Six future banking roles, according to HSBC

A new HSBC report unveils six new roles that will require human intelligence in the robotics and automation-led workplace of the future.
By: | July 5, 2018

While artificial intelligence has been touted as the new frontier of business, a new HSBC report has discovered that human intelligence will still trump robotics when it comes to the workplace.

The report offered a glimpse into the future of a career in banking, predicting six surprising new types of jobs and how the digital revolution will evolve the role of people in the workforce.

“Many of the roles and job titles of tomorrow are unknown to us today,” said Andrew Connell, Global Head of Innovation and Partnerships and Asia Pacific Head of Digital, RBWM, HSBC. “One thing is certain, however – artificial intelligence will not replace human intelligence. Blending the best technology with the power of people will be the difference between good and great when it comes to customer experience.”

Commissioned by HSBC, Human Advantage: The Power of People, analyses the challenges and opportunities facing the banking industry to predict six roles of the future. They are:

Mixed Reality Experience Designer

Consensus is growing that mixed, or augmented reality (MR/AR) will be our primary interface to the digital world in the future. Overlaying the physical world with a layer of digital data allows banks to create any imaginable character or object and locate them in physical space as if they were real, and this technology will likely be used to carry out some banking needs in the future.

Key skills: Designing these complex three-dimensional interfaces and making them slick and intuitive will be a major new employment area for the future, requiring skills in aesthetic design, branding, user experience and 3D mechanics.

Algorithm Mechanic

A rising proportion of decision-making is made by algorithms, fed on a variety of input data to reach rapid conclusions. However, these algorithms operate in a fast-changing environment of shifting regulations, new information, and evolving products. Constantly tuning these algorithms to optimise banking customer experience, and avoid “computer says no” moments, will be a skill in growing demand.

Key skills: As banks shift to a low-code/no-code environment for technology operation, this role will require skills in risk management, service design, and financial literacy, rather than technological proficiency.

Conversational Interface Designer

Machines have become progressively more human in their interactions over the years. Chatbots are already used in banking to answer simple queries and gather information. Where instructions used to be complex strings of code, we can now speak to our machines and they will interpret our needs. Conversational interface design is an emerging skill to help banks take best advantage of voice and text chatbots, and one that will only grow in importance as the technology becomes more mainstream.

Key skills: Building natural, low-friction interfaces that go beyond solving immediate challenges to surprise and delight customers requires a mixture of creative, linguistic, and anthropological skills.

Universal Service Advisor

The separation between digital, physical and remote service environments is breaking down. At any moment a customer may want serving in a branch, via chat app, voice, or in augmented or virtual reality. As mixed reality becomes the main interface between people and machines, highly skilled service agents, empowered to support customers across a variety of products, will be able to switch seamlessly between virtual and physical environments from anywhere anytime to meet customer needs.

Key skills: Critical skills for tomorrow’s customer advisor are a combination of product and domain knowledge with excellent customer communication and empathy. This will require a level of comfort with the key communications technologies, including performing in a virtual environment.

Digital Process Engineer

Many banking customer interactions – from onboarding to replacing a lost card – follow standardised flows that balance security and regulatory requirements with the desire for a slick customer experience. The rate of change of these processes is likely to increase, as is their complexity, as they combine service and information components from multiple sources. A digital process engineer analyses, assembles and optimises these workflows, adjusting them constantly to maximise throughput and minimise friction.

Key skills: The digital process engineer will need great discovery skills, to understand large and interconnected workflows and diagnose problems and bottlenecks, and creative skills to help them to prototype and test solutions.

Partnership Gateway Enabler

In an increasingly networked business world, the digital relationships with banking partners, like fintechs and global technology companies, will need careful monitoring, maintenance, and negotiation. With both cash and customer data potentially flowing between organisations, someone will need to keep a watchful eye on utilisation and conduct, as well as ensuring performance and regulatory compliance.

Key skills: Gateway Controllers will balance technical knowledge of the digital interfaces with an understanding of security and risk management. Communications skills for partner engagement will also be highly valued.

HSBC currently has a number of training programmes in place: Frontline employees in seven core markets have attend a weekly digital upskilling programme called “Digital Thursdays”, led by the bank’s ‘Digital Champions’. The bank also has a Digital Leadership Programme which helps senior managers have a greater understanding of digital trends and how these relate to customer needs.

The bank says it is also in the process of recruiting for over 1,000 digital roles (of which over 500 jobs will be based in Asia-Pacific) including UI Designers, Digital Product Managers, Software Engineers, Solution Architects, Exploratory Testers and Delivery Managers. To find out more visit