Financial services unaware of blockchain risk being left behind

Blockchain is the most important innovation since the creation of the internet, almost two thirds (60 per cent) of global financial services retailers with some knowledge of the technology said.

That's a bold claim.

And that's exactly why the fact that more than a third (35 per cent) of all global respondents said they had never heard of the technology is even more scary.

Among those that have heard of it, 23 per cent said they had no understanding of what blockchain actually is.

The study was conducted by Marketforce, on behalf of business applications provider Pegasystems and information technology provider Cognizant. It surveyed 500 financial services and insurance industry executives in 56 countries around the world.

Here are a couple more of key highlights mentioned in the study:

The industry should be doing a lot more to educate themselves about the effects blockchain technology could have

More than half (53 per cent) claim the technology will have a disruptive effect in clearing and settlement markets

Almost half (45 per cent) think a combination of blockchain wallets and peer-to-peer lending could 'end banking as we know it'.

"For many, the jury is still out on whether or not blockchain will be a force for good or not. However, we do know there’s no longer room to be complacent about such a potentially significant source of disruption,” said Graham Lloyd, Director and Industry Principal of Financial Services at Pegasystems.

“Banks and insurers must prepare themselves for the day when they might have to manage blockchain-stored customer data – whether it be their personal information, details of their assets, or even real-time data from virtual currencies.”

Image source: Shutterstock/StockPhotoAstur