Technology has shaped and changed a lot of things in the modern man’s life. One hugely impacted area has been the finance industry. They are many ways in which technology has changed how the financial services sector operates.
- Financial services are more accessible. Mobile service operators, for example, are branching into mobile money and have garnered a lot of popularity. So much so that billionaire and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg took a special trip to East Africa looking to scout potential new opportunities to take advantage of mobile money. We also see financial institutions going mobile with apps and USSD codes, issuing loans through mobile networks operators and more.
- Cybersecurity has become everyone’s issue, not just service providers. With multiple areas to log in to, applications, ATM and credit and debit cards, the average user is more responsible for making sure they safeguard their information and passwords. This has also caused banks work overtime to secure all those methods of payment and customers’ information. Pre technology, to secure your premises would involve asking your local locksmith or a security service provider to ensure you were secure. Now a cyber security breach would make customers mistrust banks and leave them to their more secure competitors. And the word customer here applies to both their retail and corporate clients whose information if compromised could have a catastrophic effect on the banks’ operations and reputation.
- The creation of more IT related jobs with changes to the hierarchy. A bank’s IT department has essentially become financial experts themselves and very well respected for all they do on the regular. Banks handle a lot of sensitive information and these departments are always working to protect it all, monitoring everything and accounting for both internal and external threats.
- Most things have moved been digitalized. A few years ago when banks stored their data in a room, they hired guards to protect their files and they feared the occasional break-in in their branches. Currently, most of it has shifted into the virtual systems and enterprises are more concerned about large-scale attacks. And with the ushering of automated systems, from tellers to digital record keeping, there are more threats to assess and prepare for. If a leak occurs, a lot more than money is at stake.
- The phenomenon is known as the internet and more specifically cloud technology has opened a new world of opportunities for banks to operate all over the world. As a result, new financial hubs have been opened and business is now being conducted on a global scale. As more players take advantage of these opportunities, more data will be shared across these networks and this will significantly increase the attack surface area.
- Another huge change is the growth in various infrastructures to keep up with the growing number of clients’ demands and concerns over data and network security. With operating in many countries and increasing its customer-base come a lot of revenue but at the price of always having to update infrastructure to keep up with the demand. Banks are now proactively investing in IT infrastructure to make sure they are not vulnerable to internal or external attacks.