The 5th Generation cellular network technology, commonly referred to as ‘5G’ is one disruptive tsunami that is coming very soon. As per
Gartner hype cycle for Emerging Technologies, 2019, it is defined at the peak of expectations and expected to reach a plateau in next 2-5 years.
Around the world, different countries are getting 5G services rolled by telecom companies from Sept 2019 to End of 2020.
Given the background, every industry is going to be impacted by the lightning speed of internet and hence networks. Connectivity will reach its zenith and communications will be faster than ever before. Needless to mention that banking and financial services
(BFS) is one of such industries.
The BFS industry is already gearing up to face the enabler disruption. I say enabler, because 5G will provide the capability and platform to carry out financial services at the speed of thought. It is for the BFS industry to find out the applicable areas
and use cases therein.
The technologies that will get big impetus in BFS industry are AR/VR (Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality), Video Calling and conferencing, verifications, communication between different systems, new usages of AI (Artificial Intelligence)
Here are some of the potential use cases:
Asset Experiencing for Vehicle/Home Loans: Virtual Reality (VR) enablement for car /home buying experience at banks will eliminate visit to car show rooms, property visits before making a car loan or home loan decision with a bank.
At least the no. of visits can significantly be reduced that can help customers save time.
ATM Repair: AR and VR can engage a ATM machine repairing technician with a remote expert to take help. This can help banks in any remote assistance for that matter.
Customer Service: Customer service operations can be automated with AR/VR for any customer to understand what steps they need to take for a particular process.
Video Branches: Banks can manage with video branches rather than traditional brick-mortar ones due to higher connectivity capabilities creating conferencing facilities between bank officials and customers.
Field Verification/Collection: High-speed connectivity can resolve problems like field visits for loans with live/shot video sharing with credit managers rather than current paper based work. The same can be applicable to field agents
performing debt collections from clients. Co-ordination with bank officials while being in field can be seamless. It will save huge cost and effort.
Remote Auctions: Banks get auctions performed for assets under their possession to dispose-off and realize receivables from them. This can be done remotely with the buyers being attracted from remote locations as well who can experience
the assets remotely though AR/VR.
Application Upgrade, Security: The usage of mobile apps will get more mileage with 5G for sure. Banks can push mobile banking apps directly for upgrades or security enhancements instead of bothering customers every time.
Artificial Intelligence based offerings: AI deals with massive amount of data and computation speed. 5G can enable querying huge volumes of data or perform AI analysis at the source of the data and just send the answers through the
network to the end system where it is supposed to be consumed.. It may possibly augment AI codes being embedded within browser codes rather than needing an app to operate. Applications like chatbots, decision systems, call center handlings that heavily rely/will
rely on AI in banks will get tremendous acceleration in speed for execution.
This is not of course the end of the list. The opportunities for BFS industry will open up many fold with advent of 5G. This is only the window to many more disruptive offerings in coming days. Banks and financial institutions are gearing up to the challenge
and opportunities that 5G brings in.
Before we conclude, let us look at what can be flip sides of 5G roll out in Financial services:
Non-Uniform Adoption: If few regions adopt 5G and few do not, then roaming customers will have varied experience of services from the same bank. Banks may need to provide interoperability functionality in mobile apps to switch between
lite and full mode.
Different App Versions: If banks operate in different regions with different levels of 5G adoption, they may have to maintain different app version for different set of users.
Expectation Management: With speed of digital offering increasing drastically, customer expectations from their banks will be heightened as well. Managing such expectation during downtimes needs meticulous planning. Else, it will
result in customer resentment and reputation loss for banks.
To conclude, we understand the possibilities that 5G brings on to table for BFS industry. It is only about banks and financial institutions gearing up to be ready with sufficient agility to adopt and change with the possibilities that 5G
brings in. Better-prepared banks will thrive on such possibilities in future.
The views expressed are personal views of the author.