“What’s dangerous is not to evolve.” – Jeff Bezos

Mr Bezos's statement resembles the evolving banking and finance industry . Whether it is services such as PayTm or PhonePe; or digital banks such as PayTm’s “Paytm payment bank,” digital transformation of the financial industry is happening. Consumers are more inclined towards digital products and experiences. At the same time, players within the industry are reconsidering and evolving their old playbook. HDFC has come up with “PayZapp” to compete with the mobile payment app like paytm and freecharge. India’s largest bank SBI has also launched its mobile payment app “SBI buddy” and “SBI YONO” to face the digital disruption in the industry.

In the truest sense, credit cards in the 1950s or ATM’s in 1960s, for their time, was a version of Fintech. Today, the term would be used for digital banking technologies such as blockchain tech, digital banks, wallets, and more.

Most financial sector jobs will be impacted by technology so employees must reskill: IBF and MAS

Traditional jobs such as cash deposit, verification of KYC details, passbook updating, salary uploads are all going digital. Indian banks like Axis, ICICI and HDFC are implementing robotics for shorter turnaround times. Operations like loan processing and selling financial products are reducing the need for any manual employee at the back end. Technology has taken to extend that more than 75 percent of cheque book requests happens online. Axis Bank already has over 1500 cash deposit machines to decrease the need for tellers.

 About 83% of the positions - including credit and fund accountants, product managers and loan officers - have tasks that risk being merged or displaced by automation or will be driven by data analytics within next few years.

 “Low-skill workers don’t have a bright future. They will have to reskill or perish.” We can clearly witness the sign at HDFC Bank, India’s largest private sector lender. The bank has not only been slowing branch expansion and hiring, but it is also even reducing the overall headcount even as it remains the gold standard of Indian banking. Even the public sector is continuously trying automation to centralize operations which reduces the need for manual workers. HDFC Bank recently launched its electronic virtual assistant (EVA) and State Bank of India(SBI) is to test a chatbox for handling customer inquiries and explaining products and services to them. It is expected that the chatbox might handle the real queries in the future.

In a report by PwC, 77% of financial institutions will increase internal efforts to innovate, with many businesses embracing the disruptive nature of FinTech.

In 2017 in an interview with economic times, Vikram Pandit, who ran Citigroup during the financial crisis, endorsed this situation with a disturbing figure. He said developments in technology could see some 30 percent of banking jobs disappearing in the next five years. He also claimed that AI and robotics reduce the need for staff in roles such as back-office functions.

As per LinkedIn, the global skills gap for candidates with tech experience will hit 1.5m by the year 2020.

The Institute of Banking & Finance (IBF) Singapore found out some interesting figures in a poll conducted in June-July 2018 with more than 1,000 financial practitioners

  • 8 out of 10 practitioners felt that new technologies could make work efficient and easier.
  • Over 70% of them felt that repetitive and transactional activities (not jobs) could be replaced by automation by digital technology.
  • About 1 in 2 believe that it is very important to acquire new skills;
  • 47% are ready to invest in a longer duration program on their personal time;
  • Nearly 80% are not fully aware of the current training opportunities available; and
  • 63% believe that employees, employers, and the government should work together to acquire skills needed for change.

While 95% of practitioners were willing to invest in training and acquiring new skills, nearly 80% were not aware of available training opportunities.

Executive Programme for Banking and Financial Sector

Hughes provides an executive programme for banking and financial sector by the highly trained faculty of IIM Calcutta.

The program covers various topics in the field of Banking. This program will be very useful to mid-level and senior executives with exposure to fintech & analytics, Legal aspects, statics tools & risk management, etc. This programme is designed to provide banking managers and professionals with a broad overview of the key concepts, tools, and techniques needed to successfully meet the challenges of today’s Banking Environment. Individual courses will give participants the knowledge needed to work cross-functionally within the organization and become more skilled in the basics of management. The programme will also help the current employees to get up to date with the disruption in the industry.