Banking apprenticeships are a great way to familiarise yourself with the banking industry and open yourself up to broader career opportunities. Our article 'Your Guide to Banking Apprenticeships' explains that these programmes are becoming increasingly popular among those leaving school and college. That's because the industry is in constant demand, with every individual and business requiring a bank account. These apprenticeships are highly educational too, as you can choose between various areas like tax accounting, audit, data, and international trade.
Yet to maximise your education as a banking apprentice, you must have a comprehensive understanding of where the industry is headed. With the world moving towards greater digitalisation, technological trends can help you become more proactive and innovative in how you assert yourself throughout your training. Here are some insights on the latest digital banking trends to be aware of in 2023.
In 2023, technology is making it even easier for countless industries to automate processes, reducing errors and the need for employees to carry out repetitive tasks. In digital banking, the most crucial areas being elevated by automation are middle office and back office operations, which focus on risk management and other administrative tasks. In particular, automated reporting software makes it easier for banks to ensure Basel 4 compliance.
Basel 4 is the latest iteration of an international regulatory framework that drives banks worldwide to analyse and address risk in innovative ways, allowing them to reassess their strategies and business models. With reporting software, banks of any size can automate compliance, risk management, and business development. They offer services that consolidate your data under a single source, make calculations based on Basel regulations, and automatically report to regulators and public disclosures. This ensures the highest standard of quality, further solidifying client trust and loyalty.
Improving customer experience with AI
Automation is also emerging as one of the most crucial aspects of front office operations, which focus on client service functions and customer satisfaction. Right now, International Banker reports that artificial intelligence (AI) is most commonly used to enhance customer services. AI can take emails, decipher their concerns, and provide clients with an answer that can satisfy their questions. It's also being utilised for customer authentication and voice assistance, facilitating automated frictionless service around the clock.
In 2023, The Financial Brand outlines how there will be an increased focus on the omnichannel experience to drive seamless engagement and improve customer loyalty. One way this will be done is through improving the overall customer experience across platforms. AI can use customer interactions with a bank’s different platforms, such as its websites and mobile apps, to continuously address any gaps in banking services. For instance, they can take past search queries and provide more relevant insights and suggestions. They can also adjust chatbots' responses when customers report them as unsatisfactory. These features allow digital banking companies to craft a customer-centred approach to their services.
Upholding ethical banking
A more expansive approach that digital banking should look into is ethical banking. The Fintech Times reports that over 50% of consumers are more likely to buy financial products from companies that prioritise socially conscious practices. This is why the City of London is making a big push in 2023 to become a global centre for sustainable finance. For example, there will be a big move to improve senior management accountability to prevent the excessive risk taking that has led to financial crises. However, banks can take their efforts further by looking into data ethics.
Beyond tightening data security measures, banks must also consider improving their operational models to broaden inclusivity. Although specific automated tasks may be data-driven, digital tools and other automated processes shouldn't perpetuate historical biases reflected in data. For instance, an AI may decide on loan approvals depending on the borrowers' background. But when marginalised groups like women and people of colour are often excluded from historical data sets, they have to adjust their models to overcome these disadvantages. By approaching other processes the same way, banks can maximise the potential of digital banking to uphold financial inclusion and align with their clients' ethics.
The future of banking is highly digitalised. For banking apprentices, knowing these trends can inform the decisions they make to establish their desired career path in the industry.