Retail Banker International lists the top five terms tweeted on fintech in Q3 2021, based on data from GlobalData’s Influencer Platform.

The top tweeted terms are the trending industry discussions happening on Twitter by key individuals (influencers) as tracked by the platform.

1. Artificial Intelligence – 7,696 mentions

AI’s potential in transforming the financial services industry, the use of AI in preventing cyberattacks, and AI’s impact on fintech were the most popular discussions on AI in Q3 2021.

Xavier Gomez, chief operating officer at INVYO Insights, a financial services provider, shared an article on how AI is transforming the way in which the financial services industry provides services to consumers. Financial services firms are using AI-powered solutions to boost revenues, reduce operational costs, and automate some of their services, according to the article. AI is also being used by fintech companies and investment banks for fraud detection and increasing client returns. A survey conducted by technology company NVIDIA among financial services professionals revealed that 83% of the respondents believed that AI is crucial to the success of their company, the article added.

Dr. Robin Kiera, founder and CEO of digital marketing agency Digitalscouting, tweeted an article on how AI can be used to protect financial data. Cyberattacks have been on the rise since the pandemic started, in the form of phishing emails, encryption, and ransomware. AI can prevent data breaches by identifying and responding to phishing emails using algorithms, predicting probable threats to firewalls and enabling continuous security monitoring solutions. AI can also identify weaknesses in a cybersecurity system and ensure data encryption.

AI was also discussed by Alex Jiménez, chief strategy officer at Finalytics AI, an AI platform for credit unions, in an article on how the technology is expected to have the biggest impact on fintech by 2025. The insight is from a report released by payment technology company Tribe Payments that surveyed 80 fintech professionals and technology feature writers. The survey was conducted to determine which of the five technologies namely AI, blockchain, low code, application programming interfaces (APIs) and edge computing will have the most impact on the sector in the next five years. AI was voted to have the most potential by 67% of the survey respondents. The report also revealed that 70% of the fintechs are already using AI in their processes.

2. Insurtech – 6,089 mentions

Insurance underwriting to become fully automated by 2025, embedded insurance creating opportunities for insurance start-ups, and the growth of insurtech company Bamboo Insurance were some of the trending discussions on insurtech in Q3.

Helen Yu, CEO of Tigon Advisory, an information technology services provider, tweeted on an infographic from technology research and advisory company Gartner that revealed how 60% of life insurance underwriting will become fully automated by 2025. The infographic provided a modernisation roadmap for life insurance underwriting and the sequence of adoption of emerging technologies.

The modernisation is expected to begin with the automation of simple tasks such as data collection from electronic health records (EHRs) followed by smarter underwriting involving the collection and analysis of internal and third-party data. Underwriting is later expected to incorporate predictive analysis and machine learning (ML) to examine policies while processing. The underwriting process is expected to eventually become AI-enabled to automate risk selection including genomics and epigenetics, according to the article.

Further, Florian Graillot, founding partner of astoryaVC, an investment firm, tweeted an article on how embedded insurance is creating opportunities for insurance start-ups. Incorporating insurance purchases in a customer’s product purchase can be a complex process as they are not integrated to ensure smooth customer experience. Insurance companies need to directly integrate their products into seller’s platforms to acquire and retain customers, which can be achieved by developing a modern insurance product that can be embedded to a seller’s platform. Auto insurance company Clearcover, for example, automatically detects whether a customer is paying too much for auto insurance and provides a better alternative. Insurtechs can also develop an API layer that simplifies the process of application for insurance, the article highlighted.

Another discussion on insurtech was shared by Alberto Garuccio, head of innovation ecosystem and open insurance at insurance company Reale Mutua Assicurazioni, on the growth of Bamboo Insurance. Founded in 2018 by nine insurance industry veterans, the company began as an underwriting company backed by insurance companies Axa and Sutton National. Bamboo grew to have $50m in written premium within three years and currently collects $75m in premium and 70 employees. The company believes that its transparent policies have helped differentiate itself from other insurtechs.

3. Machine learning – 3,993 mentions

ML and AI applications in fintech, the steps banks need to take while adopting AI and ML and the pitfalls in using AI and ML while making lending decisions were some of the discussions that made ML popular in Q3.

Dr Efi Pylarinou, a fintech and blockchain advisor, shared an article on the five ways in which AI and ML can be applied to the fintech sector. The article highlighted that AI and ML algorithms can be used to detect and fight fraud, while ML-powered data visualisation tools can be used to process data efficiently and quickly. Further, machine learning solutions such as robot advisors and automated customer support services can improve customer service and ensure social distancing protocols amid the pandemic, according to the article.

Nicolas Pinto, marketing manager at TagPay, a digital banking service provider, also discussed ML in an article on the steps to be considered by banks while adopting AI and ML into their processes. Banks need to first digitise their processes and automate some of their existing manual processes, the article stated. The legacy systems of banks are often obstacles to the digitisation process and hence banks should adopt a phased approach by implementing data management and adopting cloud computing to deploy AI and ML.

Banks will also need to address the organisational challenges they may face during the adoption of AI and ML. Employees, for example, may resist the implementation of AI and ML due to fear of becoming obsolete. Leaders will need to inspire employees by explaining the use cases of these technologies and how they can help in improving their jobs.

ML was also discussed by Xavier Gomez in an article on the pitfalls of using AI and ML by banks while making lending decisions. ML, for example, can address the existing gaps that lead to an increase in cost of serving a customer or business, according to FinRegLab, a research group. The technology, however, poses certain risks due to its complexity and tendency to amplify flaws in the underlying data. The complex algorithmic models used by ML can lead to unlawful discrimination, and incorrect assumptions. The article highlighted that regulators need to ensure that banks use ML solutions that do not deny credit based on prohibited reasons such as race and gender.

4. IoT – 2,488 mentions

IoT changing the future of the financial sector, and IoT-based payment solutions were some of the topics around IoT that were popularly discussed on Twitter in Q3.

IoT can enable the finance sector to increase business efficiency and improve customer services, according to an article shared by Nafis Alam, professor of finance and head of school at Asia Pacific University. The article highlighted the ways in which IoT is transforming the finance sector by handling and processing data to generate insights that can help fintechs meet the needs of customers. It can also be used to improve security at banking institutions by providing various authentication options, apart from reducing human labour, enhancing employee productivity, and detecting and resolving customer service issues. The full scope of IoT in the fintech sector, however, can be achieved by addressing issues such as operating systems design and device architecture, according to the article.

Another tweet on IoT was shared by Nicolas Pinto on the increase in usage of virtual payment solutions since the start of the pandemic. Customers are accessing their account using their internet-connected device 24/7 leading to an increase in the use of IoT-based payment solutions instead of cash for easy and seamless transactions. The use of contactless payment methods such as QR codes, and order and payment apps in restaurants has also increased tremendously. IoT-based payment services are expected to become part of a bigger integrated system in the future as technology continues to evolve, adds the article.

5. Blockchain – 2,444 mentions

The introduction of a net-zero emission blockchain payment system, and CoinIX and Bank Rhineland-Palatinate’s investment in XVA Blockchain were some of the popular discussions on blockchain in Q3 2021.

Alberto Garuccio shared an article on the introduction of a net-zero emission blockchain-based payment system by Australia-based technology service provider NextGen. The payment system was developed to boost the development and adoption of renewable energy and is designed with integrated carbon-offsets and net-zero strategies. NextGen is developing a net-zero ecosystem aimed at investing in underfunded technologies that reduce dependence on fossil fuels and global pollution levels. It aims to bridge the gap between finance and fundraising by offering services such as token re-distributions, charity support pool, and long-term holder rewards.

Blockchain also trended in discussions about investment by venture capital firm CoinIX and Bank Rhineland-Palatinate in XVA Blockchain, according to an article shared by Enrico Molinari, innovation manager at Italian government’s Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Crafts and Agriculture. XVA Blockchain is a provider of blockchain-based financial services solutions including automated transactions and consulting aids for banks and insurance companies. The blockchain technology can provide automated and standardised trading in financial sector. XVA Blockchain plans to use the funding towards the expansion of its services, the article highlighted.