities, according to Mike McCarthy, Head of Global infrastructure Services, APAC, at DBS.  “It is inevitable we will see more widely deployed but unobtrusive biometric authentication. These technologies will be deployed to facilitate rapid transaction processing in a ‘know your customer’ context,” McCarthy told FST Media (FST Media)

Customers will continue to demand an omni-channel experience. According to a report by Bank Systems and Technology, as banks pour more resources into achieving “Seamless banking ‘from anywhere’ will achieve a tipping point, so as omni-channel banking continues to grow in the retail channel, look for it to take off in the commercial channel.” (Bank Systems and Technology)

Big data and analytics to drive customer engagement

2014 will see big data and analytics make the customer a focus, according to Craig Stires, research director, Big Data and Analytics, IDC APAC. "In 2014, we will see big data and analytics initiatives treated like a magnifying glass, with the customer or citizen at the focal point.” (IDC Report)

Big data will play a vital role in infrastructure to create a seamless omni-channel experience, according to David Backley, Head of e-Business, OCBC Bank Malaysia. “From a technological point of view, one of the most important things we can do is to ensure we facilitate cross-channel awareness and contextualisation, effectively making the interactions as frictionless and seamless as possible. This is a complex but invaluable endeavour, facilitated by technology to deliver great customer service.”  (FST Media)

Roy Heong, Head of e-Business, OCBC Bank (Malaysia) Berhad told FST Media “the ability to transact instantly and seamlessly across borders is the key paradigm shift the industry is currently looking at and that could well become a real game changer, not only in terms of the incremental possibilities but also in terms of the challenges and risks posed.” (FST Media)

The role of the Chief Marketing Officer on road to transformation

The CTPartners report, 2014 Executive Hot Jobs highlighted the transforming role of the CMO and the impact data and analytics will likely have on this role. “The CMO role is rapidly evolving, and CMOs across all market sectors increasingly need the ability to use analytics to show that marketing is actually driving revenue and growth, providing irrefutable data that highlights its influence and significance to the organisation.” (CNET)

A report by IDC also flagged the changing role of the Chief Marketing Officer, and the increasing amount of responsibility for the role. Kathleen Schaub, Vice President of the IDC CMO Advisory Service said, “Buyers are evolving their purchase practices faster than vendors are changing their marketing practices. It’s not a matter of doing the same things better. The Chief Marketing Officer cannot avoid broader responsibility as the digital customer experience bursts traditional boundaries.” (IDC)

Digital Wallets space to consolidate

Research house Ovum predicts the digital wallet space will be a competitive one, with customers unlikely to use multiple wallets, according to Eden Zoller. “A key trend for 2014 will be rationalisation and consolidation in the digital wallets space. There has been an explosion in digital wallet launches over the last two years and this is not sustainable. Consumers will not adopt multiple digital wallets and over the next year or so will consolidate their loyalty and spending into one or possibly two digital wallet services.” (Ovum)

Mobile wallets will continue to change the ecosytem of banking, allowing seamless transactions through a variety of digital media. Maggie Yung, Head of Digital Banking, Citibank Hong Kong, told FST Media, “Since most of the banking transactions can be done through online, phone banking and other remote channels, it is critical for us to build a high touch channel to enrich our relationships with our customers…the mobile phone becomes indispensable – meeting customer’s changing lifestyle, as the mobile ecosystem changes.” (FST Media)

Virtual Currencies may pave the way for cybercrime

Bitcoin-like startups will see an increase in investment and capital, according to media reports. “This pool of capital will be distributed across local/global exchange start-ups (e.g. BTC China*), merchant-related services (e.g. Bitpay), wallet services (e.g. Coinbase) and a host of other innovative start-ups,” according to a report by ‘Lightspeed India.’

Regulation could be on the horizon for virtual currencies. The rise of Bitcoin and virtual currencies, although a benefit to the economy, will also see a rise in cybercrime, until a form of regulation is created for the virtual currency. “While the growth of Bitcoin and other virtual currencies is helping promote economic activity, it also provides cybercriminals using ransomware attacks with a perfect system to collect money from their victims,” said a report by Bank Innovation.