The internet of things (IoT) is revolutionizing the finance industry by collecting debt, personalizing offerings & rewards, detecting fraud and optimizing capacity management.
With rapid digitization and mobilization in the banking and financial services industry, businesses are exploring the possibility of IoT in finance to leverage data and to minimize the risks that are endemic to this sector.
The finance sector, which deals with an abstract commodity like money, doesn’t involve many tangible elements in its business. And this lack of “things” may cause doubts over the applicability of the concept of the internet of things, which essentially requires a network of physical objects. However, thoughtful implementation of IoT can reward the finance sector with numerous growth opportunities.
An increase in the use of personal, usually mobile, devices for banking, the constant data generated from these devices can give banks and other financial services institutions(FSI) access to deep customer insights. Besides, data can also be collected through a network of bank-owned assets, such as ATMs and other points of financial transactions such as credit/debit card readers. Although the current rate of adoption of IoT in finance is seeing slow progress, increased mobilization of financial services and innovation of use cases will eventually lead to the industry-wide adoption of IoT.
Collecting debt from individual and enterprise borrowers involves considerable effort and overhead costs for the lending financial institutions. Monitoring the operations and supply chain activity of debtor businesses using IoT sensors and networks can help FSIs to determine their readiness to pay without involving excessive overhead costs, associated with cheque failures. Similarly, an IoT network of ATMs, card-readers, and other point-of-sale devices can be used to assess a borrower’s expenditure and income for determining their ability and intent to repay and further expenditure by defaulters can be curbed until repayment.
Increasing customer engagement and loyalty by offering customers loans as well as investment options, based on:
Value of assets
will become much easier with the help of IoT enabled data analytics. Providing highly customized loan and investment options will increase the probability of the client considering the product.
Banks incentivize customers for using credit/debit cards or certain other modes of payments by providing reward points, which can be redeemed in specific ways. These rewards may not be appealing to all types of consumers, making these rewards systems useless in most cases. IoT based intelligence can be used to entice customers by rewarding relevant redeemable options based on shopping activity and demographics. For example, a customer who is known to spend most of her money on clothes should be given reward points that will give her discounts on apparel, whereas another customer who spends more on food should be given points that would be redeemable at restaurants. Such targeted rewarding will improve customer engagement and loyalty.
Fraud prevention is a primary concern for financial institutions, who constantly invest in and seek new ways of curbing misuse of their offerings. Major financial corporations, such as HSBC have already successfully implemented AI based anti-fraud systems. With fraud prevention having such a high priority, IoT will be a definite game changer in this area.
Misuse of debit/credit cards can be prevented by having IoT enabled security systems at points of use, such as ATMs, which have more personal and secure methods of authorization. Citigroup is testing ATMs that use eye-scanning technology to authenticate transactions. Another method of preventing card misuse through IoT is by tracking the user’s mobile location and the point of credit card use before approving transactions.
Banks constantly aim to expand their network of offices and ATMs, while also managing the existing units with maximum efficiency. Using IoT enabled monitoring to track the number of customer units per day, the average queue time can be measured to determine the optimal number of personnel and counters at each branch. Decisions regarding new branches can also be made easier by using the distribution data of customers with respect to geography. The same can be done to optimize the number and location of cash dispensing machines based on usage.
In addition to these benefits, IoT in finance, with innovative redesign, can have a major disruptive impact. An example of this is Interact® IoT, the first ever IoT banking platform, that aims to help users save money by connecting their bank accounts to IoT enabled objects. Major benefits can also be accrued by combining the interconnectivity of IoT with blockchain to have a much more reliable and secure network.
Naveen is the Founder and CEO of Allerin, a software solutions provider that delivers innovative and agile solutions that enable to automate, inspire and impress. He is a seasoned professional with more than 20 years of experience, with extensive experience in customizing open source products for cost optimizations of large scale IT deployment. He is currently working on Internet of Things solutions with Big Data Analytics. Naveen completed his programming qualifications in various Indian institutes.