Banking on an IoT future
From watches to cars, the ‘Internet of Things’ will comprise more than 20 billion devices by 2020. Financial services is already changing, says James Moar, Lead Analyst at Juniper Research.
At the most basic level, the use of IoT in a commerce context means that devices that were not previously connected to commerce and finance platforms can be used to either pay for things, either directly or through a monitored system for remote billing.
This introduces new and extended models for interacting with customers.
Paired with Artificial Intelligence, as was done with Bank of America’s Erica in 2017, bots can provide data-based financial advice to customers. Such bots range from a text-based bot on a smartphone to a voice assistant that will talk the user through the required steps.
Personalised insurance already has a strong presence in the motor insurance industry, with providers like By Miles Ltd and Metromile offering per mile insurance for low mileage drivers in an effort to attract low-liability drivers away from traditional insurers. These universally require the installation of telematics devices in vehicles, to allow precise tracking of distance travelled and, in some cases, vehicle speed and driving behaviour.
Personalised health insurance can also be provided; some vendors, notably Vitality and John Hancock, offer discounts to customers who can demonstrate increased levels of activity through use of smart wearables.
The ability to use connected objects to pay for things has been a strong point of the IoT in general for many years. These can vary from using an IoT device as a discrete method of payment to automated payments based on the state of the object being measured through various sensors.
For banking transactions, while balance checking may be possible on a smartwatch display, setting up a payment to a new payee is much more involved. The vast majority of IoT voice banking solutions currently deployed focus on simple queries and payment processes, for example, rather than attempting more advanced financial management.
Security & Authentication
The ability to have personal IoT devices, such as wearables, which track biometrics, enables a range of possibilities for access to financial services locations and products. The most obvious use of these is in the case of ATMs, where mobile and IoT devices can be used as a form of authentication to allow customers to withdraw money without their bank cards.
Read more in the Juniper Research whitepaper, How the IoT Will Shape Financial Services Delivery.