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Tech and climate trends to watch out for in 2023

The stage is set for 2023 to be an impactful year for the tech industry. Despite the continued uphill battle of navigating through volatile economic conditions, I’m a big believer that tech is still well-positioned for solid growth.

A few key trends have begun to shape tech conversations in 2022, and I expect they’ll continue to dominate headlines in 2023.

From adapting to new realities in emerging industries such as artificial intelligence, the need for multilateral crypto regulation, an emphasis on cyber security, and thoughtful commitment to environmental regeneration, the coming year will mark the start of a new cycle of change. 

For business leaders, staying informed with trends as they evolve can help identify new risks and valuable opportunities for improvements in your business strategy. 

After another year of telling the stories of forward-thinkers, I asked them to share their insights on the tech trends that will shape their field in 2023:

Acceleration of AI

Artificial intelligence has allowed us to work alongside ‘robots’ and smart machines designed to help us do our jobs better. AI-powered virtual assistants will also become more prevalent in the workplace, offering more efficient methods of accomplishing objectives.

To close off the year, we saw the release of both OpenAI’s ChatGPT-3 and Lensa’s AI-selfie app, both massive leaps forward in this space that businesses should watch closely. Developing the ability to effectively utilise intelligently, smart machines will become an increasingly indispensable professional skill. 

According to Marco Zande, Head of Marketing at digital lender WLTH, “AI, machine learning, and automation are trendy buzzwords that have been dominating the past year, especially post-pandemic. While they are crucial to digital marketing strategy, we cannot ignore the critical human element that enhances the experience”.

“The pandemic introduced us to a more digital world, but we have learned that consumers still respond well to that personal interaction.”

Climate / Environmental sustainability 

In the last five years, 85 per cent of consumers have shifted their purchase behaviour towards being more sustainable, supporting businesses that care about the environment and their carbon emissions.

Businesses now need to be vehicles of change and can no longer ignore sustainability when making key business decisions. The interests of employees, customers, and local communities are now front and centre. 

Entrepreneurs like Brodie Haupt, CEO, and co-founder at WLTH, are challenging businesses to think more sustainably after launching Australia’s first recycled Ocean Plastic® Visa Card in collaboration with Parley for the Oceans earlier this year. 

“In 2023, sustainability will be hard to ignore. Consumers are looking for new ways to reduce their environmental footprint, and I think it’s up to us as business leaders to take charge and take control of the issue. Our customers are becoming more socially conscious, and we must empower them to be more involved in protecting the environment.”

“Transparency in communicating efforts and progress toward being a responsible company will be a top priority for all businesses, particularly within the fintech space. With more Australian banks committing to the United Nations’ Net-Zero Banking Alliance, smaller fintech innovators will need to make more tangible efforts to make a positive impact on the planet to keep up.

In addition, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is actively clamping down on misleading environmental claims, a proper ESG strategy is needed to report their progress and avoid greenwashing backlash legitimately,” added Haupt. 

Improvement of payments systems and fraud prevention

Fraud prevention has been brought into the spotlight over the past few years. At the AusPayNet’s annual summit in December 2022, Reserve Bank Governor Dr Philip Lowe outlined the intent of the RBA to support innovation that will help Australia be well-placed for the digital future.

“2022 was a big year of developments for the payments industry, and with new developments, increased concern about fraud became. Fraud on payment card transactions totalled a whopping $499.5 million in the 12 months to 30 June 2022, according to AusPayNet,” says Luke Fossett, Director, Australia and New Zealand of GoCardless.

“A significant change on the horizon for SMEs is the integration of PayTo by Australian banks and financial institutions. Essentially, PayTo is a new digital payment experience offering Australians better visibility and control over their payments within the safety and security of their chosen banking app.

By the end of Q1 2023, it’s expected that most – if not all – banks will be ‘PayTo ready’ and prepared to offer this new approach to bank-to-bank payments to all their clients. 

Fossett notes the introduction of PayTo could save millions of dollars worth of fraudulent and unauthorised transactions from the Australian financial system due to its instant account verification and payment notifications. 

“In our recent State of Pay report, 51 per cent of medium-to-large businesses stated they’d experienced credit card fraud in the last two years, which interestingly, occurs at a similar rate for businesses with less than 20 people.

Medium to large businesses cited they experienced at least double the amount of credit card fraud compared with all other sized businesses surveyed. Because PayTo payment agreements are authorised by the customer through secure banking platforms, adopting the platform will reduce the likelihood of payment fraud,” he said. 

Crypto regulation 

Cryptocurrency is perhaps the most volatile industry with the most uncertainty going into 2023. Market crashes left the digital currency in a fragile state, which may bring challenges in the new year. Industry expert Josh Gilbert, Analyst at eToro Australia, predicts greater regulation across the crypto asset marketplace from consumers, companies and government, globally and in Australia. 

“Both in Australia and abroad, the call for greater regulation across the crypto asset marketplace is growing from consumers, companies, and government. I anticipate that in the new year, we’ll see some significant movement on a Federal level – at the very least, both here and in the US.”

“The potential benefit in Australia, broadly speaking, is that more stringent regulation will assist in removing bad actors from the industry, helping to solidify the reputation of functional crypto markets and already-compliant exchanges while insulating retail investors against unnecessary risk.”

“We’ll also likely see the commencement of the RBA’s Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) pilot program, estimated to take approximately a year to complete.

Over the course of the year, we should expect to see some indicators of whether this trial is likely to see the currency evolve into mainstream integration, which could be a huge boon for innovators within this space,” Mr Gilbert added. 

After a tumultuous 2022, which saw the rise and fall of markets, the collapse of some of the industry’s largest companies, and the birth of new transformative technologies, it’s clear that a new year will present opportunities and challenges that we’ve never dealt with before. Every business leader should have these trends on their radar to stay relevant as we approach a new era in tech advancement. 

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Felicia Coco

Felicia Coco

Felicia Coco is the Director & Co-founder at tech PR firm LaunchLink Communications. Felicia has a decade of experience advising high-growth tech companies from Silicon Valley to Sydney on media, communications and growth-hacking strategies that create impact. She focuses on Web 3 technologies, fintech and B2B SaaS solutions. Find her on LinkedIn Linkedin or Twitter.

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