Digital innovation is continuously changing financial services and how the industry creates a positive impact on end customers, Doha Bank CEO Dr R Seetharaman emphasised during a recently held webinar.
Titled ‘Digital Innovation in Financial Services’, Seetharaman was joined by a panel of experts Gaurang Shah, senior vice president, Product Management, Digital Payments & Labs, Mastercard; Shahid Khan, Strategic Leader - Banking & Insurance, ME & Africa, Oracle; Inigo Viti, CTO, Financial Services, IBM; Basel Haddadin, regional sales manager, Google Cloud, and Peter Clark, chief operating officer, Dona Bank.
During the webinar, Seetharaman stressed that the Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated the digital transformations that were already happening even prior to the global health crisis.
“Today, economics is converging with ‘e-conomics’, everywhere, we're seeing the overall changing dynamics for a green nation…sustainable development goals have been the new world order,” Seetharaman said.
He said: “To address major challenges in the world, we need to come together; create a new world…and digital is the solution – and that’s convergence in your business model. Future technologies and digital innovations are here to stay and they’re going to make an extraordinary set of transformations to the betterment of the world.
“The message we are getting now is that the Internet will become a basic right in 2024, as well as the increase in usage of mobility and smartphones, among others,” said Seetharaman, who also underscored the impact of 3D printing on healthcare, the evolution of robotics and automation, and how artificial intelligence (AI) can learn from mistakes and from big data.
Seetharaman’s video presentation stressed that “cash is no longer king” in the future and that payment transactions will, instead, be made through smartphones or wearables “rendering physical cards unnecessary.”
“60% of financial organisations are expected to make wearables a common payment method. Physical shops will still exist but the way you pay will change with money changing hands virtually,” the presentation pointed out.
Further in his presentation, Seetharaman elaborated on mobile wallets, which allow shoppers to use their payment details to easily make payments or purchases. “The main benefit of a mobile wallet is to make checkout quicker and easier across devices, and more secure because the shopper doesn't have to re-enter their card at billing details every time they make a purchase,” the presentation stated.
On the mobile wallet’s benefits to merchants, Seetharaman’s video presentation said: “Since checkout is easier for the shopper with the mobile wallet, then you can increase your conversion rates by just allowing your shoppers to pay using a wallet. Removing an obstacle to check out means that fewer shoppers will abandon the shopping cart and more will finish the checkout process.”
It added: “Over the last decade, large and successful digital players in various industries have used open application programming interfaces or APIs to connect their services with Apps and websites of third parties.
“Today, open API technologies have evolved to an extent that allows them to be applied by the financial services industry where security is key. This opens up new opportunities for banks and other financial services providers to offer innovative digital services themselves.”