BFSI is among the top 3 verticals for technology and IT firms. Recent changes within the financial services industry have thrown new opportunities for IT firms. Newer and tougher regulatory norms have led to significant process re-organization across all sub-segments – be it retail banking, insurance or corporate banking.
And then, there is the ongoing disruption in existing ways of doing business that is being catalyzed by new technological changes. Put together, the BFSI opportunity for the IT industry was pegged at $470bn last year.
Where are the biggest opportunities coming up? What themes are dominating conversations between the technology firms and the BFSI industry?
We took a different approach to try and answer these questions. We analyzed the thought leadership content that was being generated by the solution providers for their financial customers. The themes that got most attention in content would mirror the solution focus areas as well.
Or at least, that’s our working hypothesis. Tracking patterns in thought leadership content should reveal patterns in actual solution selling as well.
What we did
We identified retail banking within BFSI for our content analysis. We collated the entire blog content produced in the past 12 months, globally, by top technology and IT companies including Accenture, IBM, CSC and Everest Group.
We then mapped this content against key content themes, or topic areas. We identified 14 topic areas that included fintech, risk management, compliance, payment solutions, database management, blockchain and digitization.
We then looked for patterns within the newly tagged content, and sure enough, the analysis revealed four useful insights.
Insight #1: Digitization is the biggest change agent
Nearly 1 in 4 thought leadership content is related to digitization. Considering that the analysis set includes 14 topics, this suggests a predominance of digitization-related initiatives.
These typically include solutions related to online banking, mobile banking and self-service banking; and strategic interventions related to core banking modernization.
Poser: Given the extremely competitive activity in this segment, it’s imperative to differentiate your thought leadership messaging. Is your messaging distinctive enough?
Insight #2: Fin tech and risk management are next most important
Both topics accounted for 16-17% of thought leadership content.
Fin tech is probably the biggest disruptor in the immediate future, with nimble start-ups aggressively leveraging digital technologies to disrupt various segments of the retail banking value chain, including loans and payments.
Equally prominent as a thought leadership theme is risk management. This is not surprising considering a slew of onerous regulations around capital, leverage and liquidity ratios that have been introduced since the 2008 financial crisis.
A lot of ground has already been covered already by leading players, but there are a bunch of new topics that haven’t quite gotten the attention yet.
Poser: Anti-money laundering related solutions is a fast-emerging opportunity. Has your thought leadership content started talking about it yet?
Insight #3: Focus on Payments getting stronger
About 12% of thought leadership can be attributed to payments related content.
As mobile phones facilitate a rapid surge in the number and types of financial transactions executed through various prepaid instruments (PPIs), a new payment paradigm is emerging in the banking industry.
Our content analysis shows that fin tech (real-time payments, tokenization, P2P payments) and digitization (everyday banking, millenials offerings) are the primary triggers for payments-related initiatives.
Poser: Does your messaging cover the full gamut of payment solutions and customer use-cases?
Insight #4: Yes, Blockchain is a key sub-theme within fin tech
More than 1 in 4 content in fin tech can be linked to blockchain technology, crypto currency and related areas.
With distributed ledger technology potentially facilitating distribution, verification and storing of a wide range of financial products and services for faster settlements and improved security, this area is rapidly gaining mainstream mind-share.
Poser: If you are looking to position yourself as a technology innovations leader, is thought leadership in blockchain a feasible option for you?
In this rapidly shifting and highly competitive landscape, cutting-edge thought leadership is often an under-utilized opportunity to get in front of competition.
(MWG is global content marketing agency, with clients including Fortune 500 firms and global consultancies. Our content marketers configure thought leadership solutions across enterprise technology solutions.)