Future financial trends and predictions

The financial industry is evolving quickly, and technologies and systems are starting to automate and optimize a number of crucial financial processes for both people and businesses. The professional services company Accenture, based in Ireland, found that only 14% of organizations have the digital frameworks, processes, skills, and systems required to thrive in this changing environment, despite the fact that there are numerous and significant potential benefits from doing so. Leaders need to be aware of the technological advancements occurring in finance in order to adapt. Development of touchless transactions going forward

In the past few years, touchless transactions, such as contactless payments, have grown significantly in popularity. 56 percent of consumers use contactless payments when possible, with tapping a debit or credit card being the most common method, according to a study by Visa. Mobile wallets and payment apps are other widely used payment options. Approximately 57% of customers who use contactless payment don’t even touch the terminal. Along with contactless payments, more and more aspects of the customer experience are going touchless, including ordering products through apps, making payments automatically using linked bank accounts, leaving deliveries at specific locations for the customer to pick up, etc.

Even more recently, some businesses have opened checkout-free locations, wherein when customers leave with their chosen goods, their bank accounts are automatically charged. Cantaloupe, a US-based provider of digital payment software, has teamed up with Vendekin Technologies, an Indian manufacturer of Retrobox, a “hardware-enabled SaaS product.” Even vending machines and kiosks can become touchless thanks to the Retrobox integration in Cantaloupe’s cashless payment terminal products. Users will be able to access a menu of products from their phones or from Cantaloupe’s card reader by scanning QR codes on machines using this feature. For both consumers and retailers, touchless transactions improve efficiency and can result in significant time savings. Retailers gain from the purchase information that is recorded during these transactions, which improves their ability to provide customers with individualized services and recommendations.

In the upcoming years, new developments are likely to increase the popularity of touchless transactions. For instance, the South Korean electronics behemoth Samsung has unveiled the S3B512C, an “all-in-one fingerprint security integrated circuit (IC)” that comes with a biometric fingerprint sensor and a number of security features. The card detects fingerprints using a biometric authentication algorithm, then immediately records and encrypts this information on its chip. For digital storage on the card’s chip, users register their fingerprints with the card issuer. The sensor compares their fingerprint to the one on their card each time a transaction is made. It only takes a few seconds to complete and there is no authentication code needed. The benefit of this is that the user’s biometric information never has to leave the card or be obtained by a third party. This offers a clear security benefit by preventing scammers from using fake fingerprints, along with built-in “anti-spoofing technology.” Although initially, new technologies are frequently too expensive to become commonplace and widely accessible, the S3B512C’s simplified design (all functions are built into a single chip) lowers manufacturing expenses. The card can be used for payments as well as other secure authentication methods, like ID cards and access cards, according to Samsung. This type of technology has a big chance of enhancing security in a lot of different procedures and places.

The AI chatbot that receives discounts automatically

As more services move toward subscription-based business models, managing bills and subscriptions can be a time-consuming, challenging task. Technologies are being created, though, to speed up this process and even help consumers save money. A company called DoNotPay has created what it calls “the world’s first robot lawyer,” a mobile app with a subscription model that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to offer legal services like contesting parking tickets. The business has just unveiled a chatbot that uses AI to negotiate prices, secure discounts, and cancel subscriptions on behalf of users.

Joshua Browder, the tool’s CEO, and founder shared a video of the tool being used to interact with a Comcast customer service representative. In the video, the chatbot complains about the services and threatens legal action before the agent agrees to cut the user’s internet bill by $10 per month. The chatbot is sophisticated enough to mimic the subtleties of human communication and is probably going to get even better. It even thanks the salesperson for the discount. There are many potential applications for this technology, and services like these could be used to help customers save time and money while avoiding the pitfalls and hassle of speaking with customer service representatives directly. It is unclear how service providers will react to the widespread use of this technology, though it’s possible that they will simply raise prices to account for the growing number of customers who will be eligible for automatic discounts.

At-a-touch self-service and real-time financial information

Financial transactions are occurring more frequently and quickly than ever before, which generates more data that can be analyzed. The demand for more frequent performance data from clients is rising, according to financial services providers. Quarterly or monthly financial cycles are becoming obsolete as technology allows for almost instantaneous data processing and analytics. Although it may seem as though this would add to the workload of analysts and finance organizations, it may actually be to their client’s advantage. These tools for processing financial information not only automate processes but also increase their effectiveness and forecasting precision. Currently, data is continuously collected and analyzed with the use of advanced algorithms.

The world’s largest provider of advisory and auditing services, Deloitte, has created PrecisionView, a “advanced forecasting solution.” The tool aims to increase forecasting precision and “generate high-impact insights” by “leveraging data aggregation technologies with predictive analytics and machine learning capabilities.” The infrastructure built on the cloud can be tailored to each client’s needs and integrated with a wide range of platforms. Financial forecasting and scenario planning can be done almost instantly thanks to advanced data processing capabilities. It might not be long before highly accurate forecasting can be offered practically in real-time if technology keeps moving forward at its current rate.

The use of conventional financial service providers and finance analysts by organizations may even become less necessary as a result of this type of automation. Similar to how online banking has facilitated easier access to information for individuals, technological finance platforms could eliminate the middleman in these processes and enable users to quickly access information on their own. Platforms could transform complex data into understandable visual graphs and charts for laypeople. Financial professionals may face an existential threat as a result, but they may be able to adapt by providing more individualized services. These organizations may start concentrating on the human element of financial advice and the capacity to uncover insights that algorithms that only consider numerical data may miss.  As a result, many organizations will probably need to alter and diversify their business models, and the lines between disciplines might dissolve.

A complete financial assistant powered by AI

Robots might eventually replace financial services companies, but that day is still a ways off. These technologies are likely to help these organizations in the near future and close the gap between them and their customers. Eva is a self-service “digital engagement solution” for financial services providers that integrates with various back-end applications and was created by US-based AI company Open stream. To improve loan and credit decision-making, ensure compliance, and streamline operations, the system uses continuous real-time intelligence. The customer’s first point of contact with the platform is the Eva chatbot, which works with a variety of apps, websites, devices, and communication channels. The platform offers continuous analytics and is highly scalable to meet business needs.

Last thoughts

Organizations need to be aware of these developments in order to successfully digitally transform financial processes. Even though it is impossible to predict the future of any discipline, and the finance industry is renowned for its volatility, knowing the present can help predictions be more accurate and increase the likelihood that predictions will be able to adapt to changing conditions. A key component of doing this successfully is investigating and implementing new technologies.

 Predictions of finance and controllership


1. The finance factory

As anticipated, finance will place a greater emphasis on customer service, analytics, and business insights, all of which call for new capabilities. Finance will delegate some tasks to captive locations, centers of excellence, and outsourcing providers in order to strengthen its capabilities. Technology will aid Finance in managing uncertainty and delivering on its value proposition as real-time data and automatically generated analysis become more prevalent.

Resulting implications for controllership

The controllership will standardize processes and outsource and share more of them. The silos between Controllership and financial planning and analysis (FP&A) will also break down as the end-to-end process moves toward automation and historical reporting transforms into complex real-time insights, opening up opportunities for integration and collaboration that realize the real value and support the overall business strategy.

2. The role of finance

Although real-time financial data won’t be available for some time, investors and management, who need more current information to make decisions, will gradually lose interest in quarterly reporting. As internal management requirements change, finance will be expected to remain flexible and be able to post results in between cycles of external reporting.

Resulting implications for controllership

Controllership will place more emphasis on real-time information and continuous accounting than on shortening close cycles as historical reporting is given less weight. Breaking the monthly reporting cycle and transitioning to a more flexible accounting model will be difficult. Real-time visibility into performance and projections, however, is still a distant goal.

The near-term focus will be more on forecasts and analytics that support commercial decisions rather than immediate results because the platforms, data foundation, and finance routines aren’t yet in place to support it.

3. Finance cycles

Finance will continue to be hesitant to use self-service data, but it will adopt self-service to streamline special requests and reporting requirements. Natural language processing and trigger-based alerts will be widely used in self-service applications. Finance will spend more time collaborating with the business to resolve differences between language processing, record-keeping systems, and self-service tools.

Resulting implications for controllership

Self-service data applications will expand beyond their current role as a tool for static reports, building on the growth of real-time data and ERP systems applications for data analysis. Instead, they will offer more interactive tools and drill-down analysis of data. This could put useful analytics at the fingertips of businesses, enabling them to make decisions more quickly and with more data-driven insights.

4. Self-service

Changes to the finance operating models have historically been driven by cost reduction. However, as new models seek to increase the core competencies of finance and the outcomes it can produce in collaboration with other functions, this focus will change. The need for remote work, which has persisted throughout the pandemic, is likely to continue in some form, and numerous finance organizations will be set up to support it.

Resulting implications for controllership

Early on in the pandemic, the advantages of having a distributed finance workforce with collaboration tools centered around clearly defined work processes were brought to light. As users from all over the world accessed corporate networks from remote locations, it also brought attention to how crucial data security is. As we move into the next phase, many businesses are having trouble filling positions because remote workers give them access to bigger talent pools while also fostering more competition for their existing talent. The core competencies of the Controllership will be expanded, as will the value provided in collaboration with other functions, through new service delivery models. The traditional silos between functions will dissolve as they take on responsibilities previously managed elsewhere as the overall business values new capabilities and coordination with partner networks expand.

5. Operating models

ERP vendors have largely fended off competition from specialized applications and microservices through acquisitions and functional improvements. But the major players of today will continue to eat up cutting-edge capabilities and expand their market share as one-stop suppliers. In addition, as more services migrate to the cloud, on-premises support will disappear.

Resulting implications for controllership

Cloud-based solutions provide ongoing technological advancements that automate tasks and streamline operations for all financial processes. ERP service providers have improved their offerings by rapidly acquiring new companies and adding new features in response to the increasing sophistication of specialized apps and microservices. From this point forward, Finance and Controllership will continue to undergo a digital transformation, shifting from being back-office cost centers to front-office generators of business value, thanks in large part to these specialized vendors and cloud-based ERPs.

6. Enterprise resource planning

Due to the fact that data is the basis for business insights, automation, and touchless operations, standardized, high-quality data will become even more crucial. Finance will step up its massive data cleanup initiatives under the direction of a finance data czar who will be in charge of setting the proper governance strategy and ensuring data integrity. Many companies will also rely on their cloud-based ERP applications to support their fundamental data architecture.

  Resulting implications for controllership

Data will be the cornerstone of any successful finance organization in the future. Data quality is essential to the performance of the function because controllership will rely heavily on data for strategic insights, improved analytics, and more driver-based reporting frameworks. Compiling pertinent, understandable, and useful data is a challenge for many professionals, and the volume and complexity of data continue to rise. In order to meet the challenge and urgent need to produce impactful data and reporting frameworks, Controllership will probably need to appoint a data czar: a data scientist with business acumen in a leadership role to oversee enterprise data strategy, systems frameworks, and processes.

7. Workspace and workplace

As we predicted, businesses have increased their hiring of data scientists, but not in finance.  However, the Finance department will work more closely with data scientists to integrate and analyze data. Finance will increase the number of staff members who can configure and customize digital tools to produce insights in order to lessen its reliance on IT as more employees work remotely as hybrid work models proliferate.

Resulting implications for controllership

The pandemic has been a driving force behind numerous changes to the workforce and workplace, and talent strategy has evolved more quickly than almost anything else. Throughout the pandemic, remote work has been necessary, and it will continue to be so. With the help of this model, you can access diverse talent pools, specialized resources, and previously unattainable alternative staffing models. The talent pool is no longer constrained by geography or schedules. In fact, the competition for talent has intensified to the point where it may finally spur the adoption of distributed staffing models that go beyond the conventional contract arrangement. The talent strategy will also adapt to a remote or hybrid environment by utilizing the cost-efficiencies that a dispersed workforce provides in addition to new talent models. Those with business sense, a service mindset, and digital savvy will be in the greatest demand, even though traditional finance skills remain essential to the function.