FSIReview: Issue 7
From revolution to evolution
There is little doubt that the financial services industry has already undergone a digital revolution. In the mobile technology arena, for instance, we have already seen a proliferation of applications as financial institutions have been relatively quick to jump on the mobile bandwagon. Banks, in particular, appeared to have achieved the greatest awareness and usage at this point in time as compared to the other industry sectors. But this is not to suggest that banking is necessarily ahead of the other sectors in terms of mobile capabilities. Indeed, even banks have not fully utilised the mobile technologies available today, such as biometric authentication, video features, and location sensing.
Perhaps what is even more troubling is how the financial services industry remains stuck in a me-too mode when it comes to technology: most innovations, if any, are slight and can be easily replicated by competitors. Should they wish to achieve a sustainable competitive or even first-mover advantage, financial institutions will need to think of technology as a key differentiator and enabler for objectives that go far beyond simply cost control or revenue generation. In other words, their digital capabilities will need to evolve.