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Clear horizons: Key business trends for 2022

There has been a significant increase in the number of finance firms using AI to detect fraudulent business activities.

City of London at night, centre of the corporate community. Image by © Tim Sandle.
City of London at night, centre of the corporate community. Image by © Tim Sandle.

With all signs pointing towards an economic downturn in 2023, the financial outlook for the year to come looks  mixed. With new challenges regarding inflation and the threat of recession looming, businesses of all shapes and sizes will be forced to consider their working policies to ensure survival and then sustainable growth moving forward.

To off-set the negative, there are some technological developments which promise to impact business activities in a myriad of different ways. Glenn Henery, Sales Director at Anglo Scottish Asset Finance has outlined the key trends to Digital Journal.

Henery is attempting to provide a sense of clarity among a sea of economic uncertainty: “For many businesses, 2023 is a daunting year, given the vast number of unknowns that we collectively face. By staying on top of the technology which can offset these uncertainties, you’re giving your business the best chance of success for the year to come.”

Streamlined automation

According to Henery, with automation trends: “Expect a growing number of businesses to improve their automated processes – and potentially extend them to other areas of the company. There may be areas in which your business can increase your level of automation or streamline existing processes.”

He forewarns, though: “Budgets will likely be feeling the pinch this year, so improving productivity and limiting wastage via automation could be crucial to your business’ success in 2023.”

Buy now, pay later?

In terms of lower-budget finance scheme, Henery  finds: “2022 has seen the proliferation of companies allowing customers to split their purchases into manageable, interest-free chunks – and you can expect this trend to continue in 2023. With companies like Klarna, Clearpay and PayPal all offering finance on a growing number of items from clothes to Deliveroo takeaways, 0 percent finance agreements are changing the way that customers shop.”

Assessing the trend, Henery finds: “Searches for ‘Klarna UK’ have increased by 50 percent in the last three months, and by 23% compared to 12 months ago – so this growing trend is one to keep an eye on! Amending your transaction process to include payment plans could make your business’s offering more lucrative to potential customers.”

Cryptocurrency

Henery moves to digital currencies, stating: “Unless you’ve been living under a rock, chances are, you’ve heard of the huge impact cryptocurrencies have had on the world’s economy. However, if you’re only familiar with the big news stories, there’s plenty of opportunity to employ crypto in your business this year.

Expect ‘truly global’ bitcoin adoption in 2023. If your business does not accept crypto as a payment method, now could be a good time to think about implementing it.”

AI

Looking at the possibilities of artificial intelligence, Henery notes: “As with many other industries, AI has plenty of exciting financial applications. In 2022, there was a significant increase in the number of finance firms using AI to detect fraudulent business activities – from 10 percent in 2021 to 31 percent in 2022. In 2023, expect to see more businesses than ever using AI to increase security for finance transactions.”

In terms of new developments, Henery considers: “AI is getting smarter, too, as evidenced by the international buzz surrounding ChatGPT, a model which interacts in a conversational way and has the ability to write code or content. This could help your business out in a pinch – don’t be afraid to use it!”

Skills shortage set to continue?

Despite these innovations, there are some doubts as to whether businesses have sufficient personnel with the right skills. Henery’s assessment is: “The worldwide skills shortage is showing no signs of slowing down, with 69 percent of global businesses reporting a talent shortage in 2021, compared to just 35 percent in 2013. With UK businesses and homes already feeling the squeeze from an imminent recession, and restrictive immigration policies preventing respite from migrant workers, the skills shortage will be a key issue for businesses in post-Brexit Britain.”

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Written By

Dr. Tim Sandle is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for science news. Tim specializes in science, technology, environmental, business, and health journalism. He is additionally a practising microbiologist; and an author. He is also interested in history, politics and current affairs.

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