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Experts’ Round-up: Fintech Edition

Read what fintech industry experts have to say about the latest current financial trends, based on the insights from Sapio Research's Finance Pulse.

For the past few weeks, we’ve been working on the first edition of our Sapio Research Finance Pulse for the Fintech sector.

Our research revealed that the financial industry relies on various elements linked to each other. That’s when we decided to break down the report into three sub-topics exploring:

  1. Money Talks: The Voice of the Consumer – Payment trends
  2. The Rise of AI Balancing technology with consumer expectations
  3. The State of B2B Payments – Insights for financial service providers

And to further add substance to our findings we decided to reach out to industry experts from our connections.

We asked them three questions based on our findings and compiled all their responses into an ‘Experts’ Round-up’ series for Fintech.


Daniel Lowther

Headshot of Dan Lowther  from the CC Group

With elections across 50 countries around the world in 2024, and glimpses of economic recovery, what do you predict will be the top trends in the financial sector over the next 3 years?

With the bumper list of elections across the world, especially in financial centres like the US and the UK, the top trends will be dominated by politics, at least initially.

Changing monetary policy to boost economic recovery, including the impact of high interest rates on the credit markets and the safety of deposits as consumers save more, will be a key trend. This will include ongoing conversations around capital requirements for banks such as the Basel III “end game” and the ongoing regulation of digital currencies.

Another area will be economic inequality, with policymakers scrutinising practices such as predatory lending, high fees for basic banking services, and access to cash with the decline of bank branches.

We can also expect to see political advocacy for financial institutions to adopt more socially responsible and ethical practices, including investments in sustainable projects and transparent reporting on their social impact.

73% of consumers are happy to use AI chatbots (although only 15% are comfortable using this for financial advice); And 65% of finance professionals are using AI within their role. With Gen-AI becoming the new normal, do you think the financial sector is ready for what’s in store or should it proceed with caution, and how?

We recently conducted research into whether Gen-AI (GAI) is a friend or foe to financial institutions.

The research depicted an industry that is deeply polarised. Whether an institution sees GAI as friend or foe, approaches to its implementation, what obstacles are likely to impede progress and how it will impact its business.

It was evident that there is no singular approach to harnessing the potential of GAI. Instead, organisations are adopting diverse strategies in leveraging this technology, demanding adaptability within their technology infrastructure, as well as the ability to rapidly and iteratively design, build, and deploy solutions.

However, amidst these differing and often conflicting views and strategies, the few points the industry can agree on are that every institution is investing in GAI, they expect to see a major revenue uplift by adopting it, but that the technology will result in a significant reduction in headcount.

Based on this research, institutions cannot afford to not proceed with GAI, but they must balance caution with speed or risk of being left behind.

64% of consumers expect personalisation of services and products from businesses and brands. What new trends in personalisation can we expect in the financial sector over the next 5 years?

We’ve been hailing the advent of personalisation in financial services for years, but the reality has continued to be far away from the promise.

Personalised user experiences, communications, products and rewards have all been discussed to death in order for institutions to improve customer satisfaction, build stronger relationships and boost revenues.

The problem has been – to date – that this all relies on technology and big data to implement. Something most institutions have struggled with, that is, until the advent of GAI that is making personalisation more accessible.

So the trend over the next five years will be GAI making the promises of personalisation in financial services a reality.

You can connect with Daniel on LinkedIn.


Andrew Prosser

Headshot of Andrew Prosser from InvestEngine

With elections across 50 countries around the world in 2024, and glimpses of economic recovery, what do you predict will be the top trends in the financial sector over the next 3 years?

  1. Investors will continue to demand more from their service providers. Investors will continue to vote with their feet, and move their investments towards solutions which involve lower costs, both from their platform and their products, as well as better customer service, better user experiences, and better choice of investment options. 
  2. The demand for trustworthy guidance will increase. The rise of the ‘finfluencer’ has shown how much demand exists for accessible financial guidance. As younger investors increasingly turn to the internet for education around how to invest their money, the need for trustworthy sources of information will continue to increase. 
  3. Investor education will continue to improve. As a result of more investors self-educating, the general level of awareness around investing will rise. Investors are increasingly aware of the power of long-term investing, diversification, and low-fees and are more comfortable taking control of their own portfolios.
  4. The advice gap will shrink even further. Moves from the industry, driven by the increasing ability to deliver actionable guidance, and regulators, driven by the desire to increase the accessibility of financial advice, will combine to further close the advice gap. The Advice Guidance Boundary Review, currently being undertaken by the FCA, may prove to be a big step in closing the gap. 

73% of consumers are happy to use AI chatbots (although only 15% are comfortable using this for financial advice); And 65% of finance professionals are using AI within their role. With Gen-AI becoming the new normal, do you think the financial sector is ready for what’s in store or should it proceed with caution, and how?

Full-fat financial advice will likely still prove difficult to outsource to an AI, given the well-documented issues around hallucinations and the risk of incorrect advice being provided. Investors are understandably sceptical of relying too heavily on AI for advice, and as impressive as the technology is, are still likely to turn to a human for help. 

Significant progress will be made, however, on the other end of the advice spectrum. While many investors may not have access to financial advice, most are more in need of guidance and support on relatively simple financial issues.

More investors will be able to benefit from the increasingly sophisticated technology which will be better able to provide targeted support and more specific guidance to better educate investors on their options, while still not falling under the advice category.

64% of consumers expect personalisation of services and products from businesses and brands. What new trends in personalisation can we expect in the financial sector over the next 5 years?

As platforms learn more about their clients, and have access to increasingly powerful technology for data analysis, platforms will be able to more effectively guide their clients towards suitable investment options. 

As technology continues to evolve, the nature of how investors interact with their platforms will likely change. The rise of AI-powered chatbots may increase investors’ engagement with the investment process, as they provide guidance and support throughout the period of initial investment, where investors are most likely to have questions.

Based on their interactions with their platform, the experience itself will become more personalised. As platforms will be able to analyse client behaviour more effectively, platforms will be able to serve prompts and nudges better to encourage a course of action – such as remaining invested during a market crash, or ensuring a portfolio is adequately diversified.  

You can connect with Andrew on LinkedIn.


Andrew Howell

Headshot of Andrew Howell

With elections across 50 countries around the world in 2024, and glimpses of economic recovery, what do you predict will be the top trends in the financial sector over the next 3 years?

Not really for the financial sector, but bank-to-bank payments are becoming more of a norm within retail – greater familiarity with payment via open banking within the general public. 

Cash has the potential to become a mandated provision for all economies around the world as a means to ensure access and allow people to pay in the way they want. 

For Financial sectors: Data and trust are big issues.

Financial services/institutions are going to need to rebuild trust with general public like never before.

Also, with all the different FinTechs out there, people have more options for their cash now, so the big traditional banks will need to provide a reason to stick with them when so many of the newer banks are building super apps. 

There has been a big push towards ESG mandates for investments. We will likely see money withdrawn from companies and industries that refuse to try to have a positive impact as normal practice.

73% of consumers are happy to use AI chatbots (although only 15% are comfortable using this for financial advice); And 65% of finance professionals are using AI within their role. With Gen-AI becoming the new normal, do you think the financial sector is ready for what’s in store or should it proceed with caution, and how?

AI in its current form, as exposed to the public, is crude at best and is being used opportunistically. It’s not really true AI.

It’s creating a shortcut economy, and whilst it represents phenomenal potential for value creation, the masses lack a complete understanding of how to manage it properly, build with it, and work alongside it in a collaborative way that doesn’t decimate society in the process.

The fear is that we will end up with a lot of unskilled individuals who have cleverly used AI to provide the necessary vehicle for making money, making decisions, etc.

If the parameters by which AI is utilised within a business are constructed around fundamentally flawed outcomes i.e. just cost savings, just time-saving and just driving profits, rather than ensuring that these outcomes are also inherently combined with benefits to society, building great places to work, having a positive social and environmental impact and driving greater knowledge sharing for the betterment of all, then we are in a scenario which is a dangerous cycle which will end up with crude AI running large parts of businesses that ultimately won’t serve customers, colleagues and communities properly. 

Proceeding with caution isn’t quite what I am saying however. I believe that the adage of fail to plan, plan to fail becomes ever more apparent in this scenario…

The financial sector needs to consider the role that AI should play very carefully, how it should be managed and made ‘purposeful’, how it should be coordinated to have a maximum positive social and environmental impact…we can go on.

But the reality is that if effectively planned to present a maximum value-led strategy for AI, then the financial sector doesn’t need to proceed with caution but should rather proceed with gusto and vigour to enable rapid positive change in the fastest possible way whilst simultaneously creating new wealth, new opportunities, and more resilient and sustainable economies.

64% of consumers expect personalisation of services and products from businesses and brands. What new trends in personalisation can we expect in the financial sector over the next 5 years?

Personalisation feels a bit buzzwordy now. I feel like the age of personalisation is over. Rather, we are entering the ‘age of curation’.

I want to curate the way I interact with my financial ecosystem. I should be able to save and spend as I want, have access to the best planning and money management tools I can, and easily receive advice on where to put any extra cash I have so I can generate additional returns, etc. 

In an age of future super-apps, the traditional fintech sector will need to determine how it will interact with and become bedfellows with other staples of the smartphone screen. WeChat has been doing this for nearly a decade.

Elon Musk is going to try to do it with X. Of course, this all assumes he hasn’t already put chips in all of our heads, and we don’t have phones, speak to each other anymore, and are all part of some kind of Orwellian dystopia 1984 Apple advert in a post-apocalyptic AI-driven world of nothingness. 

You can connect with Andrew on LinkedIn.


Richard Metcalfe

Headshot of Richard Metcalfe

Among Richard’s diverse career experiences, he previously led ARKK, a tax software company, as the CEO and co-founder.

With elections across 50 countries around the world in 2024, and glimpses of economic recovery, what do you predict will be the top trends in the financial sector over the next 3 years?

There are still some truly appalling banking app experiences out there.

I believe that the app’s rating and experience will be a driver for bank selection for Gen Z and that portability will become much more prevalent. These challenges fall at the feet of the app developers.

Many in that generation are questioning why they need a bank, which creates many challenges and opportunities.

73% of consumers are happy to use AI chatbots (although only 15% are comfortable using this for financial advice); and 65% of finance professionals are using AI within their role. With Gen-AI becoming the new normal, do you think the financial sector is ready for what’s in store or should it proceed with caution, and how?

I worry that too many people are going to rely on AI to do their work for them.  

Sure, there’s fact recollection and the democratisation of AI since Nov ’22 that have meant a giant leap forward, but I don’t care whether my financial advice comes via an AI bot or a person.  In fact I would be disappointed in my advisor wasn’t using technology.    

My heart sinks at the thought of having to go into a high-street bank, and I’d be surprised if they even exist in 10 years.

So, any financial institution not investing in tech (not just AI) is going to be extinct.

I’d forget about the Metaverse, if you see how Meta are making a late charge into AI with Llama 3, they’ve been very smart with a “wait and see”strategy to AI.  

I’m watching them carefully as they’ve kept their cards close.

64% of consumers expect personalisation of services and products from businesses and brands. What new trends in personalisation can we expect in the financial sector over the next 5 years?

It all depends on the collaboration between Big Tech and the advertisers.

If one of the tech providers comes through on a true AI handset, as is rumoured, then this could capture the market and be a true extension of the wearable segment, which has been underwhelming so far.

You can connect with Richard on LinkedIn.


To conclude, the financial sector faces disruptive changes driven by political forces, generative AI’s rise, and increasing demands for personalisation. Political trends around monetary policy, economic inequality, and ethical banking will dominate in the near future.

Generative AI presents opportunities for personalised experiences and guidance but also risks if not balanced with human expertise, as consumer trust in AI advice remains low. Looking ahead 3-5 years, experts predict AI will enable more achievable personalisation at scale.

However, the industry must carefully integrate AI alongside human oversight to meet rising expectations for innovative, personalised services.

To read more about the findings these questions were based on, make sure to read our latest whitepaper – Sapio Research Finance Pulse: Expectations beyond transactions.

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