Michelle explained how education is crucial (but often lacking) for cultivating the right mindset for saving and investing. Investment products need to be simple and investors need to be able to identify with them. But more importantly, people need to understand why it’s crucial to save and invest for the their future – which only comes through education.
“We need to ensure there’s collaboration across the industry and between industries. We need to work on digital inclusion, which in turn leads to financial inclusion. And there has to be a focus on stopping fraud.” Marion King, NatWest Markets
Likhit pointed out that some consumers still can’t access financial services because they’re screened out by an algorithm. As more decisions become automated through artificial intelligence, like whether someone is taken on as a customer or given a mortgage, it’s becoming more apparent that algorithms are biased. In the US, for instance, it has been shown that claims approvals in the insurance industry were biased against African Americans, and that this bias was built into the algorithms that insurers use.
Finally, Marion discussed how fraud is a major problem and needs to be tackled more rigorously. Whenever there’s a data breach, there’s fraud downstream as criminals can access the data and use it to impersonate others. Real-time payments in particular are vulnerable to scamming as they’re irrevocable.
Digital identity – and the technologies that enable it – are very important in the battle against fraud. Banks need to be stronger guardians of the payment, and that will mean saying no in some circumstances and making it clear what risks consumers and businesses are taking. Tech firms have a role to play, but big businesses that suffer data breaches must be accountable – and there must be cross-industry collaboration in mitigating them.