The Fintech Trifecta: 5G, Blockchain and AI
By Ingrid Vasiliu Feltes MD MBA
Quality and Innovation Officer, Senator and Chief Ethics Officer
A few recent fintech reports published highlight the opportunities that exist to optimize the customer and use experience in this digital era. One of the key findings is the importance of innovation and the development of global digital ecosystems where incumbents and challengers will have to choose their role strategically as either suppliers, orchestrators, aggregators or integrators. These reports also emphasized the importance of cross-industry collaboration and being able to bridge the gap from open innovation to applied innovation.
Numerous technologies are in the race to play a center stage role in building a state of the art global fintech ecosystem. Industry experts agree that there are a few candidates who can markedly accelerate this process and potentially even lead to large scale fintech adoption globally.
In this article we propose that the optimal fintech trifecta includes: 5G, Blockchain and AI.
The global 5G market is forecasted to grow at a CAGR of 97% over a five year period and will reach a value of USD 251B. The main drivers according to the latest published research reports are an increased demand for enhanced mobile internet experience and massive smartphone adoption globally.
Even by itself 5G technology has the capability to revolutionize banking as it will improve download and upload speeds, allow broader geographic coverage and enhanced network stability. These optimizations will impact fintech consumer experience and the finch infrastructure.
The second emerging technology that is poised to be a winner in the race for dominance in fintech is blockchain. Blockchain has already made its mark on the payments industry and it is poised to be mended into the DNA of the finance industry as well. There are numerous benefits that this technology can offer the fintech ecosystem, however digital identities, digital assets, enhancing data integrity, smart contracting, fostering higher trust and increasing fraud prevention are some of the most frequently cited. Several recent reports published about Blockchain in Fintech showcases the major advancements expected in this domain and its robust CAGR of 75.2% by 2025 is equally impressive.
The third member in our trifecta is AI. Like with many other industries the full portfolio of augmented intelligence tools can have an exponential impact on banking and finance as they would optimize the infrastructure, performance and consumer experience of the global fintech ecosystem. The increasing demand for process automation among global financial organizations is one of the key drivers for the market growth expected for Fintech AI. AI enabled fraud prevention has also lead to broader adoption and has shaped the digital risk management strategy for the fintech ecosystem. AI has also disrupted the wealth management domain with the pandemic clearly providing a turbo boost to the adoption of robo-advisers. Further research and innovative solutions in deploying AI tools will continue to provide real time action insights, facilitate portfolio management decisions and store transaction of various financial assets.
As with all emerging technologies, they are a gateway to societal advancements however they are also fraught with challenges that need to be overcome during the adoption journey. Some of these barriers are universally encountered with any new innovation due to resistance to change by certain demographic segments, while others are unique to the fintech industry or to each specific technology.
One of the common concerns we need to mitigate is the ethical deployment of AI and Blockchain.
Overcoming some of the myths and lack of understanding related to deployment of ledger technology is essential for a successful large scale adoption in the fintech industry.
Likewise, correcting misconceptions and the global lack of AI literacy will be crucial for optimally leveraging all the insights gained from deploying machine learning tools in the fintech ecosystem. Ensuring that we deploy these technologies within a well designed ethics framework will greatly facilitate societal trust, acceptance and ensure long term sustainability. Only by upholding the foundational values of autonomy, justice, beneficence and non-maleficence can we create a culture of digital ethics with the fintech industry.
Last but not least, we need to also consider cost and environmental impact. We need to markedly bend the cost curve and the undesirable ecologic impact in order for this trifecta to achieve global adoption, adequate implementation and long term sustainability.
Industry business experts, entrepreneurs and the scientific community are already working on the next generation blockchain technologies, enhanced AI tools and even 6G networks which are expected to be 100 time faster than 4G. By harmonizing our global efforts and braking current self-imposed silos we have a greater chance to overcome the challenges described above and to achieve state of the art global fintech ecosystem.