Mitel Financial Services Tech Trends

10 Tech Trends Financial Organizations Need to Know in 2024

6 min read

Sarah Watson

Sarah Watson | January 24, 2024

Not long ago, banks and community-based financial organizations, such as credit unions, were almost exclusively brick-and-mortar establishments. Then, in 2020, the pandemic came along. Suddenly, digital communications and digital banking services were essential for every financial organization.

This unexpected and urgent need for digitalization only accelerated the inevitable. Banks and credit unions were already facing stiff competition from new and nimble market entrants that use modern financial technology — or fintech — to serve customers more quickly, efficiently, and flexibly.

These seismic shifts are permanent, and they mean banks and credit unions can’t afford to stand still. To deliver the experiences and services today’s customers are looking for and effectively compete in a digital world, every financial organization must adopt today’s communications technologies and reinvent themselves.

Here are 10 tech trends that will drive the new era of financial services in 2024:

  1. Strategic partnerships
  2. Fraud and cyber-risk mitigation
  3. Generative AI
  4. Automation through AI
  5. Removing friction from the customer journey
  6. Private cloud and managed services
  7. Core system modernization
  8. Decarbonization
  9. Data as a product
  10. Better culture and talent retention

1. Strategic Partnerships

The monolithic, closed IT stacks and disconnected systems most banks and credit unions have historically relied on limit agility and innovation. Systems don’t communicate with one another, manual processes duplicate efforts, and valuable business insights are trapped in silos.

These legacy technologies represent “vertical” thinking. In 2024, financial IT teams need to think “horizontally” and focus on open interfaces and APIs that make it easy and efficient to integrate advanced technologies from strategic partners:

  • Partnerships with other financial organizations — especially fintech companies — help to accelerate access to digital banking, communications, secure infrastructure, and other innovations without the time, cost, or hassle of doing it all yourself.
  • Partnerships with technology providers allow you to implement innovative new technologies and solutions that simplify processes and automate workflows to reduce operating expenses, minimize duplication of effort, and improve the customer experience.

2. Fraud and Cyber-risk Mitigation

Internet crime losses and banking fraud have skyrocketed in recent years:

While many financial organizations already use artificial intelligence (AI) to pinpoint potentially fraudulent activities, the follow-up steps with customers are often manual.

Integrating fraud detection and notification into an automated communications workflow accelerates the process, reduces the burden on staff, and shows customers you take their protection very seriously. These technologies:

  • Instantly notify affected customers about suspicious activities by text, voice, or both.
  • Give customers top-priority access to the right staff when they get back in touch with your organization.
  • Authenticate customers using voice, facial, and fingerprint biometric recognition technologies and multi-factor authentication.

Your staff can be sure they’re communicating with the right person, and your customers have peace of mind knowing you’ve implemented advanced risk mitigation measures to protect their information and assets.

3. Generative AI

Using AI to analyze information and generate new content helps you work more strategically and increases agility to scale your operations faster and more efficiently.

Here are two brief examples of what’s possible across the organization:

  • Marketing. Quickly identify trends in customer communications and create automated follow-up responses for review based on those trends. For example, you may want to pinpoint customers who mentioned “recession” and calls that resulted in new business or turned an unhappy customer into a happy customer. You can also combine insights from multiple systems to build a more accurate customer view.
  • Customer service. Create customized responses to customer queries on the fly based on real-time text or voice conversations with virtual or human agents. Because the technology constantly learns based on the conversation, responses are relevant and helpful, and calls are shorter, so you can provide meaningful service to more customers.

4. Automation through AI

In addition to analyzing information and generating new content, AI can introduce automation that improves outbound campaigns, quality assurance, and customer self-service.

Advanced predictive dialing solutions include AI innovations that automate routine tasks and intelligently guide agents through complex business rules to increase success rates in outbound campaigns. These innovations:

  • Reduce training times for new agents.
  • Increase call handling consistency.
  • Help agents feel supported and empowered during spontaneous, “off-script” conversations.
  • Make it easier to evolve call-handling processes.
  • Improve first-call-resolution rates.

To improve quality assurance in contact centers, AI can analyze customer call recordings to quickly identify which agents and approaches are most successful and which agents could benefit from additional training. The technology frees quality management staff to focus on improvement initiatives and eliminates the human bias that inevitably creeps into manual call monitoring.

To enhance customer self-service, AI-powered chatbots and voice bots can capture customer information, validate customer identity, and capture customer requests. The intelligent bots can provide relevant answers to most customer questions so agents can spend time on more complex and potentially lucrative requests.

5. Removing Friction from the Customer Journey

Every source of friction between financial organizations and their customers has the potential to damage the relationship.

Today's technologies help you remove friction at each touch point along the holistic customer journey and deliver a more human and welcoming experience. If you’re starting to think these same technologies are critical to your success in multiple ways, you’re right:

  • Open APIs let you develop secure web environments that naturally make it easy and intuitive for customers to interact with your people, products, and services.
  • Automated workflows streamline and accelerate the customer experience from start to finish, ensuring customers never have to repeat information.
  • Biometrics lets you authenticate customer identity accurately instead of interrogating people for personal information.
  • AI lets you build natural-speech chatbots that simulate human conversations more closely to maintain contextually relevant and organic conversation flows.

6. Private Cloud and Managed Services

Moving IT systems and information to the cloud is not a new topic for financial organizations. However, implementing the right balance of private and public cloud deployments has never been more critical from compliance and cybersecurity perspectives.

Public cloud services are the right choice for some applications. However, multi-tenant environments and shared resources are typically not the right choice for sensitive customer and operational data. In most cases, this information should remain protected behind corporate firewalls.

Choose technology providers that offer public and private cloud solutions with the in-house expertise to solve deployment challenges in secure, strategic, and sustainable ways that meet operational requirements. Their highly skilled and experienced technology experts specialize in the unique needs of financial organizations and can develop the customized, fully compliant applications and workflows you need.

7. Core System Modernization

It can be tempting to leave legacy technologies in place. After all, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Right? That’s not the case when it comes to communications technologies. These outdated systems have stopped banks and credit unions from taking advantage of business-critical advances over the last several years.

Even a phone system is no longer just a phone system. With the right unified communications system behind it, desktop phones can have secure, automated processes built into them to become empowering connections between staff and customers.

The benefits go beyond phone sets. The centralized platform provides advanced communications and collaboration capabilities available on all employee devices, no matter where they’re working, what their role is, or what technology is delivering the communications.

8. Decarbonization

Like most organizations, banks and credit unions are working to reduce their carbon footprint. Partnering with technology providers with equally strong environmental, social, and governance (ESG) standards is critical to achieving sustainability goals.

Technology provider initiatives to look for in 2024 include:

  • Guarantees the provider will support technology solutions for 10 years to help you reduce waste and get more from technology investments.
  • A migration path for every technology solution, including third-party platforms, so you can continue smoothly evolving your operations without the need to rip and replace entire solution sets.
  • Software-driven solutions that minimize hardware requirements.
  • Hardware solutions that minimize power consumption can be easily recycled according to environmental directives.
  • Environmentally friendly packaging, including recycled materials.

9. Data as a Product

Historically, data has been a by-product of business activities at financial organizations. Today, data is a mission-critical asset that enables real-time, insight-driven decisions, a far more profound understanding of customers, and new opportunities to personalize products and services so they’re more appealing.

To turn raw details about customer interactions into actionable insights, choose customer experience solutions with integrated analytics. These solutions include:

  • Speech analytics that helps you identify unhappy customers and fraudulent activities.
  • Call detail reporting engines that provide insight into agent communications so your human resources, communications, operations, services, and support teams can make more informed decisions that lead to higher employee and customer satisfaction and retention.
  • Open APIs that allow internal and external communications data to be analyzed by AI-powered analytics engines that generate valuable insights into your operations and inform metrics for success.

10. Better Culture and Talent Retention

According to a World Economic Forum, the Gen Z cohort born between 1997 and 2012 will comprise about 27 percent of the global workforce by 2025. To attract and retain this next generation of employees, banks and credit unions must focus on technologies that engage, empower, and give meaning to digital natives. As Ernst & Young’s Stefanie Coleman said, “You can’t put tomorrow’s talent in yesterday’s jobs.”

Here are just a few examples of how the right unified communications, collaboration, and contact center technologies help you attract and retain top talent:

  • When workspaces can be tailored for different roles and workflows, employees can work most intuitively and efficiently for their responsibilities.
  • Because technologies such as AI, biometrics, and screen sharing remove friction throughout the customer journey, the employee’s role is less stressful and more fulfilling.
  • With a single user interface and a single reporting engine, employees face less complexity and less potential for confusion, helping them work more flexibly and collaboratively.

Learn how Mitel can Help Your Financial Services Organization

Banks and credit unions can use technology trends to achieve their business goals. For more insight into technologies that empower you to deliver the experiences and services customers want in 2024, visit our financial services page or contact our sales experts.

Sarah Watson

Sarah WatsonGeneral Manager, Financial Services

Sarah has over 35 years of industry experience in unified communications. Her strategic vision and deep understanding of technology business operations have helped position Mitel as a trailblazer in communication solutions. Sarah's commitment to excellence and customer success solidifies her pivotal role in driving advancements in unified communications, collaboration tools, and cloud-based solutions in the Financial Services industry.

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