The past week, the 7th annual Financial Technology Summit, Fintech2020, was held virtually. On Tuesday, the event was opened up the experience to attendees from around the world, and Nintex attended with our Premier Partner Synergi, showing how together we can help the FinServ industry in 2020.
With speakers from traditional financial institutions like the Bank of England, NatWest, and Lloyds Banking Group together with financial disruptors such as Tide & Float, this was an exciting one-day event. The agenda was set to examine the role of financial services during the current socio-economic landscape, how the FinServ industry has transformed in the past six months, and how it will continue to evolve.
Finding new opportunities during the pandemic was a common theme throughout the entire day, and I was inspired to see how quickly organizations have acted to keep their business moving and improving how they work.
Three major impacts to FinServ in 2020
Throughout the day, many topics were introduced and discussed, however, three stuck out to me the most:
- Existing infrastructure vs. accelerated digital transformation
- Impact on the workforce
- The progressive move to a cashless society
Existing infrastructure vs. accelerated digital transformation
It’s clear that the FinServ industry has not invested in its infrastructure for a while now, and the pandemic caused those issues caused by the outdated infrastructure to surface. With the need to shift the workforce to remote locations, many institutions struggled to adapt.
Leda Glyptis, former CEO of 11: FS Foundry, emphasized how COVID-19 brought into light the broken processes within their organization, as they were suddenly causing major issues. Not only did they have to quickly put out those fires, but the company also had to complete digital infrastructure projects that usually take six months to complete, in eight weeks.
Although the issues were ultimately solved, throwing people at the problems as they arose was not an effective solution.
By investing in the right technology to build out the infrastructure to support digital transformation, their organization could stay a step ahead by streamlining those six- to eight-month projects, putting them to work for their team within weeks.
As James Hughes from Rubrik pointed out, the pandemic has highlighted how much human middleware is needed to run business processes. This is in line with McKinsey’s study, which found that 68% of business processes are still highly manual.
So how do financial organizations adapt to remote work?
Impact on the workforce
Although there was a push from employees for more remote working at the Bank of England for some time now, there was still some reticence among managers. COVID-19 exploited this issue, as it forced the Bank of England to adapt to the work-from-home lifestyle.
David Baumslag, Senior Analyst at the Bank of England, found that the quality of work of his employees improved, with their deliveries becoming sharper and more focused. He stated that “the attitude of managers has completely transformed,” and now there is no issue with remote working.
On the other hand, David McLeay of the Lloyds Banking Group said at first there was a lack of team spirit when they first went remote. However, this quickly shifted as within three weeks, laptops were given to staff for remote working and collaborative technology like Microsoft Teams was introduced.
This has helped the team to address challenges in these changing times, which is vital in these “business unusual” times. We now have to scale innovation and embrace this forced change.
As much as we rely on our workforce, giving them the correct balance of support through digital infrastructure and collaboration tools has to be implemented to allow for successful remote work.
The progressive move to a cashless society
With most retail outlets being closed during the early lockdown, it’s not surprising that society was not regularly using cash. The Bank of England reported that the use of cash dropped by 60% in the UK in April 2020 – this was much higher than expected.
The FinServ industry had to adapt and find ways to enable consumers to spend money and keep the economy moving.
The challenge here is to provide the customer with experiences that embrace digital transformation and to find solutions that drive change. We’re seeing banks like Monzo provide spend analysis, saving pots, and easy money transfers.
As innovation continues in the FinServ industry, it brings into question what the future of cash will be.
Adjusting with the present
According to the IDC European IT Buyer Sentiment Survey, presented by James Hughes, 94% of organizations expect major changes in their IT strategy, with 23% expecting more investment in automation and real-time insights.
Further, a staggering 30% more will be moving to the cloud more aggressively. These are good indications that FinServ industries are moving their digital transformation efforts to be more aggressively catered to the new normal.
If that sounds familiar and you’d like to understand how Nintex can help in your business accelerate digital transformation, as we do for 10,000 other organizations across the world, get in touch and we’ll be more than happy to help out.
If you’d like to learn more about how investing in digital transformation can help your business, during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond, get in touch with the team at Nintex. Or you can also try the Nintex Platform yourself with a free trial.