Horizon Scan: ICT and the future of financial services

A new research report from Ericsson and Imperial College London provides a broad horizon scan of the impacts of ICT on services for money, banking, insurance and risk.
  • The advent of cryptocurrencies, along with their underlying protocols and APIs, allow for the emergence of new financial structures among highly decentralized networks of people and machines.
  • New ICT platforms enable individuals to coordinate and finance new ventures with far fewer intermediaries, and smaller organizations are creating disruptive new banks, insurance mechanisms and financial exchanges to disintermediate traditional players in other areas in similar ways.
  • Competition among banks and new financial services is likely to increase as customers adopt increasingly digital and multichannel approaches to their interactions with financial service institutions.
  • Mobile payment systems offered by new entrants such as mobile operators or technology companies may disrupt traditional transactions by providing new forms of secure and innovative transactions.

These are some of the primary technological drivers identified in our report as posing the greatest disruptive threats to today’s heavily regulated financial services, which remain dominated by relatively few large players. Based on in-depth research in collaboration with Imperial College London, the report identifies some of the major forces challenging the boundaries of current financial services industry structures and the role that digital technologies and regulatory responses may play in crossing these thresholds.