By Juliet Umeh
Despite the controversies surrounding the adoption of fifth-generation technology, 5G, around the world, technology experts have said it will improve the overall banking experience.
An Indian-based research firm, Hyderabad-based Institute for Development & Research in Banking Technology, IDRBT, has said that the new technology will lead lower latency and higher speed.
It said that with 5G, minimum latency could be reduced to one millisecond as compared to 50 milliseconds for 4G and data speeds could be 10 to 20 times faster than 4G.
The firm’s former director, AS Ramasastri said: “With 5G, ATMs will act as an extended bank branch. ATMs may also become relaying points for 5G networks.”
When it comes to 2G, 3G, or 4G, Ramasastri said, India has played up a catch-up game with other countries but in the case of 5G, the government and RBI wanted the banking sector to be ready to leverage this technology sooner, which is why the country’s first 5G Use Case Lab for banking and financial services were set up at the institute in September 2020.
The lab, which has a team of 10 to 12 people, including researchers and bankers, is focusing on developing solutions for using 5G to boost financial inclusion and leverage Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality technology, AR/VR. It is within a year that the lab expects to demonstrate some solutions in these areas.
Ramasastri also noted that 5G could boost financial inclusion.
He said: “In the rural areas, higher bandwidth availability will ensure that transactions are completed as soon as they are initiated either customer will be able to do it or the staff will be carrying these 5G enabled gadgets, that’s the proof of concept, POC that we have to work on.”
Besides improving the financial reach of the banking sector, by improving the timings of transaction finality, 5G would also make banking activities more secure as irregularities can be detected on a real-time basis.
Also highlighting the potentials of 5G technology, partner and head of digital consulting, KPMG India, Akhilesh Tuteja, pointed out 5G and the use of IoT will see transformational changes to touch-less banking that will impact ATMs, bank branches and point of service, POS.
“By 2025, most of the connected devices will need to be 5G compatible, including gadgets, wearable devices among others,” he said, adding that Covid-19 and demonetisation have seen an exponential increase in the use of mobile banking, digital payments, and remote implementation of key processes in the financial services sector including customer on-boarding.