Banks are wide open to fake data and external data manipulation, according to Accenture’s Banking Technology Vision 2018 report.
The survey revealed that many banks are failing to invest in capabilities needed to verify and validate the accuracy of their data.
Of those surveyed 94% said they are confident in the integrity of the sources of their data, yet half of the bankers admitted they are not doing enough to validate and ensure data quality.
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84% of bankers surveyed said they are increasingly using data for critical and automated decision making, but 78% believe these automated systems create new risks such as fake data, external data manipulation and inherent bias.
Surveying 800 IT banking professionals across 25 countries, the research aimed to identify key issues and priorities for technology investment in the sector. The report also drew in the expertise of an advisory board of IT professionals, interview with technology luminaries and industry experts.
Whilst banks have always held large volumes of confidential data, the report found that they are increasingly adding data from external, unstructured sources.
Only 11% trust their data is reliable, but do not validate it. 16% said they try to valid the data, however are not sure of its quality and 24% do validate the data but recognise that they need to do more to ensure its quality.
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The majority of respondents were C-level executives and directors at companies with annual revenues of at least $500 million, with most having annual revenues greater than $6 billion.
“Inaccurate, unverified data will make banks vulnerable to false business insights that drive bad decisions,” said Alan McIntyre, Senior Managing Director and Head of Accenture’s banking practice.
“Banks can address this vulnerability by verifying the history of data from its origin onward — understanding the context of the data and how it is being used — and by securing and maintaining the data. Given that four in five bankers that we surveyed said they are basing their most critical systems and strategies on data, it’s critical that the data can be verified and validated.”
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Peter Sidebottom, a Managing Director of Strategy in Accenture’s Financial Services practice, said: “As AI becomes more visible within banks — as both a co-worker to employees and a customer-facing representative — there will be more scrutiny placed on how AI decisions are made.”
“AI decisioning processes can’t be a black box; banks need to adhere to and provide the same transparency as they do with any other employee to ensure regulatory compliance, and to earn customer trust.”
The theme of the report this year was “Building the Future-Ready Bank” and focused on five trends, the top being Artificial intelligence (AI).
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79% of those surveyed believe AI they will see AI working alongside humans as collaborators and trusted advisors within the next two years. However, concerns were flagged surrounding AI technology advances and ethical standards.
In addition to fake data, another major theme of the report was the “frictionless business” which discusses how businesses depend on partnerships for growth, yet many banks find it difficult to partner with third parties because of their own complex technology platforms. The report identified micro-services and blockchain as two technologies that may support banks in overcoming this challenge.