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09.16.2019Personal Tech

Verizon 5G Ultra Wideband and the future of finance

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The next generation of wireless technology could streamline the banking industry, changing the way we spend and save.

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Anyone who has checked their account balance on their smartphone, tapped a sensor with their wearable to complete a purchase or reported a fraudulent charge through a mobile app knows that wireless technology has propelled the banking experience well beyond the teller window.

These features, commonly bundled under the umbrella term fintech, make up a rapidly developing business sector. According to some estimates, global fintech investment reached $27.4 billion in 2017, with the value of deals in the U.S. rising 31% from the previous year. This tech assists banks and other financial institutions in delivering the secure, mobile-driven services that customers increasingly demand.

But the runway for these technologies is even greater. As virtual assistance, AI-enabled investment management and account security features mature, their true promise may be revealed by a next-generation wireless network—one that combines blazing-fast speeds and ultra-low latency. Whether streamlining customer service or supercharging real-time transactions, users can bank on Verizon 5G Ultra Wideband.

Money moves on mobile

Thanks to their undeniable convenience, use of mobile banking applications is skyrocketing. According to a 2018 survey by a major financial institution, apps for mobile banking are among the top three used by Americans. At its most basic level, a 5G network should improve these apps’ speed, security and ease of use.

But Verizon 5G has been developed with an eye on spurring innovation, which means the mobile banking experience may look and function very differently. With 5G Ultra Wideband, customer service can reach new heights of personal attention. Imagine a humanized AI-driven assistant who can listen and react in near-real time, reading a customer’s vocal and facial cues to efficiently answer questions about securing a home loan. From chatbots to conversational banking to VR tellers, 5G has the potential to bring previously unimaginable intelligence to self-service banking, while also freeing up employees to focus on higher-touch tasks with the consumer.

Beyond branches

The high speed and low latency of 5G could offer tangible benefits at every point of service.

Anyone who’s ever needed some quick cash knows the value of a well-placed ATM. Not only can Verizon 5G Ultra Wideband enable greater kiosk connectivity in more areas, without hardwiring, it can also improve their functionality beyond their core capabilities. More ATMs could become ITMs—interactive teller machines—connecting customers securely to real humans via video uplink for an entire menu of banking options.

5G may one day be a key to financial inclusion throughout the world. For the nearly 50% of the planet estimated to be unbanked or underbanked, institutions may be able to use 5G to set up secure micro branches, allowing more people to establish credit, set up digital payment plans for otherwise unaffordable utilities and take meaningful steps toward financial stability.

Taking the fight to fraud

Although by some estimates 80% of AI-using fraud specialists believe that artificial intelligence technology could reduce payments fraud, only 5.5% of financial institutions are currently using complex algorithmic technologies, hampered by costs and lack of scalable options. But 5G is poised to supercharge AI and machine learning, potentially giving banks all-new ways to protect their customers.

The answer may lie in the effective gathering of biometric data, from mapping facial markers to essentially real-time analysis of consumer behavior, such as the way users hold their phone or enter keystrokes, or even their gait as they approach. In other cases, a connected wearable may provide an additional level of identity confirmation as customers near an ATM or the teller counter.

Now we’re entering the Age of Humans—a time when people, because of Verizon 5G Ultra Wideband, will have the ability to learn, live and work the way they’ve previously only dreamed. This technology is ultimately not only about what it can do, but what people can do with it.

— Hans Vestberg, Chairman and CEO of Verizon

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With 5G, banks can also update and enhance mobile security in near-real time, and suspicious transactions can be flagged more rapidly via geolocation, charge amount and merchant ID, potentially reducing credit card fraud. As an added bonus, a smart device that holds and secures a user’s information can eliminate the need for a bulky, card-filled wallet.

Finance, faster

5G’s most direct effect on the financial industry may boil down to sheer speed. As finance goes real-time, traditional models of market forecasting and decision-making are expected to be upended. The distinction between operational and analytical data is likely to close, and investors can receive up-to-the-minute performance information as often as they like, not merely every month or every quarter.

With 5G, latencies associated with mobile trading will drop significantly, leading to faster transactions. Settlement cycles—the time needed to finalize stock and bond sales—will likely get shorter, reducing risk in the financial system and freeing up more capital.

And in the case of big-ticket transactions like buying a car or securing a mortgage, 5G and artificial intelligence could enable multiple information pulls simultaneously, streamlining an otherwise time-intensive process and minimizing the hours customers spend sweating through credit checks, application approvals and interest rate locks.

Bank on it

As fintech continues to drive improvements in the banking industry in the months and years ahead, Verizon 5G Ultra Wideband could be a key piece in helping people invest more wisely, spend more confidently and easily make their money work for them.

“The Industrial Revolution was about machines; the Space Age was about science and rockets; the Information Age was about computers and data,” says Verizon Chairman and CEO Hans Vestberg. “Now we’re entering the Age of Humans—a time when people, because of Verizon 5G Ultra Wideband, will have the ability to learn, live and work the way they’ve previously only dreamed. This technology is ultimately not only about what it can do, but what people can do with it.”

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