Panel members gathered at the Hubbis Digital Wealth Asia forum to discuss the ever-changing landscapes of digital assets, blockchain technology, and AI. While digitization is certainly nascent, greater use, understanding, regulation and guidance ensure that technological advances are becoming increasingly useful for asset management.
- Making sense of the blockchain: what are the actual applications and implications in financial services?
- What is happening in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and what are the implications for asset management?
- FinTech – wWhat does it work or does not work?
- How do FinTech companies collaborate with larger, more established institutions?
- What makes these partnerships work? What are the two parts looking for?
- What's really going on under the hood? Is there any genuine innovation?
- What emerged from one of the Incubators, Labs and other initiatives?
- We talked a lot – but what will be next?
Technology does not have to be scary
The ever-changing landscape of digitalization can be intimidating. Ensure that everyone is up to date on new technologies and understand their benefits. Education is crucial, bank professionals do not want to be intimidated and confused, they want to be empowered.
Blockchain and cryptocurrencies could resist storms
Although markets are currently volatile, Blockchain technology is starting to thrive. The support of big players, the regulation and the legitimization of licenses has led to widespread recognition in the sector. As far as cryptocurrencies are concerned, they could survive, especially if adopted at central and national level, new additions to space appear continuously, although only those with something unique to offer will survive.
Blockchain has great value for transactions
Blockchain is extremely difficult to tamper with due to the design of the printed and digitally dispersed ledger. These elements make technology particularly attractive for the financial sector. Blockchain is becoming more institutionalized.
It is important to remember that in this nascent era of digitization, blockchain and digital resources must primarily focus on the customer's experience. In the end, the goal is to reinvent the entire core of the banking system based on a shared ledger, building it from the bottom up, using a trust model with integrated services, reporting and integrated tools. .
AI is an assistant not a supreme lord
The financial industry is starting to lose the fear of being replaced and now sees AI as a means to streamline trivial processes and efficiently analyze data, allowing wealth managers to focus on communication and relationships . The omnichannel options offer customers the flexibility they desire.
Business-to-business sales are not easy
The process of selling technologies that interrupt the status quo and require a lot of heavy lifting to large banks is difficult and time consuming. The key is to show tangible benefits that translate into added value for customers, which in turn generates returns for the bank. Keeping calm is easy but moving forward is essential.
FinTech needs to look in the mirror
FinTech has become a bit too saturated with start-ups. To survive, they must focus on solving problems for the client and must be much clearer about their added value. They also have to work on the deadlines of big financial institutions, which are slow.
"We've seen a lot of wealth managers investing substantial amounts in AI and blockchain," started a participant, "because they believe that these innovations will ultimately benefit the asset management industry." What are these technologies and how? will the value of our offer increase? "
"Cryptocurrency, also known as cryptography, is a digital currency used to make or receive payments recorded on the blockchain," an expert replied. "This in turn can be understood as a distributed, decentralized, public transaction recording technology used as a means of establishing trust between two parties without them knowing or trusting one another. If everyone follows the correct protocol and process, then a transaction will pass. "
Blockchain is extremely difficult to tamper with due to the design of the printed and digitally dispersed ledger. These elements make technology particularly attractive for the financial sector.
Crypto has lost its mystery
"There was certainly a lot of clamor in the crypt and in the initial supply space of coins at the beginning, but now that the dust is stabilizing some useful technologies are emerging," an expert clarified.
Now there are guidelines, regulations and licenses that bring cryptography into the realm of legitimate finance. However, as with any new technology, cryptography has had initial problems. "The total size of the cryptographic market has plummeted from $ 800 billion equivalent in December 2017 to around $ 200 billion now [late November 2018]means that there is a lot of volatility, "warned a guest." It will take time to establish. There were discards, shortcomings, but in the end the principles are much appreciated. "
During this period, institutional absorption has steadily increased. "The infrastructure is stabilizing, regulation is catching up and indications are given on the management of cryptological insurance", clarified an expert. "Blockchain analysis tools can now allow auditors to examine the entire history of a particular individual or portfolio, which helps tax regulation."
It is important to remember that in this nascent era of digitization, blockchain and digital resources must primarily focus on the customer's experience. Without that attention, they will not be accepted. "The goal, in the end, is to reinvent the entire banking unit built on a shared ledger, building it from the bottom up, using a trust model with integrated services, reporting and integrated tools" , a guest reported. "However, business-to-business is a slower process, more bogged down in terms of regulatory implications and bureaucracy – customers must always come first."
Another potential critical point is that trading on a non-trust basis implies a very different exchange system, without the need for intermediaries. "This leads to decentralization, which makes regulation difficult and fragmented," one participant explained. In fact, with the new exchange innovations that are developing every day, regulators have an uphill struggle that tries to keep up and regulate these exchanges.
The new baby on the block …
"The key factor that has driven the success of blockchain technology," added a delegate, "is that many serious players are registering, and this institutionalization gives credibility to the whole space."
"In addition to this credibility", observed a guest, "we have seen much more attention on the value guide, especially important considering the current market conditions".
"It can be trendy," admitted a guest, "but what does the blockchain actually offer?"
Many potential users who are reluctant to jump into the blockchain need to understand the measurable benefits of incorporating the technology. "Within the insurance space, companies that moved early to the blockchain have seen a 40% reduction in paperwork and administrative burdens," one participant said.
"Everyone shared common information," he continued, "policies could be written much more efficiently and cases could be resolved more quickly – these reasons provide a great economic incentive to join in. Other insurance companies have seen these benefits pay and now they are registering en masse ".
Blockchain can really reduce the paperwork by digitizing everything, which is an advantage passed on to customers. "It is painful for the client to fill out modules," said an expert. "Fundamentally, operational efficiency will be increased by every process that becomes digitalized."
AI announces the decline of the mundane
The fear that has weighed heavily on wealth management conferences over the past two years, triggered by concerns about AI replacing human jobs, has now given way to understanding that IA is rationalizing jobs work, removing costly and time consuming processes and allowing wealth managers to focus more on relationships, strategy and innovation.
"Spending is addressed to the automation of robotic processes (RPA), which is a tactical move because it can be operational quickly, taking on trivial tasks such as background checks to get to know the customer and onboarding," he clarified. a delegate. "Artificial intelligence is not about replacing humans, it's simply providing alternatives for added value."
In fact, the delegates agreed that IA is rapidly becoming an integral part of how we analyze, define, show, organize, exploit and use data. "It's an evolution, not a revolution," one participant suggested.
How to sell the future to a dinosaur
"The sales cycle for digital technology is generally difficult – how should FinTech companies present it to banks?" Asked a panel expert.
"Competition drives innovation," one host replied, "because it's an upward spiral.The innovations that are good are supported by a founder with vision and strategic investors, but one of the main obstacles is always the the fact that the big names get in the ring. "
"Education should be at the forefront, as many companies are still suspicious of the technology behind cryptography," another panel member recommended.
"FinTech is too saturated with start-ups," an expert warned. "To stand out, keep it simple when you launch new concepts." Credentials and qualifications may seem impressive, but what can you do for the client, what problems can be solved by what you offer? Crystallizes the central premise Explain what you do differently. to work on the timing of large institutions, which is slower than that of a small start-up. "
He made it clear that they generally also have formidable infrastructure that is incompatible with fundamental changes, even if it is for the best.
"We discussed today's hype, but what about tomorrow? What's going to be big in 2019?" Asked a panelist.
"Last year the important thing was undoubtedly the blockchain," said a guest. "The companies were holding meetings, calling speakers, trying desperately to understand what it meant for their business.This year was artificial intelligence.Once again, companies have been concerned about how things would change. for the better, and indeed what problems it might cause, we expect markets to be more difficult next year, asset management will have to focus on doing more with less, adding value to customers will be crucial " he predicted.
Digitization: always the next big thing
"We have to focus on training and education," explained another delegate. "We have to demonstrate the benefits of adopting these new technologies – basically there is still a way to go here."
"We will see a continuation of the conversations on artificial intelligence", added a guest, "in particular the automatic learning, the RPA and the processing of natural language, which will eventually lead to solutions omnichannel that will increase the value for customers ".
"Artificial intelligence will not replace human intelligence," said a delegate authoritatively. "Instead, it will provide solutions to problems and increase value, asset management is a sector of customer experience and everything that allows customers to enjoy seamless customer service, whether it's automated banking, conversing with a chat-bot or talking to a human being, this experience will improve.This is an area of exponential evolution and we must all make sure we stay in touch ".