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4 Financial Services Tech Trends to Watch in 2021Many of the effects of the pandemic have been financial. The economic fallouthas had ripple effects through nearly every industry, stretching from WallStreet boardrooms to small-town kitchen tables as people attempted to managetheir assets amid so much uncertainty.While customers looked to regain control of their personal financialstrategies, banks and credit unions were going through turmoil of their own.Deemed “essential,” they were allowed to remain open but had to adjustoperations to accommodate social distancing guidelines while also adoptingremote work tools.Banks and credit unions were tasked with accelerating their own digitaltransformation plans and untangling the specifics of new financial programs,all while providing critical services during challenging times for theircustomers. As the dust settles on 2020, some of the tools they picked up alongthe way are likely going to last. These are the financial services tech trendsto watch in 2021.## 1. Banks Will Expand Mobile StrategiesTechnology has brought convenience to nearly every industry, and the financialservices sector is no different. Mobile banking had already been gainingpopularity, and that only increased as the pandemic encouraged customers tostay home. The evolution of mobile banking apps, video banking and remoteonline notary services has allowed customers to easily bank from anywhere.Circumstances are also pushing banks to become more mobile internally.Branches can use mobile devices to give employees more flexibility in helpingcustomers and allow those waiting in line to peruse new products or servicesor even perform basic transactions themselves. All of these can help makeservice faster and allow customers to keep their distance from each other, twothings that will be key to the in-branch experience moving forward.## 2. Banks’ Cloud Environments Will Grow More ComplexDuring remote work, running at least some processes in the cloud has evolvedfrom a trend to a necessity. Financial services is one industry that hashistorically been resistant to cloud architecture for both security andcompliance reasons, and even organizations that are in the cloud often keepthose environments simple.Now that organizations need to be able to enable distributed workloads andsupport customers from anywhere, banks and credit unions will likely takeinspiration from other private businesses and begin adopting more multicloudand hybrid cloud environments. When making these moves, banks will have tomake sure they’re addressing key considerations to be successful and secure.## 3. The Use of AI Will ExpandBanks have more information available to them than ever before, particularlywhen it comes to their customers. The expansion of digital services allows formore opportunities to tailor products and services to customers who couldbenefit from them most, and data analytics-powered artificial intelligence isthe technology that can enable it. Personalized marketing can not only helporganizations promote their products, it can also help customers find whatthey’re looking for faster.Beyond personalized services, AI can also power banks and credit unions behindthe scenes. IT environments are becoming increasingly complex between cloudand on-premises operations, and AI can help integrate processes to helpemployees work more seamlessly.## 4. RPA Will Help Banks Increase EfficiencySpeaking of streamlined operations, few tools are more valuable in achievingthat than robotic process automation. Automating tasks can free up precioustime to handle more complex situations with customers, and in an industry thatasks customers to trust organizations with their most personal matters,building that relationship is critical.RPA can be used to approve customers for loans and move quickly throughpaperwork. It can also power customer service tools like chatbots and kiosksthat can serve customers while employees are tangled up in other matters. Mostimportant, it can help some organizations move on from legacy systems at atime when modernization is no longer negotiable.