In the future, people in Finland may no longer need to queue at their local banks for mortgages. As digital services rapidly develop, home loans may soon be granted electronically. But human employees may have to compete with machines for their jobs.
Technology is a friend to Ville Vasko, an insurance advisor at OP-Pohjola, Finland’s biggest banking concern. Machines are taking on more and more routine tasks in the banking sector, and the trend has lead to a decrease in human resources – but Vasko says that digitisation actually enables him to meet customers halfway more easily.
With programmes working more and more jobs, a majority of loans and mortgages may soon be granted without a human intermediary.
“The legislation and structures still need to be developed somewhat, but it is very possible that by the end of this decade, most basic housing loans will be handled entirely digitally,” says Harri Nummela, OP-Pohjola’s Executive Vice President, Wealth Management.
“Certain types of job will disappear”
Technological development has already had a dramatic impact on Finland’s banking and insurance sector, which shed nearly 1,000 jobs in the year up to September 2014.
However, Matti Pohjola, Professor of Economics at Aalto University, maintains that human expertise will also become increasingly relevant as technology moves forward.
“A certain type of job will disappear, and in fact that has already happened. Now it’s perhaps more of a case of looking for a new division of labour in all positions. They’re considering what can be done by machines and in which cases a person is better,” he says.
Despite the swiftly occurring technological changes, employees like Vasko trust that physical banks won't be disappearing from cityscapes anytime soon. There is nothing, he says, that could ever replace human interaction.