The human society is now at crossroads – demanding changes in our lifestyle, health choices, economics, and civil liberties. These changes are accelerated by climate change, political response to the pandemic, the need for racial and gender equality, human migration, and of course, a few break-through technologies such as digital automation, data analytics, and machine-learning (AI). So where are we heading? The call for “Great Reset” has been reverberating since the past few years and is now getting louder and louder. This was the topic of the virtual fireside chat by two visionaries on our Tomorrow’s Transactions webinar, Brett King and Dave Birch, discussing the societal and technological changes that are foreseen in the next few decades. This conversation was centered around Brett King’s (Richard Petty, co-author) book, “The Rise of Technosocialism” and aligns with Consult Hyperion’s engagement with think tanks on global issues. Our aim to is separate foresight and facts from fiction in trying to understand the trends in the market that our clients should watch-out for especially in payments, banking, transit, digital identity, and information security.
The key take-aways from their discussion were:
- Future economic changes would be people centred with focus on satisfaction of citizens, health, climate-friendliness, creativity, and technology driving it forward.
- Governance would be highly automated with changes foreseen in resource allocation, de-correlation of human labour from supply and demand economics.
- Technologies such as digital automation, data analytics, and AI would play a major part in the future the economy and is capable of freeing-up mundane human labour for more creativity.
- Regulation and ethics would be an important part on how we deal with the technology changes, such as more application of AI in the society.
- The traditional account service providers (banks) would face increased competition from fintech providers, for example, a smart wallet provider. There would be more emphasis on financial platforms to provide wealth creation opportunities on behalf of their customers. This would mean financial institutions are pushed to use more technology such as data analytics and AI. For example, your wallet would provide personal financial management features for cost savings or connect to trading platforms that customers can tap into.
- The rejection of technology is a potential threat for scientific progress and may be addressed with education.
- The success of economies and nation states would be dependent on how well they would respond to current changes and the adoption of technology.
- There would be impact of digital currencies including crypto on banking. It is thought that digital currencies would be widely accepted and used.
- No single technology may dominate payments in the future. We have seen how QR code and RFID/NFC are playing their part in the recent payments evolution. The access to Internet and Mobile phone is personal to consumers and are expected to continue to supplement growth in payments, and also, there might be new technologies such as UWB on the horizon.
- The banks would need greater reliance on digital revenue and cost optimisation. So, there would be increased focus on digital services, however, a few banks may remain with brick-and-mortar banking for the retro folks.
- A future financial consumer is expecting to have a secure platform that has robust digital identity, wallet/account functionality, data privacy, and with services powered by data analytics and machine-learning (AI).
Unlike a lot of future forecasting the trends that Brett and Dave were discussing aren’t unimaginable based on where we are today. The greater digitisation and fragmentation of payments, the rise of AI assistance to support customers with ever more complex decision making, the need to automate regulation and drive down costs and the increasing competition from innovators, who aren’t weighed down by legacy mindsets and costs are all trends we see already. But in combination they have the power to upend existing business models in the payments space, while offering customers much better services than they get today.