How has the financial services industry been affected by technology?
As technology transforms and improves industries rapidly, the financial services sector is no exception. Modern advances in digital technology have transformed the finance industry, forcing it to optimize its systems to keep up with the times.
But how exactly has the financial services sector been impacted? The following are three of the most significant advances in the industry.
These days, technology has the power to reduce or even remove much of the complexity involved with organizing financial data. Many processes, whether it be accounting or taxes, can now be automated through software. For example, QuickBooks is great for auto-tracking income and expenses as well as for simplifying payroll. This kind of software makes completing these tedious tasks easier and more efficient for everyone involved.
Meanwhile, those stuck in the past by still using older systems often have to rely on spreadsheets and copious amounts of paperwork. Not only does this require a huge amount of maintenance, but it also leaves room for human error. When it comes to handling sensitive financial data, it makes sense to avoid possible mistakes.
Introducing automation in some capacity, whether you are a smaller or larger organisation, will essentially mean waving goodbye to outdated systems. Automated and more simplified processes will add a layer of reliability to operations, as well as free up employees time which can be directed elsewhere.
Gone are the days of visiting banks to check your balance: now, customers can simply log into banking apps on their mobile devices to view and manage their accounts and transactions.
Not only has technology changed the way we manage and move money, but it also provides additional security. One innovation which has made financial transactions more secure is cryptocurrencies, eliminating the need for physical cash which can be easily lost or stolen. There are still risks with these types of transactions of course, but as technology continues to advance, it’s likely these risks will be minimized further.
AI is also progressing at an incredible rate, leading to advancements in fraud detection. Technology can successfully track a victim’s history and calculate and estimate the possibility of fraud. But as technology develops, so does the ability of sophisticated online criminals. According to Refinitiv, the estimated cost of money laundered across the globe every year is 6.7% of global GDP. The financial services sector is a large focus for fraudsters, so it’s important to regularly run audits on your systems to ensure a high level of security.
Managing data digitally
Perhaps the most convenient advancement to the financial industry, technology has made it possible for users to manage, organize and access data much more efficiently than ever before.
Everything from creating and sending invoices, to capturing receipts and gathering signatures, can now be completed with just a few swipes on a screen, the data effortlessly stored and backed-up in the cloud.
Large financial institutions that deal with lots of data especially benefit from these improvements as now, businesses have access to all the information they need at their fingertips, and can manage this data from anywhere in the world.
One such tool which has revolutionized the way data is gathered is eSignature software. This allows documents to be signed almost instantly from anywhere globally, whilst upholding strict security and legal standards such as the US’s ESIGN act.
Benefits of eSignature technology in the financial sector
Traditional wet signatures can be easily lost, modified or even forged. Electronic signatures on the other hand are not only stored safely in the cloud, but contain strict security measures including detailed audit logs, certificates of signature, and encryption technology. Furthermore, the identity of the signatory is verified to ensure authenticity and can be called upon as proof of signature in a court of law.
At a time when financial services are being watched with eagle eyes by hackers, it’s more important than ever to raise security measures to combat risk.
Another key benefit of eSignatures in the financial industry is that it eliminates the need for paper documents. This eradicates paper, printing and postage costs and can help save hundreds to thousands of dollars.
Everyone knows that time is money. By using eSignatures, financial services can speed up their processing and management of critical tasks in order to reduce the time spent on these activities.
Going paperless not only saves paper, but it helps to reduce the C02 emissions that are released when trees are cut down. In a world which is becoming more environmentally conscious, making the switch from paper to digital documents also positions a company in a more favorable light and shows a commitment towards preserving our planet.
Improve customer experience
Finance deals are often time sensitive and as always when concerning money, clients are happier when things are finalized quickly. By using eSignatures, clients can view, sign and send documents on-the-go via mobile or at home, catering to their schedule and cutting out the need for post runs or office visits.
For more information on how eSignatures can benefit the financial services industry, check out our dedicated guide.
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