Financial services industry needs high technology - Ex-CB Deputy chief | Sunday Observer

Financial services industry needs high technology - Ex-CB Deputy chief

Banks have to face a hostile industrial environment and cope with the changing technology in the world. The seamlessly emerging technology in the world needs to be adopted by the local banking and financial services industry, former Central Bank Deputy Governor Dr. W.A. Wijewardena said.

He told the Institute of Bankers of Sri Lanka (IBSL) convocation in Colombo last week that there are two kinds of advanced technologies viz: blockchain and artificial intelligence (AI). “The cryptocurrency introduced in 2009 will be a technology that will stay forever. Its application is useful in healthcare, education and other sectors. By 2022, with the adoption of blockchain technology, US $ 20 billion will be exchanged through transactions,” he said.

“This is a hacker-free technology. Current capacity is beyond the reach of hackers. It is similar to what happens in a bank and could be considered as the ‘black box’. Sri Lanka cannot wait when the rest of the world is moving towards blockchain technology,” he said.

“Artificial intelligence is smarter than human intelligence. The future will be run by machines. Banks are increasingly moving towards AI. This will enable a bank sufficient time to decide on future policies. Banks in the USA adopt AI. Chat box machine would be for communication,” he said.

Central Bank Deputy Governor K.D. Ranasinghe said the banking and financial services industry is one of the most dynamic sectors in the economy.

 It plays a key role in mobilising financial resources among different sectors within the domestic economy and across national boarders, he said.

“We are experiencing an era where the industry is undergoing unprecedented development with the adaptation of communication technology which facilitates transfer of information and data enabling the delivery of banking and financial services efficiently in terms of timelessness and transaction cost,” he said.

The most important feature is greater usage of Fintech, which has been developed to introduce virtual banking enabling delivery of financial services with reduced labour and physical space.

The changing landscape in the banking and financial services industry has posed new challenges. Institutions responsible to meet those challenges can not afford to neglect this evolution.

The management of IBSL has identified these challenges and is preparing to realign courses and offer new courses so that banking and financial services industry can serve the nation to foster sustainable growth and prosperity, he said.

The skills and knowledge that the IBSL students have gained would help them contribute to the advancement of Sri Lankan banking and financial industry, he said.

Over 570 candidates who had completed academic programs by the IBSL received their Diplomas, Associate, Fellow and Senior Fellow memberships at the IBSL’s 25th convocation.