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A new Cognizant and AWS report envisions how quantum computing, artificial intelligence, the DeFi revolution, embedded finance, and biometrics will better serve humanity.

Quantum computing. Artificial intelligence. Decentralized finance. Digital ecosystems. Biometric security. These aren’t just buzzwords – they’re the technology trends poised to reshape banking over the next dozen years, according to a new report produced by Cognizant and AWS.

The report, Banking in 2035: how emerging technologies will transform the way we bank, provides an insightful vision of how financial institutions can harness these innovations to create hyper-personalized, seamless customer experiences.

The key takeaway? Being “digital-first” is no longer enough. To compete in the future, banks must become “technology-infused,” reimagining every aspect of their business through an emerging tech lens. 

These are the five technologies and related trends that will shape the future of financial services.

1. The promise of quantum computing

One game-changer highlighted in the report is quantum computing. In 2035, quantum AI could construct highly customized investment portfolios for clients in seconds. It could also enable real-time risk assessments without lengthy applications. 

But quantum presents risks as well as rewards. It threatens current data encryption methods and introduces new security possibilities like unbreakable quantum cryptography.

2. How AI will automate and secure

AI will also bring automation and enhanced prediction to banking. Smart contracts, for instance, could settle complex transactions in real time. And generative AI could help banks innovate and provide personalized financial advice at scale. Learn more about this in the article The Gen AI revolution is happening.

Regulation will be critical to ensure ethical AI development (learn more about how to safeguard privacy early in the process). But done right, AI could deliver over $1 trillion in value to banking annually.

3. DeFi and crypto – evolving money movement

Decentralized finance and cryptocurrencies will allow direct asset transactions through blockchain networks. Banks that integrate regulated stable coins and decentralized exchanges into trusted platforms will lead this charge.

Widespread crypto adoption could also expand financial access globally. In 2022, 24% of adults had no bank account. DeFi’s transparent models can reduce barriers.

4. Embedded banking weaves finance into everyday life

Embedded finance, which integrates financial services into non-financial settings, will also accelerate. You may apply for a real-time micro-loan while shopping online. Or auto-approve a lease extension during your self-driving commute. 

Leading tech firms like Apple and Amazon already offer embedded financial services. Rather than disrupting banking, these strategies will encourage valuable collaboration.

5. Biometrics Provide Invisible Security

Finally, biometric authentication using fingerprint and facial recognition will provide the security foundation, enabling seamless, “invisible” banking. Therefore, no more passwords or PINs. Your unique biometrics will be your credentials.

This will allow convenient features like accessing accounts via voice assistant. Banks are already replacing passwords with biometrics. Maintaining privacy and control will be critical.

The Runway for 2035

Financial services leaders must take decisive action today to leverage these emerging technologies and experiences. The future will be defined by those who adopt a “future-focused mindset” and lay the groundwork now.

There are risks to navigate, like quantum’s encryption threat. Ultimately, emerging tech provides a pathway to put humanity first in financial services – expanding access, inclusion, and personalization.

Eager to read more? Check out Cognizant’s full “Banking in 2035” report for an in-depth look at how quantum computing, AI, DeFi, digital ecosystems, and biometrics will converge to transform banking over the next dozen years.


John Da Gama-Rose

Head of Banking & Financial Services, Global Growth Markets, Cognizant

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Banking in 2035
Banking in 2035
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