Cloud technology provides great opportunities for banks to enhance the customer experience. It not only enables banks to be more efficient but to also be more secure. Matthew Key, head of customer innovation, global banking and financial markets, BT, writes

Sky’s the limit for the Cloud

Banks across the globe have learned by now that cloud technology provides greater resilience and improved security than most on-premise systems. Crucially, cloud also enables banks to trial innovations quicker and to greater effect, allowing them to transition towards the implementation stage faster for solutions they choose to market. In 2020, we will see a greater number of banks leveraging cloud solutions.

Growth in digital-only players

RBS’ Bó is just the latest example, but the mobile-only market will almost certainly heat up further in the coming year as incumbents respond to the rapid growth of smaller and nimbler challengers.

Players from other segments such as P2P lending, are also increasingly seeking to pursue their banking ambitions. At the beginning of December, Zopa famously rescued its banking licence with hours to spare after raising the required funds from the IAG Capital.

What is more, technology giants continue to push into consumer finance, with Google reportedly preparing to launch a personal checking account service in partnership with Citigroup. Not to mention Facebook’s ambitious Libra project! Against this backdrop, 2020 promises to be an exciting year.

Look East for innovation

After years of Silicon Valley dominance, 2020 may mark a turn in the tide in terms of leading trendsetters within the retail banking space. Chinese internet giant, Tencent, has recently been granted a license by Hong Kong’s Monetary Authority (HKMA) to operate a “blockchain bank”. HKMA also announced further virtual bank licences will be issued in order to boost competition and innovation within China’s financial industry, with Ant Financial and OCBC among companies considering applications. Needless to say, Alibaba-owned Ant Financial is a true innovation powerhouse, and could therefore set the tone in terms of developing innovative solutions to consumer finance globally next year.