The financial markets in the U.S. have seen an upswing as the economy has experienced some record-breaking moments in the last few years. The positive effect of the financial system within the country isn’t indicative of the global financial system, although there are predictions that the current climate will remain somewhat stable. There is still apprehension over how the EU and the Brexit will affect the global economy, just as the trade exchanges between China and the U.S. have caused concern. The impact of individual economies, political landscapes, and environmental concerns will affect international markets in the coming years, but the financial systems that connect these transactions are subject to similar factors and more. Here are some trends to watch for in the months ahead.
Cloud Hosting and Operations
The arrival of cloud-based storage and operations had the financial industry jumping on board the bandwagon along with the other industries looking to become more efficient and cost-effective in their operations. The global spending to install cloud infrastructure accounted for just about half of all the IT infrastructure spent around the globe in the year 2018. Cloud access offered unprecedented flexibility and consumer/data safety, yet there has been a more recent switch toward hybrid cloud environments. Rather than fully relying on public cloud services, many global banks and financial institutions are looking to increase their cloud tech footprint while maintaining some control of an on-premise data system. The costs for total integration into cloud-based services are a primary concern, in addition to the risks with data management and security.
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
The use of AI has made an irreversible mark in many industries, and despite the recent call to attention with this technology, machine learning tech has been around for over 50 years. Many have yet to fully understand the extensive applications of AI, but the finance industry is undergoing serious change as AI processes create better client services, more accurate reporting, faster computation, and enhanced data analysis on trends and market prospects. AI processes can be useful in maintaining regulatory compliance, an act that can be difficult when trying to navigate the changing terms or requirements of multinational governments or tax structures. AI computation can help evaluate the risk associated with potential consumers, as well as immediate auditing for transactions that may be fraudulent or criminal. Human evaluation of the massive amounts of financial data that an AI system can process would take years, giving institutions a significant advantage over the competition and in decision-making.
Distributed Ledger Technology
There will be continued interest and promotion of blockchain technology, as the last year has shown a marked increase in the service for international trade needs. This system relies on a consensually shared database that is synchronized in real-time among different geographical locations financial institutions, companies, and sites to conduct financial transactions. The actions of each participant in a transaction are recorded and encrypted, heightening protection against cyberattacks. Any changes made to the ledger or contract are instantly shared among those involved in the transaction. Not only can this tech expedite shipping contracts that require proof of insurance or sufficient bond policies, but it can help reduce fraud or manipulation.
Emergent Global Investments
As the economic conditions around the globe start to stabilize, there will be a wealth of new markets and currencies on the scene. Although the euro is still a widely held favorite for international currency exchanges and euro banks are receiving the bulk of foreign business for their lax regulatory concerns and fee-free dealings, the growth of investments made in less-prominent countries will put new currencies on the map. For instance, the U.S. is making a considerable effort to secure the drilling contracts for recently exposed oil potential in Guyana. Though the people of Guyana have had their monies safeguarded by the Guyana Bank for Trade and Industry Limited, the increase in foreign attention will place additional burdens on currency exchanges or investment securities.
There have been several regulatory statutes passed around the world that are just now being enforced or going live. The Europeans are dealing with the implementation of the Securities Financing Transactions Regulation, while the United States is grappling with the changes that have comes with the Consolidated Audit Trail system that is set to monitor stock trade. How markets, consumers, and financial institutions will adapt to these new rules is yet to be seen.
There next few years will show how strong crypto asset trading can become, even though the current activities are showing a lot of price volatility. Investors, both firms and individuals alike, may further explore crypto options in the coming year as a way to diversify their portfolio, since there is still considerable buzz over this digital currency option.
Keeping up-to-date on the trends in international banking and finance will keep you from reeling in shock when markets and economies undergo rapid changes. Knowledge is power, and you can keep both your finances and your company’s operations in good health as you prepare for the evolving world of international finance.