Press release 26 November 2019

Financial Supervisory Authority seminar: Digitalisation, artificial intelligence and data use are transforming financial services. What does this mean for the customer?

Digitalisation, artificial intelligence and ever increasing data use are improving the cost-efficiency of the financial sector and facilitating the provision of better services to customers. These services can benefit both customers and service providers in many ways. However, the transformation involves risks which the relevant actors must identify and manage.

The Financial Supervisory Authority’s seminar on 26 November 2019 addresses these themes under the title “Digitalisation, artificial intelligence and data use are transforming financial services.  What does this mean for the customer?”

“Use of artificial intelligence and data enable services to be tailored in a completely new way. Legislation and supervision must ensure, however, that the opportunities presented by technology are not misused,” says Anneli Tuominen, Director General of the Financial Supervisory Authority (FIN-FSA).

Responsible for services always rests with the authorised entity

At its best, digitalisation enables services to be provided more cost-efficiently and reliably. Financial sector actors, however, must always be able to identify and critically assess the risks presented by digitalisation. Examples of these include cyber risks and long subcontracting chains related to outsourcing.

“Financial sector actors must remember that for artificial intelligence driven automated decisions and outsourcings responsibility always remains with the authorised entity, ultimately its board of directors,” observes Tuominen.

Exploiting digitalisation and new technologies requires from actors both investments and ICT specialists. Digitalisation, moreover, may be viewed differently by different actors: some will be able to reap the benefits of digitalisation by investing in technology and attracting technology experts, while others will have difficulty in keeping up with change.

Easy and reliable financial services belong to everyone

According to a country report published by the European Commission this year, the digital skills of Finns are the best in Europe: 76% of Finns have at least basic digital skills (EU average: 57%). Finland, together with the Netherlands, also leads the way in the use of electronic banking services: of Finnish internet users, 94% used electronic banking services in 2018 (EU average: 64%).*

We have, however, user groups who find it challenging to keep up with this transformation. “It is important that services also are accessible to everyone in our digitalising society,” says Tuominen.

The FIN-FSA wishes to support the development of digitalisation in the financial sector. The opportunities enabled by digitalisation are also of great interest to new players. The three top issues encountered by the FIN-FSA’s Innovation HelpDesk are payment services, platform-based business models and the provision of virtual currencies.

See also:

Seminar web page (in Finnish)

Anneli Tuominen’s speech (in Finnish)

*European Commission Country Report 2019: Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI)