Beyond fintech - disruptive tech promises to improve banking


'Non-FinTech' - from drones through to computer vision - can be applied to the banking sector.

While some may see disruption as a negative thing, Nedbank is actively seeking out disruptive new technologies and finding ways to apply them to banking: whether this means predicting cash flow based on the shape of oranges, or managing risk by identifying fungus on avocado trees.

Speaking in Sandton on day one of the Finance Indaba 2018, Stuart van der Veen, Nedbank Corporate and Investment Banking (CIB) head of disruption and innovation, said:  

“The strange thing about disruption is that it’s often perceived in a negative way. We view disruption as something that’s incredibly positive.”

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Nedbank is betting on disruptive technologies – investing in tech innovators such as aerial data analytics firms, looking for new ideas in the sensor, satellite and computer vision spaces. 

Stuart said: 

“For an organisation that wants to manage risk, such as ourselves, automating early risk detection through new technologies, satellite imagery and drones is interesting to us. It’s only a matter of time before banking is impacted by innovations such as the use of sensors in retail, as seen in the Amazon Go model, so we need to be actively participating in these spaces.”   

He noted that drone and satellite technology, combined with analytics, was being used to track the shape and size of oranges in orchards and use this information to draw conclusions on future cash flow and risk. 

“Drone imagery of tree crops, combined with analytics to detect anomalies, helps to identify dead and dying trees, and so manage risk. Using sensors and computer vision to detect objects and events like a cement tuck delivering cement can be tied back to third party SLAs and contracts – and ultimately the financing,” he said.  

“Disruption is a science, and it’s accelerating at a rapid pace. We believe that harnessing this disruption community has the potential to increase value for our customers.”

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