Written by Maria Gotsch, President & CEO of the Partnership Fund for New York City and co-founder of the FinTech Innovation Lab.
Each year before we open applications for the FinTech Innovation Lab, we ask our financial institution partners a simple but important question: What technologies top your list of near-term priorities? Getting the answer to this question from senior technology executives provides material insight into that ever important intersection between need and budget. A full list of the answers we received is below, but here is some additional color on the areas that generated the most enthusiasm.
- Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Natural Language Processing: Rather than a broad AI-driven platform searching for a use case, financial institutions are looking for solutions that address their specific needs. Analytic tools that spot problems early have seen success; fintechs with a willingness to be adaptable and client-focused will deliver similarly indispensable fixes.
- Predictive customer analytics: Tools that analyze both internal and external data to make predictions about what’s next in a customer’s financial life are particularly valuable. These insights have the power to help financial institutions maximize relationships with existing customers and prove their value for prospective customers. Actionable tools like these that drive revenue growth are a top priority.
- Blockchain: The interest today is in more narrow solutions, rather than broad-based infrastructure tools. Bigger bets have been made and as those are being built out, blockchain and distributed ledger tools that can be implemented today for focused use cases, such as smart contracts, are of the most interest.
- RegTech: At the top of almost everyone’s list are tools that simplify and reduce the cost of risk management, compliance, regulatory tracking and reporting.
- Wealth Management Tools: Financial institution advisers are looking for new digital tools to better serve their domestic and international clients. These could include financial planning and gamification tools, visualization tools that differentiate the customer experience and tools that enhance advisers’ understanding of their clients.
The full list:
- Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Natural Language Processing
- Collaboration tools that account for regulated environments
- Data analytics, including use of alternative data sources, IoT-generated data, and visualization tools
- Disruptive financial services models
- Employee Engagement and human resources tools
- Enterprise DevOps and multichannel deployment, including management of open source data at scale
- New Credit and underwriting tools
- Security, including solutions for identity management and fraud detection, such as biometrics
- Virtual reality and augmented reality
- Wealth Management Tools
Everyone remains open to that innovative solution that no one has thought of yet. So even if your technology is not on this list but it cuts to the core of challenges and opportunities in financial services, we encourage you to apply to the FinTech Innovation Lab.