NatWest’s research explores the five themes of technology disruption that are set to transform the world and analyses the impact they will have on how people live and work, explaining what it will mean for how they will manage their finances.

Commenting on the findings from the research, Kevin Hanley, Director of Innovation at NatWest said:

“We have entered a new era of technological change that will be even more profound than the industrial revolution. It’s important our bank is ready to help customers face this dramatic period of change and create new services and products that will help achieve their work and life goals amidst so much uncertainty. As a business, we also need to think about what investments we need to make that will allow us to compete in a market place that will be dominated in years to come by those that can best harness technology”.

The five technology themes that emerged from the report are:

1) Personalisation – Personal data is expanding exponentially meaning that vast and diverse data sets will soon be aggregated to help build highly personalised services and products that will be unique to each individual. In banking this could mean that recommendations and discounts are flagged to customers at the exact moment they could be used.
2)  Permission and protection – With each person soon to have vast amounts of data available, which is unique to them that could be accessed by third parties, new services powered by advanced AI will help people tightly control who accesses their data and how it is used. In financial services this could mean new roles for banks as custodians and guardians of customers’ personal and sensitive data assets.
3)  Platforms – People use platforms like Google and Amazon for convenience, but many are uneasy about giving up control of their data. In future, technology could disrupt the current platform model. Distributed ledgers, smart-contracts, and new personal models of data ownership and sharing, could power networks which connect any supplier with any customer – all without the need for a third party platform in the middle. In this de-centralised world, you don’t give power to intermediary platforms – their function has become part of the network itself.
4)  Digital human interfaces – In the coming years, technology will become more ubiquitous, yet fade into the background as people will organise all the services and products they use through a single digital human interface. These will become so advanced that they will be able to proactively complete tasks on your behalf and suggest how it can help by learning our habits. In banking, this could mean that our digital human interface warns us of the implications of making a particular financial transaction.
5)  Work 2.0 – The world of work is set to change dramatically, with freelancing, contract work and smaller companies becoming increasingly common, whilst skills sets will change dramatically as technology becomes the main driver of business success. In banking this will mean that new ways of measuring credit worthiness will need to be developed and long established lending models will need to be redesigned.

Download the full report here [PDF 102KB]

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