The power of the consumer today lies literally at their fingertips. Over the last decade, the development of technology has allowed the smartphone to become the remote control of society, a dependant force which gives its user the ability to carry out a large range of tasks, even simultaneously, quite beyond what one might have imagined possible during the early days of the first mobile phone device. So much so, the capacity to undergo such a multitude of tasks may have one at times forget the basic intention of such a device which gave it its name - the objective to create a phone which may be carried around in one’s pocket wherever they wish to go, now contrasts sharply with the objectives of today’s top smartphone and app developers, who look towards generating the most useful and engaging devices and applications for users.
A Digital Transformation
The era we are living in is one which adopts a ‘mobile-first’ and ‘always-connected’ status. Such a mentality is to be taken into deep consideration by banks and financial institutions who work towards providing users with a more accessible and convenient method of organising, processing and securing their financial assets. The shift taken by traditional banks to move toward a digital presence was an essential stage which was needed in order for banks to remain of relevance to the user. After all, strategies must be tailored according to the user’s behavioural patterns and financial necessities in the modern age. Needless to say, the jump to an online banking platform was significant, as online banking allowed the user to track their account history and conduct financial tasks such as payments, loans and money transfers in a faster and more convenient way when compared to traditional methods. In basic terms, online banking allowed the customer to do any activity which they could have done in person when visiting a branch.
'Strategies must be tailored according to the user’s behavioural patterns and financial necessities in the modern age.'
Nonetheless, as the pace of life continued to progress, users would demand a method which is seamless, quicker and more informative, yet without unnecessary complications when making use of it. Perhaps this demand came about through the rapid development of smartphone technology. As such devices began to offer greater diversity in terms of utility through a vast range of apps, people seemed to feel that such progression should be reflected in their day-to-day tasks too. Banks may have been late adopters to establish themselves digitally on mobile, as they were surpassed by other financial institutions within the Fintech sphere who have won the attention and affection of the user. The ability to do one’s banking tasks any minute of the day, and at the comfort of their fingertips meant that online banking through desktop was no longer the preferred method, and as a result came the shift from digital to mobile banking. One could say that the evolution of the customer brought about the evolution of traditional banks to ones which are more customer-centric than ever before, primarily on the digital platform.
So, what does this mean for Tech and Finance today?
The Tech and Financial sectors have never been so deeply merged, and will continue to integrate as banks and financial institutions continue to develop innovative methods and services for users to carry out their financial tasks, related not only to banking, however also to insurance, regulation and compliance, amongst others. What is more is that a great effort is being made by firms in these sectors to not only provide users with better financial solutions, but also offer them great financial advice based on their own personal status, be it financial, behavioural, work-related or family-related, innovative methods of analysing such data is allowing users to customise and distinguish between services to help them choose the ones most suitable to them. This means that a team of professionals in Tech is becoming a necessity for all banks and financial institutions as they continue to grow and develop the standard in these sectors, at times trying to reinvent the banking experience.
'One could say that the evolution of the customer brought about the evolution of traditional banks to ones which are more customer-centric than ever before, primarily on the digital platform.'
Banks and financial institutions can succeed in the digital age by aiming to simultaneously offer the ultimate customer experience and push the technological boundaries. That being said, the demand for professionals in software development will continue to grow as new job opportunities in the banking and financial sectors are on the rise. Innovation in AI and Blockchain development means that firms will be seeking to recruit talented software developers and engineers to guide them in the right direction from a technological aspect of operations, whilst professionals in finance will begin to play a more important part in the strategic aspects of the organisation.
What about Recruitment Opportunities in these sectors?
It is important for the organisation to differentiate themselves from their competitors by providing greater value and convenience to the customer. From a technological standpoint, ideas must be continuous and execution must be accurate and consistent - identifying any problems to generate creative and useful features to enhance the user’s mobile banking experience is only the first stage, as such concepts must be made real by developing the appropriate software structures within the mobile banking app.
'Professional roles in Banking and Finance will continue to evolve with the flow of digital innovation.'
This takes a team of talent in Tech, as a number of areas of expertise must be put into force to design, develop, maintain and improve a successful mobile banking application compatible for all smartphone devices. The Fintech Developer will become more in demand by time, from App Developers to UI and UX Designers, to talent in Blockchain Development and Cybersecurity, the number of career opportunities in Tech in Malta is expected to steadily rise.
On the other hand, professional roles in Banking and Finance will continue to evolve with the flow of digital innovation. The changing role of the accountant is a suitable example of the evolution that individuals working in banking and finance will have to adapt to in order to succeed, as the introduction of Cloud Computing, Big Data an automation has done away with traditional methods of manual entry and bookkeeping, demanding more technological edge from the accountant, however allowing them more time to pursue more important tasks related to financial advising and company strategy.
All in all
The evolution of mobile banking is still in its early stages despite all that has been done already. The next stage for banks and financial institutions is to highlight customer importance and continue to innovate beyond the usual transactional features present. By providing intelligent and engaging user experiences for mobile banking customers, an organisation will gain trust and appreciation as the user will feel more empowered when managing their money and financial data in a way which is effortless and secure.