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The IT Talent Gap Is Fuelling Tech Investment Decisions, According to New Research

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New data from Salesforce’s MuleSoft reveals that 93% of IT leaders in the financial services and insurance sector say the ‘Great Resignation has created skills gaps in their department

More than a third (35%) of organizations plan to increase their use of low- and no-code tools in the next 12 months

Based on a survey of 149 senior IT leaders in the financial service and insurance sector, the 2022 IT Leaders Pulse Report provides insight into the people, process, and technology challenges facing organizations in the modern digital era

IT talent acquisition challenges are now heavily influencing technology investment decisions, according to new research released today from Salesforce’s MuleSoft. The 2022 IT Leaders Pulse Report reveals that almost three quarters (74%) of senior IT leaders in the financial service and insurance sector agree that acquiring IT talent has never been harder, and nearly all (97%) respondents say attracting IT talent influences their organization’s technology investment choices.

The report also shows that today’s IT leaders are using technology to create more people-centric experiences for their employees and customers. The majority (87%) of senior IT leaders now say the experience an organization provides its employees and customers is as important as its products and services, and four out of five respondents agree that improved customer-facing (86%) and employee (85%) technologies are critical for their organization to compete.

“Shifting economic headwinds are making technology even more fundamental to success across every part of the business, including sales, service, marketing, commerce, and IT,” said Matt McLarty, Global Field CTO, MuleSoft. “As IT leaders struggle to fill roles to support this additional demand, the traditional playbook is in question. Today’s IT leaders must look instead to broader, company-wide process improvements, through automation, that foster innovation, enhance user experiences, and drive efficient growth.”

IT talent acquisition pressures are shaping technology investment decisions

Four out of five (80%) senior IT leaders agree investing in people is hugely important. As a result, the majority of respondents plan to invest in improving IT employees’ wellbeing (84%) and upskilling (72%) their existing workforce. The report shows:

  • The ‘Great Resignation’ has created skills gaps across IT: Most (93%) senior IT leaders say that the ‘Great Resignation’ has created skills gaps in their organization’s IT function, primarily within IT and solutions architecture (62%), and cloud and infrastructure management (48%).
  • Organizations are embracing automation and self-serve initiatives: Many senior IT leaders are turning to automation and self-serve initiatives to address the growing skills gap. Across the financial services and insurance sector, 58% of organizations are automating tasks and processes, and 54% are empowering non-technical employees to meet their own needs.
  • IT leaders are being measured on user experience: Three out of five are now evaluated on employee productivity (62%), while many are also measured on cost reduction and optimization (46%), customer experience (56%), and employee experience (51%).

Process improvements foster innovation and efficiency  

While creating experiences is crucial, a people-centric IT and business strategy needs efficient processes to succeed. More than half of IT leaders (53%) think that working processes between IT and business teams could be significantly improved. The report also showed:

  • Existing IT processes are a bottleneck: Almost nine out of ten (88%) senior IT leaders say that existing IT processes are hindering productivity. Process challenges are also reported to negatively impact innovation (91%), technology adoption (89%), customer experience (92%), and employee experience (93%).
  • Process improvements are high on the agenda: Almost half (46%) of senior IT leaders say that making process improvements is a major priority for their organization over the next 12 months.
  • Fusion teams for process efficiency: A majority of respondents are looking to create fusion teams to improve processes and address process-oriented challenges. More than two-thirds (68%) of organizations have created or are in the process of rolling out fusion teams, and 25% plan to do so within the next 12 months.

Notably, of organizations with fusion teams already in place, 57% of senior IT leaders say these teams have been very effective in helping the business meet its goals.

Automation and low- and no-code tools drive efficiency and enhances user experiences

Empowerment and enablement through technology drives business growth, and organizations are using best-of-breed technologies to create new customer and employee experiences. While this strategy can increase agility, almost three-quarters (72%) of senior IT leaders agree that this approach means that their organization struggles with IT complexity. What’s more:

  • Integration headaches remain: The majority of senior IT leaders believe data or system integration projects take too long (64%) and are too expensive (62%). At the same time, two-thirds (66%) recognize that a lack of data or system integration creates a disconnected customer experience. Consequently, all senior IT leaders say that new investments are influenced by a tool’s ability to integrate with existing technology.
  • Companies are embracing low– and no-code tools: Many senior IT leaders are turning to low- and no-code tools to enable business users to build and test new experiences. Almost all organizations (97%) currently use low- and no-code tools and 35% plan to increase their use over the next 12 months.
  • Automation maturity is growing, but there is room for improvement: Many organizations have implemented automation to enhance customer experiences and product quality. Two-thirds of organizations (68%) have either mostly or fully automated their IT operations, and many have introduced similar levels of automation across other business functions — including customer support (53%), finance (50%), marketing (53%), sales (51%), and HR (46%).

“The current economic climate leaves IT leaders no choice – they have to do more with less. The tools are there to empower more users to become digital builders, and help their organizations grow while improving efficiency. By automating processes where feasible, leaders can realize value faster and accelerate innovation,” added McLarty.

 

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Union Bank of India goes live with RuPay Credit Card on UPI with Kiya.ai as a technology partner

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Nitesh Ranjan, ED Union Bank of India with Rajesh Mirjankar, Managing Director & CEO, Kiya.ai at the launch

 

Kiya.ai, one of the most innovative digital solutions providers in India, announced that Union Bank of India was among the first banks to launch NPCI’s UPI linked to Rupay Credit Card and UPI Lite on the unified payments interface (UPI) platform with Kiya.ai as their technology partner in this achievement.

The announcement comes after the RBI Governor Shri Shaktikanta Das and National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) launched RuPay credit card on UPI, UPI Lite and Cross Border payments for BBPS at Global Fintech Fest 2022.

Until now, UPI allowed the linking of bank accounts by mapping an account linked with a mobile number and an savings / current account. Earlier in June 2022, the RBI allowed the linking of credit cards with UPI, stating that RuPay credit cards would be initially linked with UPI “to provide additional convenience to users and enhance the scope of digital payments”.

Rajesh Mirjankar, Managing Director & CEO, Kiya.ai, “We are extremely delighted to partner with Union Bank of India in this pilot project of linking RuPay Credit card on UPI. Kiya.ai has partnered with Union Bank of India for various digital payment initiatives including UPI, UPI Lite, UPI linkage to credit card, and sandbox for API banking.  The linking of credit card to UPI will significantly enhance high-volume transactions while also increasing average amount per transaction given the ease of using credit facility on UPI. This is a game-changing initiative as it will ensure safe and contactless transactions, reducing the risk of credit card frauds too.”

Mr. Nitesh Ranjan, ED Union Bank of India said, “We are pleased to embrace the decision taken by the Reserve Bank of India and NPCI to enable Rupay credit cards through UPI. Union Bank of India is proud to be a part of this launch. This is a game changer as one would be able to use a credit card for doing payments using UPI. We are excited to partner with Kiya.ai on this journey, and together, we can provide a smooth user experience to customers and make India even more digitally advanced.”

As part of the pilot project, NPCI will integrate the UPI AutoPay feature with credit card transactions to reduce the risk of defaults on credit card payments.

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UK leaves Europe trailing in its embrace of digital banking

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  • People in the UK have embraced digital and online banking in a way that those across the rest of Europe have not, new research by CRIF finds
  • UK consumers are now twice as likely to prefer to apply for financial products and services online via website or in-app, compared to people in other parts of Europe
  • More than half of Europeans still prefer to apply for new financial products in-person
  • The research comes during the cost of living crisis where people in the UK are increasingly looking for greater support from their financial providers

UK consumers are significantly ahead of their European counterparts in their embrace of digital forms of banking, new data shows.

The research, commissioned by Europe’s leading provider of consumer and business credit information – CRIF – surveyed thousands of people in countries across the continent including France, the Czech Republic, Italy, Germany, Slovakia, and the UK, to better understand their attitudes towards financial services.

The findings show that people in the UK are nearly twice as likely as other Europeans to prefer applying for financial products and services online via website or app, including through online chat or video call functions (59% vs 33%)

It also finds that over half (53%) of Europeans still prefer to apply for new financial products – such as current accounts, credit cards or loans – in-person at a local bank branch. In comparison, in the UK only around one in five (23%) would now prefer to go in-person, showing consumers’ embrace of a digital-first approach to banking.

The data underlines the advancements and innovations that the UK’s financial services and fintech sectors have made when compared to other sectors across Europe. The UK continues to be Europe’s most attractive location for international investment into financial services*, with the UK’s fintech sector securing more than $9bn of investment in the first half of 2022, ahead of Germany, Europe’s second biggest fintech destination, with $2.4bn.**

Sara Costantini, CRIF’s Regional Director for the UK & Ireland, said:

“In a digitally dominated world, the way in which we go about our daily lives has changed. And nowhere more so than in banking and financial services. Our research shows that the UK leads the way in Europe when it comes to embracing digital and online methods, but there is still more we can do to utilise digital technologies to help more UK consumers to manage their finances.

“While some are reluctant to share data as they are worried about fraud and security, we should work to allay these fears. Technologies such as open banking are not only safe but can lay the foundations for increased financial support during the current economic crisis.

“Financial providers must do more to educate their customers about the benefits of online and other digital forms of banking to not only help them during the cost of living crisis, but also to drive widespread financial wellbeing and inclusion for all.”

While the UK’s embrace of digital financial services in comparison to the rest of Europe is positive, the research identifies several key challenges to furthering this progress and providing consumers with better services at a time when the cost of living is putting considerable pressure on people’s finances.

Despite growing demand in the UK for more tailored financial products and services – with 34% saying banks should doing more here to meet people’s specific needs at this time – nearly one in five (18%) are still concerned that they would be sold products which aren’t right for them.

When the issue of data is raised, over two-thirds of UK consumers (67%) express concerns that sharing financial data leaves them more open to fraud, underlining the need to educate and reassure customers that innovations like open banking have high security standards and enables a range of consumer benefits.

However, despite this hesitance, more UK consumers are acknowledging the benefits that sharing more of their financial information with providers can bring. CRIF’s research finds around a third of people in the UK would be prepared to share more financial information if it helped providers to better assess their financial situation and improve their ability to borrow (35%) or increase their credit limit (31%). The fact that there are more than 6 million active users of open banking services in the UK reflects this change*** and makes the country the leading adopter of open banking in Europe. ****

The research also shows that younger generations (18-34s) in the UK are significantly more willing to share their data with financial providers, with 53% saying they’d be comfortable doing so if it enabled them to qualify for higher levels of borrowing.

These findings are part of wider research by CRIF into the cost of living crisis in Europe, and its impact on consumer attitudes towards banking and financial services. The full report, Banking on Banks, will be published later this month.

 

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