Jeremy Mugridge, Instinct Studios
There's a lot that can be said about the benefits of embracing digital and technology. But while other industries such as retail, travel and telecoms seem to be doing just that – the financial services industry is still way behind the curve and has a lot of catching up to do.
The good news is that we're starting to see a few green shoots of innovation beginning to emerge across this sector…finally. I believe that 2015 is going to be a very exciting year for financial services. So what can we expect to see?
The growth of financial automation
Home automation is only going to grow and already we're seeing Dyson's new robot vacuum cleaner and Apple's HomeKit taking this technology forward. Phillips Hue Light bulbs can already be programmed to change depending on the weather or what music you're listening to, but this technology could easily be applied to financial services.
In 2015 we could see Phillips Hue being programmed to alert investors to changes in investment performance in a similar way. For example a red light could prompt the investor to a fall in one or more of the funds they've invested in.
What do you think? How will financial services organisations fair in 2015? Will they finally make use of the technology available to them?
It's mainstream for wearable tech
Wearables have been around for a while now, but we're likely to see this gain momentum after the release of Apple Watch. 2015 will be the year where we'll see a shift in focus from health and fitness towards other areas like people's financial health.
We've already seen a move to wearables in finance as Nationwide becomes the UK's first financial services provider to brings real-time balance access to Android Wear smartwatches. Having access to financial data on the move will soon become the norm, but it will be a slow burn. We'll probably have to wait more than a year to see financial services companies really exploit this opportunity.
Hail the Bitcoin fund revolution
Companies are increasingly doing business in Bitcoin and other crypto-currencies. As it becomes more widely used and accepted by online retailers, and with the increasing prospect of regulation as the FCA watches over, Bitcoin could go mainstream.
In the fiercely competitive world of investment funds, the first fund group to jump on the bitcoin bandwagon is really going to stand out from the crowd. 2015 might be the year where we see the first technology fund with a bitcoin share class.