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  Business leaders in the financial services sector must set their priorities right to succeed in the year 2022. Technology in modern financial services can be a complex issue. This is what business leaders should focus on for success. 
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Over and over again, to thrive in the financial services sector, technology is pivotal. It determines customer experience, ease of business operation and market share. Business leaders in the FinTech sectors are constantly faced with the prevailing customer issue from choosing the right tool for the job in building software and finding developer talent right through to ensuring the scalability and reliability of their systems.  The rate of change in the financial services industry is expanding and it is showing no sign of slowing. Financial establishments are looking to the IT function to do more to get in a position for success in the future. While no two businesses are the same, we’ve identified predominant themes from building FinTech solutions for our clients that we believe will have a significant impact on the year ahead. In this article, I itemised three priorities business leaders must consider thriving this year ahead.
  1. Business  Leaders Must Prioritise Tech Education.
Fintech leaders might not necessarily be experts in coding, although it is encouraged, they must place premium attention on understanding the fundamental and advanced knowledge on technology. Having to know a great deal of how technology works such as understanding basic tech terms, and functionalities amongst others can help leaders communicate with tech colleagues productively. This requires investment from business leaders into learning where the opportunities for innovation exist.  For those in concern, being at the vanguard of innovative technologies has demonstrated how it is incredibly important to the success of Flutterwave and other tech platforms disrupting financial services in the African market. Machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI), for example, can enable companies to better mitigate risk, combat fraud, personalise customer experiences and, crucially, analyse massive blocks of data to make truly informed decisions. A similar example is illustrated in this case: With a centuries-old monopoly over the financial industry now eroded for incumbents, comparable to what happened in telecoms, significant disruption is being driven by technological advances. However, it is difficult to foresee the future models of finance, they are sure to be created by the world’s brightest software engineers.
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  1. Business Leaders Must Place Premium On Security, And Reliable IT Systems.
Insecurity and the negative impact it had on the financial sector in the 2008 financial crisis led to the need to secure the finance of customers. Many studies have traced the rise of the FinTech industry during this period. When banking and FinTech systems are suboptimal from a security and operational stability perspective, the risks to customer trust are substantial and potentially fatal if things go wrong.   The burden placed on systems caused by stakes in online commerce since the pandemic has shown that superficial add ons of digital products to keep pace with customer demands were often not done with reliability as a priority. In 2022, digital banking operations will more than and ever before be prone to insecurity. Cases of IT system failure will be prominent in 2022 and beyond. The issue of reputation and trust in business operations will be more severe than ever. 
  1. Business Leaders Must Focus On The Human Side Of Tech.
Despite the rapid adoption of digitisation in financial services, the scope of human touch must not be neglected. The rapid digitisation of the last two years was ultimately in response to changes in customer behaviour during the pandemic. Customer relatability and customer experience are vital even in the face of digitisation. It has been a winning strategy for FinTech companies in recent times and will continue in the future. And any traditional firms who were not yet to follow the trend have joined the train despite being a little late. Whether it is AI personalisation, blockchain-powered digital onboarding or something else not yet imagined, at the end of the day, technology is a means to an end and being customer focused is the principle that underpins everything that has longevity. The objective is to deliver value to customers, and the tech used to do it is secondary.  Featured image source: Connect Nigeria
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This article was first published on 17th February 2022


Nnaemeka is an academic scholar with a degree in History and International Studies from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He is also a creative writer, content creator, storyteller, and social analyst.

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