Fintech Is Dead. Long Live Fintech!

Intel's Mike Blalock talks us through what's coming next in the finance world.

We shouldn't be looking at fintech as a separate entity anymore.

By Libby Plummer, technology writer

Technology has been turbo-charging the financial services industry for a number of years – so much so that Intel’s sector head thinks the term “fintech” is now obsolete. Speaking at this year’s Sibos 2019 event, Mike Blalock, General Manager for Financial Services Industry at Intel, said: “We’ve gone beyond that now. All the major banks are transforming into tech companies so it’s a totally different landscape – as far as I’m concerned fintech is no more."

Unsurprisingly, technology was right at the heart of the debate at the finance world's biggest event, this year hosted in London. It’s always a useful barometer of what's coming next, and one thing that's clear is that financial technology is becoming increasingly ubiquitous in the banking world.

Blalock continued: "We shouldn't be looking at fintech as a separate entity anymore. It's a source of innovation and we've started calling it financial technology – the merger of finance and technology. The challenge is for banks to provide a suitable level of infrastructure that can support the capabilities that are being developed in the technology space."

Banks are putting the customer at the centre of their strategies and this is expected to continue in the coming years. Partly fuelled by Open Banking, consumer expectations are rising along with their adoption of new technology and banks must be able to provide next-generation services to avoid losing these tech-savvy customers to rival organisations. As well as supporting more established segments of their customer base, banks will need to focus on new audiences, particularly those in Generation Z who have grown up as digital natives.

"The challenge will be to find new ways to interact with customers and determine the best channels to reach them through," said Blalock. "New technologies, from Artificial Intelligence (AI), 5G networks and autonomous cars to Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) will help banks to deliver new user experiences and financial services."

Along with the B2C opportunity, banks also need to consider new innovations and ways of interacting with other financial organisations that they sell their services to. As more companies, such as Apple*, begin to enter the financial services world and banks evolve into tech companies, the lines between these organisations are blurring. This means that there's much more competition for banks and if they don't offer the experiences that customers want, they will go elsewhere.

In order to use technology and data to offer a new era of services, banks must have a robust, modern IT infrastructure in place. Many financial organisations are shifting data towards the cloud. As a spectrum, rather than a single place, the cloud offers businesses the ability to use the configuration that suits them best, whether that's on or off premise, public or private. While many businesses may want to keep the majority of their data onsite so that they can get insights from it within a controlled environment, they may also want to move certain workloads into a public cloud.

The cloud is an important part of the data architecture that allows FSI businesses to use analytics and AI to deliver the next generation of services. Intel is helping customers on this data-driven digital transformation with a variety of technologies, including its Intel® Xeon® processors and Intel® Optane™ DC persistent memory.

Datasets in the financial world continue to grow dramatically and banks need to be able to process more of this ever-increasing data in real time. This is where Intel® Optane™ DC persistent memory can help. Completely disrupting the whole memory storage hierarchy, this revolutionary technology enables memory centric computing which can help businesses to tame the data deluge and do things in real time with large and persistent memory spaces that they couldn't do before.

"The shift to digitisation and data brings incredible opportunities and challenges for banks globally in this hyper-connected world," said Blalock. "At Intel, we aspire to be a trusted advisor and technology partner on our customers' journey. We deliver next-generation technology through our partners that accelerates IT and business transformation, enables you to leverage data in new ways to create more value and delivers a better customer experience."

*Other names and brands may be claimed as the property of others

For more information:
Ready to Unlock the Power of Data with Intel® Optane™ Technology?
How Federated Analytics Can Help Banks to Share Data Securely
Want to Know More About the Key AI Trends from Innovate Finance 2019?