Disruptor alert: Which sector is next?

With change being the one constant, it is almost certain that more sectors will face disruption in Australia and across Asia in the future. Which industries will be next? Three experts weigh in.

By Johanna Leggatt

Shahirah Gardner

Co-founder of financial technology and data intelligence company, Finch

Shahirah Gardner.Banking and financial services will enter a new era of disruption with the recent arrival of open banking policies in Australia (which put consumers in charge of their financial data, allowing them to more easily switch financial institutions). Open banking is expected to drastically level the playing field in Australia’s highly monopolised banking sector, giving challenger banks, innovative FinTechs and new entrants an exciting opportunity to reimagine consumer finance, from wealth management and payments, to lending and insurance.

The challenge with financial data is that it hasn’t changed in decades. Transaction data, in particular, remains of a very low quality: just take a quick look at your bank statement! Not only is it messy and meaningless, many transactions are frequently miscategorised or incorrect, with over 30 per cent falling into the “other expenses” categories.

Despite this, transaction data presents an incredibly valuable source of financial profiling: a 360-degree view, if you will, to help businesses understand their customers and create hyperpersonalised experiences based on these insights.

"Banking and financial services will enter a new era of disruption with the recent arrival of open banking policies in Australia. Open banking is expected to drastically level the playing field in Australia’s highly monopolised banking sector." Shahirah Gardner

Getting the most out of this data requires advanced transaction enrichment, transforming raw transaction data into meaningful insights with clear merchant identification, location and categorisation. Financial services and FinTechs that start doing this in real time to provide the ultimate customer experience will be the true disruptors.

Thomas Frey

Senior futurist and executive director of the US-based DaVinci Institute

Thomas Frey.Our great study-at-home experiment as a result of COVID-19 will change education forever.

Virtually every parent and child in the world has experienced a taste of what homeschooling is all about, and many will not want to go back to the same government-run schools. This, combined with emerging technology, will make education far more hyper-individualised, and we suddenly have the perfect storm for education to be transformed.

By some counts, we are short of 18 million teachers globally, and a full 23 per cent of kids growing up today don’t attend any school at all.

There simply aren’t enough teachers at the right time and place to satisfy our growing thirst for knowledge, and, because of this, we are severely limiting human potential across the globe.

Our limited number of teachers becomes a huge barrier, not the solution they were intended to be.

Teaching requires experts. Teacherless education uses experts to create the material, but doesn’t require the expert to be present each time it’s presented.

"Over the coming decades, if we continue to insert a teacher between us and everything we need to learn, we cannot possibly learn fast enough to meet the demands of the future." Thomas Frey

Over the coming decades, if we continue to insert a teacher between us and everything we need to learn, we cannot possibly learn fast enough to meet the demands of the future.
Education is now on the verge of a major transformation, and artificial intelligence-based teacherless education systems are quickly taking centre stage.

Aiman Hamdouna

Co-founder and CEO of start-up incubator Hatch Quarter

Aiman Hamdouna.I believe the first disruption will be with regard to mobility.

The emergence of self-driving cars, combined with the shift away from fossil fuels after more than a century of dependence on oil, will change the way we commute, what we do while commuting, and our environmental footprint.

Will our vehicles become mobile studios of study or entertainment while we travel to work every day? We shall see. It will also change how inland freight will be conducted. A caravan of self-driving trucks travelling across the country non-stop will become the new norm.

Physical retail will also be heavily revolutionised. It has to be, in order for the sector to survive.

"I believe the first disruption will be with regard to mobility. The emergence of self-driving cars, combined with the shift away from fossil fuels after more than a century of dependence on oil, will change the way we commute, what we do while commuting, and our environmental footprint." Aiman Hamdouna

The traditional model of retail stores as a place to stack as many products as possible is coming under huge pressure, and shops have to innovate. Luckily, technologies like mixed reality, combined with full integration of data and information, can allow physical retail to create a unique, in-store user experience that is very difficult to replicate online.

However, this is one field where human creativity is most needed to get the most out of the tech. Simply “using” the new technology will not cut it; it will instead be about how you apply the new technologies to create that special user experience.

Meet the experts

Shahirah Gardner
Shahirah Gardner is co-founder of Finch, a financial technology and data intelligence company. She is one of Australia’s best known women in FinTech, winning numerous awards including Best Personal Finance and Best Digital Wallet at the Money 20/20 global event in the US.

Thomas Frey
Futurist and keynote speaker Thomas Frey is currently Google’s top-rated futurist speaker and IBM’s most awarded engineer. He is the founder and executive director of US-based futurist think tank and not-for-profit DaVinci Institute, and has started 17 businesses in his career so far.

Aiman Hamdouna
Aiman Hamdouna is the CEO of start-up incubator Hatch Quarter and partner at Australian creative agency Mo Works. He is also a Victoria committee member of the Australia Arab Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Rampersand Venture Capital Inclusion Advisory Board.


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