Finance professionals not only need business, finance and technology skills to succeed — they also need to understand the current trends in the field. The University of Illinois Springfield (UIS) online Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a concentration in Applied Finance program prepares graduates to anticipate the future of the finance field.
Trends such as artificial intelligence (AI) automation, blockchain technology, digital/mobile banking and increased focus on customer service are changing the finance industry landscape. Professionals must be aware of these to better meet business goals and customer needs.
Blockchain technology has been a highly researched and discussed topic in the past decade and will continue to be in the future. Research from the McKinsey Technology Council suggests that up to 10% of global GDP could be associated with blockchain-enabled transactions by 2027.
Blockchain technology is being used in banks and other financial services. According to Forbes, the following companies are using blockchain technology:
- HSBC and Wells Fargo “use the technology to settle foreign exchange trades.”
- Mastercard and PayPal “allow payments on their networks to be made using blockchain currencies (cryptocurrencies).”
- Insurance company AXA “created its own blockchain platform to automate the process of paying out to customers whose flights are delayed.”
Due to the potential benefits of decreasing fraud, creating transparency, speeding up core processes and increasing security, blockchain tech will continue to be a main trend in finance.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) Automation
AI-powered business automation is not slowing down. Not a day goes by without some mention of ChatGPT or its other alternatives. Although it may seem like a buzzword today, AI automation will drive revolutionary changes in the fintech sector and other industries, according to an Entrepreneur article. AI automation can free up people’s time by eliminating mundane tasks and allowing them to focus on top business goals. Chatbots are an example of AI automation that frees up employees’ time, allowing a computer to answer common, repetitive questions customers may ask.
Digital/mobile banking offers a convenient way for customers to transfer, deposit, withdraw and track funds. It’s becoming more and more popular and useful. Take a look at the following digital banking statistics from Bankrate:
- About 27% of Americans use a bank that is exclusively online.
- About two-thirds of consumers are very or somewhat interested in using a digital bank in the next year.
- Forty-three percent of those interested in digital banking say their primary motivator is to have improved transfers, and 33% want lower costs.
Traditional banks have decreased significantly across the nation in the past several years, while digital banking has increased as their competition, offering attractive yields and low (if any) bank fees. For these reasons, digital/mobile banking will continue to rise.
Increased Focus on Customer Service
Finance professionals know it’s more profitable to keep an existing customer than to lose one and have to find and onboard a new customer. Therefore, finance organizations must keep customers happy. One way they do this is through rewards and customer loyalty programs. For example, banks commonly use customer loyalty programs so customers don’t choose to bank elsewhere. These programs may offer higher interest on savings accounts, discounts on a loan or lower ATM usage fees.
Future-Proof Your Finance Career With an MBA in Applied Finance
Finance professionals can stay on top of the current trends in the field while pursuing an online MBA with a concentration in Applied Finance degree from UIS. This fully online program allows you to earn your degree from anywhere while staying in your current career. Core MBA courses include business courses such as Marketing Management, Business Strategy, Organizational Behavior and more. Students choose from an array of applied finance electives along with the courses Investments and Entrepreneurial Finance.