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A few months into 2017 and we can already see some defining trends for the rest of the year. After consulting the opinion of industry experts and analysing the current trends we identified the key factors and fields that are shaping the evolution of the financial and tech world.

APIs and Next Generation Banking
The opening of APIs is likely to bring a very important paradigm shift within the banking industry. As PSD2 and the UK Competition and Market Authority’s new regulations come into force, banks will be forced to allow third parties, such as fintechs, to access their data and provide B2C services built upon this information. This will create a new dynamic where banks will probably end up acting as passive platforms, or data repositories, while more specialised companies will create public facing banking interfaces and deal with customer engagement.

Telematics for Tailored Services
The use of telematics by insurers has the potential to become common practice in the close future. Whether it is for car or health insurance, telematics can provide invaluable data on customer behaviour. Based on this, insurers can offer rewards to encourage healthy and safe lifestyle choices, which is beneficial both for the company and the customer. Moreover, customers expect increasing levels of customization and engagement with their services so telematics could allow insurers to meet these expectations.

Taking Safety into our Hands
Cybersecurity was arguably one of the hottest topics of 2016, between the U.S. presidential elections and Yahoo’s major data breaches. These attacks have certainly raised public awareness and will boost advances in cyber security measures. For this, biometrics appear like the method of choice. Tech giant Apple is actually contributing to this trend as it has added its Touch ID technology to all its new laptops, allowing users to make purchases online using their fingerprint, among other things.

Ditch GBPs for BTCs
With May’s hard Brexit and several major European elections around the corner, 2017 promises to be another year of global geopolitical instability and investors will probably retain a risk-averse attitude. Cryptocurrencies are predicted to become a preferred alternative as their value will experience less volatility than traditional currencies. Indeed, 2016 saw the Sterling crash several times while the value of Bitcoin steadily grew and nearly doubled. This trend is likely to continue over the course of this year.

Speedy Chatty Bots
Chatbots are becoming more and more common in customer service departments and
could soon replace humans. In December 2016, the American peer-to-peer insurer Lemonade announced that its bot, AI Jim, broke a world record by processing and paying back a claim in 3 seconds, proving that robots could make many claim officers redundant. Bots are also trending in the realm of personal finance management with start-ups such as Ernest and Cleo developing virtual advisors to improve people’s financial well-being.

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