Financial Services Insight

The latest impacts of technology-led change show mixed outcomes for the financial services sector in a new study called Humans and Machines, conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit and sponsored by Ricoh.


  • An automated decision made by a computer programme has cost more than one-third (37 per cent) of financial services organisations money at least once in the past six months.
  • Nearly one in three (31 per cent) said they've lost customers in the same period as a result of a decision made by a computer programme.
  • Human imagination or intuition remains critical for the majority of respondents when it comes to interacting with customers (46 per cent) and managing risk (31 per cent). Just a small minority (8 per cent) said it was critical when managing regulations and even fewer (6 per cent) said so for ensuring information security.
  • The challenge rated highest for the financial services sector is its ability to connect systems with each other, cited by 48 per cent of respondents.
  • Almost three quarters (71 per cent) agree that technology in isolation, without a process to connect it, delivers little value.


  • 41 per cent said that their team’s best innovations of the past three years could not have been delivered without supporting technology.
  • 78 per cent said that technology helps them to be more productive.

The future

Technology is evolving more quickly than the processes or ways to use it. So for the financial services sector, keeping up with the pace of technology change and ensuring ongoing connectivity across systems will continue to be a challenge in the future.

To successfully create connected systems, businesses should optimise their document processes and make changes to traditional ways of working. Outsourcing the management of document processes is one way to gain all the benefits while freeing up employee time to focus on core business activities.

The benefits will be improved business agility and the ability to deliver a better customer experience, with more efficient document processes, leading to more effective data security and compliance.

More information


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