Seven key technologies will continuously affect the overall trend of development of financial technologies, drive the restructuring of business models and control the competitive landscape of the financial sector in the next 10 years, according to a report issued by McKinsey & Company on Monday.
The key technologies are artificial intelligence, blockchain, cloud computing, the internet of things, open source, software as a service and serverless architecture, no-code development platforms and hyper-automation.
"A survey conducted by McKinsey found more than 60 percent of banks worldwide have applied artificial intelligence to their businesses … We estimate AI technology will create an additional value of 1 trillion yuan per year for the global banking sector," said Arthur Shek, partner at McKinsey.
According to the global management consulting firm, robotic process automation (RPA), a form of business process automation technology based on metaphorical software robots or on digital workers, will be widely used in the banking sector, which has a lot of highly repeated manual procedures. RPA can make these kinds of procedures faster, cheaper, more accurate and more stable. It has great potential for development in the next five years and will integrate more deeply with artificial intelligence, Shek said.
Venture capital investments in fintech companies globally hit $36.2 billion last year, down from $39.6 billion in 2019 due to the COVID-19 outbreak, according to Dealroom, a data provider on startups, growth companies and tech ecosystems.
Speaking from the perspective of products, fintech companies focusing on payments took about 23 percent share of the market and received about 33 percent of fintech investments. Speaking from the perspective of customer segmentation, fintech companies specializing in retail finance took about a 14 percent share of the market and received around 22 percent of fintech investments.
The number of fintech unicorns worldwide has increased almost fourfold since 2017. By the end of May, there were more than 100 fintech unicorns globally, whose total valuation reached nearly $500 billion. The number of fintech unicorns specializing in payments accounts for about 25 percent of the total, followed by infrastructure and operations (15 percent), digital banking (13 percent) and retail lending (10 percent).
China will strengthen regulation over financial holding companies and financial technology to ensure that financial innovations are made under prudent regulation, according to the Government Work Report delivered by Premier Li Keqiang at the opening of the fourth session of the 13th National People's Congress on March 5.
"The change in regulatory policies is actually a driving force for financial institutions to promote technological cooperation with fintech companies. Previously, internet giants like Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent were talking about disrupting traditional banking. Now they are talking about enabling banks … Large internet companies are restructuring in the hope their businesses will be more focused on promoting the application of technologies rather than using high leverage to provide financial services," said John Qu, senior partner at McKinsey.
"We'll see more integration of technologies and finance. Financial institutions will also embrace external technology market segments more often," Qu said.