Financial Services Trends in 2021: Part II

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In our previous blog, we shared key trends impacting the rapidly changing financial services market. Specifically, insurance companies experienced a major disruption when in-person services became limited following the outbreak of COVID-19. This caused a shift to digital-driven, self-service technologies like chatbots.

How are other sectors of the financial services industry responding to the pressure to digitally transform following the advent of COVID-19? Let’s dig in.

Wealth and Investment Management

COVID-19 caused instability in financial markets around the world. As a result, technology investment strategies in 2021 vary widely across wealth and investment management firms. Market uncertainty drives organizations to avoid risk--some seek to avoid this risk by saving budget through minimizing IT costs, while others are increasing their technology investments to help navigate a fast-changing market.

97% of organizations polled in a recent survey indicated that the COVID-19 pandemic sped up their organization’s digital transformation. In the same survey, 37% of companies indicated that getting “buy-in” was no longer a barrier to digital transformation, and they were no longer unclear about their transformation strategy.

Apart from the increasing need to digitally transform, what other trends are driving change in wealth and investment management in 2021? Here’s what we’ve observed among our clients and in the market:

  • Passive funds continue to gain popularity
  • An increase in purpose and theme-driven investing
  • Improved client engagement and communication
  • Sustainable and inclusive investing growth drives the need for personalized services

AI, ML, big data, and cloud-based solutions help wealth management companies meet these new challenges and opportunities. Digital technologies empower clients now more than ever, necessitating a seismic shift away from traditional business models. Millennials are becoming financially mature and desire personalized, accessible investment advice. To stay competitive, wealth managers must anticipate their digital-driven investment demands. Firms that offer a hybrid model of both digital and face-to-face financial advice will gain an edge over their competition in this new era of advising.

SoftServe developed CAI to serve the increased need for on-demand wealth management advice. CAI, an AI-driven virtual assistant, helps wealth advisors with their day-to-day routine. In a world full of time-consuming tasks and complicated systems--where a substantial portion of an advisor’s time is spent searching for client information--CAI reduces time spent on routine work and enables the advisor to concentrate on high-value advisory work and serve customers.

CAI serves both advisors and clients by offering faster and more efficient wealth management advice. The result for financial institutions? Improved speed, increased mobility, and lower costs associated with client management. Sounds terrific, doesn’t it?

Investment Services vs Capital Markets

COVID-19 made a significant impact on capital markets because of the threat of a possible global recession resulting from the pandemic. Adaptive policies at top markets allowed players to change focus and reengineer existing processes, establishing a “new normal” during a historically uncertain time.

We observed several major trends among our capital market clients in 2020 and 2021:

  • Outdated technologies, especially core systems, are modernizing and digital transformation is accelerating. Companies are investing in cloud migration to increase resilience and flexibility while reducing costs.
  • Margins for deposits and losses in lending revenues are decreasing, while service-based fees and investments are increasing.
  • Innovative Fintechs are becoming even more competitive by developing banking as a service (BaaS) platforms.
BaaS Platform

This is a popular question many business leaders are currently asking themselves. To create new applications, tools, and systems, companies must create new products and services that customers want to pay for. However, despite heavy investments in highly-tailored cloud environments, many enterprises require specialist support to fully optimize their cloud development and business digitalization efforts.

SoftServe has successfully partnered with our clients to realize the full potential of their cloud investments. We deliver high-value services at a lower cost than if financial institutions tried to do it themselves. SoftServe delivers value and helps companies transform by creating solutions powered by big data, AI/ML, and cloud. We are potentially able to help them reduce costs, increase efficiency, and grow the business by increasing engagement with existing customers, attracting new ones, and providing new and better services.

We help you make smarter technology investments that result in increased efficiency and performance. To meet our customers’ demands, SoftServe built a cost optimization model with Microsoft Azure. The core solution was based on Microsoft best practices and expense reduction techniques (virtual machines, SQL databases, and more), and resulted in unused cloud resources identification and greater cost-management flexibility.

Cost-Management Flexibility

2021 is a year of rapid change and overall transformation

Disruptive new technologies have had an impact across all global industries. For financial institutions, the pandemic forced a focus on digitalization, security, efficiency, and integration between platforms and initiatives. Those who fail to transform their processes and customer experience, infrastructure, and software will fall behind the competition. Forget about leading the pack - without basic customer improvements and cost optimization, financial institutions can expect to struggle to survive in a post-COVID-19 world.

LET’S TALK about how SoftServe use innovative AI, ML, cloud, and data technologies help your company succeed in an era of digital-driven financial services.