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HSBC claims hyper-personalised banking will be driven by digital ID

A new report from HSBC reveals that the traditional products-based approach in retail banking will be replaced by hyper-personalised services, where customer personal data will be collated to form a central digital ID.

‘Banking of the Future: Finance in the Digital Age’ explores how banks will act as trusted brokers of data and offers will be automated for consumers based on their data profiles, reducing friction and improving communication with digital voice activation.

“By opening new communication channels, banks will be able to balance giving customers the personalised and intelligent services they desire, while better protecting them from the threats and dangers associated with the rise and use of personal data,” the report reads.

The digital ID will be central to this transformation. Customers will take greater personal ownership over their data, while banks leverage AI to build profiles of social patterns and preferences, present real-time insights and prompt customers to make better financial decisions.

Further, this information will be used to help customers make informed decisions about societal issues such as climate change. “For example, if you are a scuba diver and regularly go on nature-based holidays, a bank might deduce that you care about the environment and therefore might recommend investment options based on companies that support those values.

“Banks can even provide an option to rank investment opportunities based on their carbon emissions data.” Voice activation is also expected to become the default, supplemented by augmented reality in real-life situations and the option of a human advisor.

In addition to this, the HSBC report claims that increased transformation in the industry will be driven by partnerships between banks and fintech firms, rather than the ‘extinction of incumbents.’

Examples of successes include Uber and Spotify, Apple and Mastercard, Amazon and American Express and bank-fintech partnerships will increase exponentially.

In 2018, HSBC became the first bank to fight financial crime with artificial intelligence and machine learning and today, the AI solution has doubled the speed and accuracy of sanctions and money-laundering screening in cross-border payments.

The bank’s machine learning solution Cog-I for transaction monitoring already screens over 650 million transactions over 200 million accounts. While data and analytics technologies such as these are expected to define the future of banking, because of a lack of asset-backing and issuers, there will not be widespread adoption of native cryptocurrencies.

Alongside this, also due to insufficient testing and trust, cash will remain in circulation and plastic money will continue to be a mainstream payment method.

Josh Bottomley, global head of digital, data & development at HSBC, says: “The successful bank of the future will need to carefully balance a series of trade-offs between what technology and data enable, in terms of improving customer experiences, with the absolutely fundamental need to ensure the highest customer standards are upheld and the integrity of the financial system is maintained.”

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