Financial services industry rushes to automate processes in the wake of coronavirus

Autonomous finance
(Image credit: Shutterstock / MK photograp55)

Financial institutions are rapidly changing their business priorities as a result of COVID-19, according to new data from Salesforce. The CRM giant surveyed almost 2,800 executives in insurance, retail banking and wealth management worldwide, finding automating processes was being made the number one priority for many, up from third place in the list of priorities in 2019. 

It was closely followed by improving customer experience; no doubt driven by the adverse effects on customers and their finances following the coronavirus pandemic.

According to the findings, only 27% of global customers see Financial Service Industry members (FSIs) as being completely customer-centric. Similarly, just 23% of global customers felt that FSIs had handled the crisis as best as they could have. Researchers therefore found that 72% of FSIs agree that improvements need to be made to improving client wellbeing.

Autonomous finance

FSIs were also largely in agreement about how expanding services in the wake of COVID-19 should be a priority. Some 62% said they would be rolling out more options for customers in the near future, with much of the development relating to autonomous finance. This has been defined by Forrester Research as ‘algorithm-driven financial services that make decisions or take action on a customer’s behalf’.

Key findings from the 2020 survey repeatedly underlined the need to automate financial processes. The report revealed that 86% of UK and Irish financial services leaders felt that autonomous finance would prove pivotal in deciding which businesses become future top performers. 

Indeed, 90% of this year’s survey respondents stated that being the first to deploy autonomous finance would give them a significant advantage over the competition.

Rob Clymo

Rob Clymo has been a tech journalist for more years than he can actually remember, having started out in the wacky world of print magazines before discovering the power of the internet. Since he's been all-digital he has run the Innovation channel during a few years at Microsoft as well as turning out regular news, reviews, features and other content for the likes of TechRadar, TechRadar Pro, Tom's Guide, Fit&Well, Gizmodo, Shortlist, Automotive Interiors World, Automotive Testing Technology International, Future of Transportation and Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International. In the rare moments he's not working he's usually out and about on one of numerous e-bikes in his collection.