Fintech and disruption: Connected business champion UBS has done its homework

How do banks stay relevant in the digital world? How does the bank of the future look like? Dr. Veronica Lange, Head of Innovation at UBS, gave an insight into the financial institution’s activities at a NEO Network keynote in Zurich on November 22, 2017. Uwe Klötzner has summarized the most important points.

UBS is making comprehensive investments into digitalization: Apart from developing proprietary solutions, UBS is testing new technologies and carrying them over into new services and business models. The following are a few experiences: 

The user experience takes center stage. Banks can learn a lot from other industries: User guidance, service speed (e.g. wire transfers), simplicity in use. At the same time, it must not affect security, even if a relevant percentage of users completely disregard it.

Data science replaces (complements) marketing. Data is created nearly everywhere, and using it meaningfully is the key to future market success. Numerous examples of applications already exist today: Every day, thousands of scenarios are calculated for the 650,000 portfolios that are managed in the Robo Advisory with the goal of achieving the best investment decisions. Voice assistants are becoming more important touchpoints and are interfaces to information, making contact and professional answers. Robots execute business processes. Tailor-made advertising campaigns make customer acquisition and retention more effective and efficient.

From 1 to many to peer-to-peer: If transactions will be processed more often without central, confidence-building parties in the future, then new methods to ensure the identity of the partner will be necessary. As such, UBS supports the Swiss eID initiative, an ID card for the digital world. Batavia was created as a blockchain-based platform for international business that drastically simplifies documentation and clearing compared to today’s process involving letters of credit, and it does so without compromising on security aspects. In the connected car field, UBS has developed a solution for automated payment solutions from vehicles and presented it at the IAA.

These initiatives demonstrate the multitude of options that banks have to create a connected business.