Change in the financial services industry is moving at a scary pace, but it’s actually throwing up just as many opportunities as challenges. As the world expands and becomes more connected, we can unlock new insight into what our customers want and need; we can stay ahead in the battle against fraud; and we can make faster, better credit decisions.
The mobile revolution has already profoundly changed the way consumers and businesses interact and how products and services are delivered, and the pace of change is accelerating all the time. According to some estimates, there will be 50 billion connected devices by 2020.
There are lots of presentations and articles on the inexorable march of technology, the ‘Internet of Things’ and the wave of new connections happening all around us. But what does it mean for your business, and what should you be doing about it to ensure you achieve the best business outcomes?
The uptake in smartphone use in the past 15 years says it all. To offer some context, it’s predicted there will be 50 billion networked devices by 2020 – equating to seven times more devices than there are people on Planet Earth. Decisions are now made instantly, from a multitude of touch points and delivered from anywhere simply by the tap of a screen, keyboard, or the click of mouse. Innovations are driving everything from the rapidly emerging Internet of Things, quantum computing, super-fast 5G connectivity and a huge push into The Cloud.
As a result, being connected is now a mandatory customer expectation underpinned by an entire emerging generation of millions of millennials – plus most of their parents and many of their grandparents – that want access to anything at any time via a smartphone, tablet or PC.
At the same time we’re in a technological arms race with fraudsters, making prevention and cyber-security everyone’s challenge. The fraudsters are fast, adaptable, indiscriminate, increasingly well-resourced and sophisticated – brutally highlighted by current estimates predicting global fraud losses are set to top US $2 trillion by 2020.
But the common denominator throughout is data. It’s the oil that powers our digital world*.
The ‘connected’ opportunities
At Experian, we’re in a privileged position to see the technological changes happening around the world and how it’s shaping the way we do things. A lot of the big trends revolve around the explosion of data and how we can gain valuable new insight from it.
For example, in Africa, data from mobile phone usage is helping us with credit scoring where no financial services data exists, which is giving more people access to credit. In the USA, we’re using social media data to help verify if small businesses really exist and whether they’re properly constituted entities.
These are the kinds of opportunities that we’re seeing in our hyper-connected world. We can be smarter about identifying and addressing fraud risks. We can improve the way we identify and authenticate people. And we can understand more about our customers’ needs and preferences. We can make faster, better decisions based on greater evidence, and that helps us to achieve the best possible outcomes for both businesses and the end customers.
Keeping it simple: the key to success
While new connections create compelling business opportunities, they also create a huge amount of complexity as well. Lessons from some of the world’s most successful companies show us that keeping things simple is often the way to prosper as our connections, and lifestyles, become increasingly complicated.
The consumer market is broad and therefore the scope of opportunity is huge. Whilst some organisations can be accredited with inventing and innovating with new product developments – others are recognised for providing easy, transformational ways of undertaking simple tasks. For example taxi bookings can now be made through an app – phones are much more than a phone, they are a music playing telecommunication devise that fuels customer needs via apps and accessibility to the digital world.
Learning the lessons at Experian
These are lessons that we’re taking to heart at Experian. To make it as simple as possible to engage with us, we’ve created the concept of One Experian. This recognises that what we do in one part of the business is intimately connected to what we do elsewhere, which means we can now give you a single point of contact for solving your business problems.
Whatever support or insight you need to increase your connections and help your business continue to prosper, we can make it happen. And with One Experian, it will be easier than ever to work with us – and that is a commitment that is on-going.