Michaelangelo’s “the creation of Adam” recerated in vector form

HSBC Report reveals that human skills will remain responsible for innovation

A new report offers a glimpse into the future of a career in banking, predicting six surprising new types of jobs and how the digital revolution will evolve the role of people in the workforce.

“Many of the roles and job titles of tomorrow are unknown to us today,” said Stuart Milne, CEO, HSBC Malaysia. “One thing is certain, however – artificial intelligence will not replace human intelligence. Blending the best technology with the power of people will be the difference between good and great when it comes to customer experience.”

According to a research done by International Data Corporation (IDC), the current Artificial Intelligence (AI) adoption rates stand at 14% across Southeast Asia as compared to just 8% last year within the region. Malaysia’s AI adoption rate specifically stands at only 8.1%.

This indicates that even though Malaysia is slightly behind compared to other Southeast Asian countries, 34% of organisations in Malaysia are moving towards digital transformation within the next 2 years. Industries like banking, manufacturing and healthcare in Malaysia are already seeing the positive impact of embedding AI and are now looking for more opportunities to integrate technology into their businesses.

Commissioned by HSBC, Human Advantage: The Power of People, analyses the challenges and opportunities facing the banking industry to predict six roles of the future:

Mixed Reality Experience Designer
Consensus is growing that mixed, or augmented reality (MR/AR) will be our primary interface to the digital world in the future. Overlaying our physical world with a layer of digital data allows us to create any imaginable character or object and locate them in physical space as if they were real, and this technology will likely be used to carry out some of our banking needs in the future.

Key skills: Designing these complex three-dimensional interfaces and making them slick and intuitive will be a major new employment area for the future, requiring skills in aesthetic design, branding, user experience and 3D mechanics.

Algorithm Mechanic
A rising proportion of decision-making is made by algorithms, fed on a variety of input data to reach rapid conclusions. However, these algorithms operate in a fast-changing environment of shifting regulations, new information, and evolving products. Constantly tuning these algorithms to optimise banking customer experience, and avoid ‘computer says no’ moments, will be a skill in growing demand.

Key skills: As we shift to a low-code/no-code environment for technology operation, this role will require skills in risk management, service design, and financial literacy, rather than technological proficiency.

Conversational Interface Designer
Machines have become progressively more human in their interactions over the years. Chatbots are already used in banking to answer simple queries and gather information. Where instructions used to be complex strings of code, we can now speak to our machines and they will interpret our needs. Conversational interface design is an emerging skill to help us take best advantage of voice and text chatbots, and one that will only grow in importance as the technology becomes more mainstream.

Key skills: Building natural, low-friction interfaces that go beyond solving immediate challenges to surprise and delight customers requires a mixture of creative, linguistic, and anthropological skills.

Universal Service Advisor
The separation between digital, physical and remote service environments is breaking down. At any moment a customer may want serving in a branch, via chat app, voice, or in augmented or virtual reality. As mixed reality becomes the main interface between people and machines, highly skilled service agents, empowered to support customers across a variety of products, will be able to switch seamlessly between virtual and physical environments from anywhere anytime to meet customer needs.

Key skills: Critical skills for tomorrow’s customer advisor are a combination of product and domain knowledge with excellent customer communication and empathy. This will require a level of comfort with the key communications technologies, including performing in a virtual environment.

Digital Process Engineer
Many banking customer interactions – from onboarding to replacing a lost card – follow standardised flows that balance security and regulatory requirements with the desire for a slick customer experience. The rate of change of these processes is likely to increase, as is their complexity, as they combine service and information components from multiple sources. A digital process engineer analyses, assembles and optimises these workflows, adjusting them constantly to maximise throughput and minimise friction.

Key skills: The digital process engineer will need great discovery skills, to understand large and interconnected workflows and diagnose problems and bottlenecks, and creative skills to help them to prototype and test solutions.

Partnership Gateway Enabler
In an increasingly networked business world, the digital relationships with banking partners, like fintechs and global technology companies, will need careful monitoring, maintenance, and negotiation. With both cash and customer data potentially flowing between organisations, someone will need to keep a watchful eye on utilisation and conduct, as well as ensuring performance and regulatory compliance.

Key skills: Gateway Controllers will balance technical knowledge of the digital interfaces with an understanding of security and risk management. Communications skills for partner engagement will also be highly valued.

Core skills – the three C’s
Examining the six future roles, a common set of transferable skills emerge; it is these skills that will continue to differentiate humans from machines in the workforce. The report terms them the ‘Three Cs’: Curiosity, Creativity and Communication.

Co-author of the report, Applied Futurist, Tom Cheesewright, comments: “The role of humans and robots in tomorrow’s workforce has been hotly debated the world over, but the positive impacts of automation have largely been overlooked. Whilst machines will continue to take on the more robotic processes, increased emphasis will be placed on our ‘most human’ resources; qualities like curiosity, creativity and empathy will continue to set us apart from machines.”

Learning must be truly life long
According to the report, lifelong learning and the need to upskill employees will become essential as the shortage of skilled candidates in digital and technology disciplines continues.

“Employers have a huge role to play in helping people to continue their personal development, including working with existing staff to upskill them,” says Stuart Milne. “We are embedding a culture that encourages our people to view everything through a digital lens, changing our mind-set from inside out so that we can deliver a better experience for our customers.”

HSBC has a number of training programmes in place: Frontline employees in seven core markets have attend a weekly digital upskilling programme called ‘Digital Thursdays’, led by the bank’s ‘Digital Champions’. The bank also has a Digital Leadership Programme which helps senior managers have a greater understanding of digital trends and how these relate to customer needs.

HSBC is currently recruiting for over 1,000 digital roles including UI Designers, Digital Product Managers, Software Engineers, Solution Architects, Exploratory Testers and Delivery Managers.

To find out more visit https://www.hsbc.com/digital-careers
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The full report can be found here: https://www.hsbc.com/news-and-insight

The Human Advantage: The Power of People report was developed using the Intersections process, mapping the key effects of technology-driven change against existing pressure points in the retail banking sector. A meta-analysis identified five core topics currently rated as key priorities for banking executives, including fraud and security, regulatory response and management and customer retention to name a few. As the Intersections process works on the theory that technology is the primary lever of change, technology has five key observable effects in this context, including change, choice, speed, power and shape.

About HSBC in Malaysia
HSBC Bank Malaysia Berhad was locally incorporated in 1984 and is a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited (a company under the HSBC Group). In 2007, HSBC Bank Malaysia was the first locally incorporated foreign bank to be awarded an Islamic banking subsidiary licence in Malaysia, and HSBC Amanah Malaysia Berhad, a full-fledged Islamic bank wholly owned by HSBC Bank Malaysia, commenced operations in August 2008. HSBC in Malaysia has a network of 68 branches nationwide, of which 26 are HSBC Amanah Malaysia Berhad branches. HSBC Amanah Malaysia Berhad also has offsite ATMs

Established in 25 locations nationwide. In 2006, HSBC was the first foreign bank to be awarded a Takaful (Islamic insurance) license in Malaysia. HSBC Amanah Takaful (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd, a joint venture between HSBC Insurance (Asia Pacific) Holdings Limited (49% shareholding), Jerneh Asia Berhad (31% shareholding) and Employees Provident Fund Board of Malaysia (20% shareholding) commenced operations in August 2006.

The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited
The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited is the founding member of the HSBC Group, which serves our customers through four global businesses: Retail Banking and Wealth Management, Commercial Banking, Global Banking and Markets, and Global Private Banking. HSBC Group serves customers worldwide from approximately 3,900 offices in 67 countries and territories in our geographical regions: Europe, Asia, North America, Latin America, and Middle East and North Africa. With assets of US$2,652bn at 31 March 2018, HSBC is one of the world’s largest banking and financial services organisations.

Tom Cheesewright, Applied Futurist
Tom Cheesewright is an applied futurist who, through consulting, speaking and media work, helps people to see, share and respond to a coherent vision of tomorrow. With a degree in Mechatronic Engineering and 14 years in the tech industry, he has worked with both global brands and founded a series of technology-driven companies. He acts as an advisor to a number of start-ups and is a frequent presence on TV and radio, contributing on matters relating to the future.

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