By: Muhammad Firdaus, DigitalCFO Asia | 9 December 2021
What will the future of finance look like especially with all the rapid changes we witnessed this year?
The Covid-19 pandemic has caused concerns and difficulties for businesses, consumers and societies worldwide. The finance industry, from banking and capital markets to investment management and real estate, now face challenges that are not necessarily unique to them, but challenges, nonetheless.
As we enter a world and future defined by the pandemic, plenty has changed. The finance industry has mainly transitioned to online services, and it is something everyone is trying to get used to. The need for human interaction for financial transactions is now a thing of the past as call centres are now being overwhelmed with calls pestering them with a barrage of
questions. While the personal touch of staff waiting on clients is missed, this change might be seen as a real positive, depending on how management sees it.
This pandemic has given rise to another potential problem, and that is the talent drain. The talent drain is due to possibly employees leaving for their homeland or deciding to communicate their jobs from beyond borders. For once, the employees have the power and employers have to ensure that sought-after positions and positions of importance are not empty. According to human resource experts, working from home or anywhere is the only way forward, and companies that do not do so will lose talent to their competitors.
Other changes and challenges in the global financial industry include phenomenal growth in the digitization of assets. Non-Fungible Tokens or NFTs and bitcoin/cryptocurrency has taken the world by storm and has had a profound impact on the banks with how it has revolutionized the way money is generated, transferred, and owned..
These are also the new trends and processes in the finance world we must get used to. Cryptocurrency, while in its infancy, is as volatile as the stock market. For example, all it takes is a simple tweet from Elon Musk and bitcoin crashes. Consumers and businesses are still getting used to the volatility, yet its multiple benefits outweigh this very obvious con.
Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) can look forward to their organisations’ digital transformation to move forward rapidly. The transformation efforts could end up ensuring that organisations are able to reach their full potential.
CFOs or people in this industry also have the chance to make intangible changes in their companies. Take the opportunity to address issues such as gender and/or racial inequities, for example. In a world that is becoming more inclusive, matters like this mean a lot to employees and consumers and can drive business towards you.
It will be a challenging year for the finance industry in 2022, just as it has been in 2021 and 2020. What CFOs can look forward to in 2022 and, as mentioned before, contactless services and bridging/building or revamping their digital societies/processes. This includes updating the use of non-cash payment options. Society is becoming more digitally orientated, and this trend is one that directly influences banking behaviour. Additionally, Artificial intelligence (AI) is a function that will be employed heavily by companies seeking to automate their services and boost their capabilities as a company.
With the holiday season coming, and with more countries easing restrictions, we hope that finance professionals can take the time to relax and re-evaluate for a stronger comeback in 2022.