Digital Vision for Financial Services


Lexicon of digital Financial Services terms and phrases

Cryptocurrency, Robotic Process Automation, Application Programming Interfaces. What do all these mean? Our Financial Services digital lexicon is your guide to the new vocabulary.


A mathematical formula placed in a software program that performs an analysis on a dataset. The algorithm often consists of multiple calculation steps. Its goal is to operate on data in order to solve a particular question or problem.1


A process in which a computer examines information using mathematical methods in order to find useful patterns.2

Application Programming Interfaces (API)

Part of a server that has defined ways to communicate between various software components.

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

The theory and development of computer systems able to perform tasks normally requiring human intelligence, such as visual perception, speech recognition, decision making, and translation between languages.3


The technology which enables a process or procedure to be performed without human assistance.

Big Data

Extremely large data sets that may be analysed computationally to reveal patterns, trends, and associations, especially relating to human behaviour and interactions.4


A type of cryptocurrency which was the first available and remains the most commonly traded.


A unit of data that is eight binary digits long. A byte is the unit most computers use to represent a character such as a letter, number or typographic symbol.5

Terabyte: 1,000 gigabytes of computer storage – equivalent to approximately 212 DVDs.
Exabyte: 1 million terabytes
Zettabyte: 1 billion terabytes. The combined space of all computer hard drives in the world was estimated at approximately 160 exabytes in 2006. As of 2009, the entire World Wide Web was estimated to contain close to 500 exabytes. This is one half zettabyte. The volume of worldwide digital data is projected to reach 44 zettabytes by 2020.6

Challenger Banks

A small retail bank which is established with the intent to compete against larger and well-established national banks.


A computer programme which can conduct a conversation using audible or textual methods.

Cloud Computing

The practice of using a network of remote servers hosted on the Internet to store, manage, and process data, rather than a local server or a personal computer.7

Cognitive Computing

The simulation of human thought processes in a computerised model. It involves self-learning systems that use data mining, pattern recognition and natural language processing to mimic the way the human brain works.8


Convergence is the coming together of two different entities, and in the contexts of computing and technology, is the integration of two or more different technologies in a single device or system.9


A digital currency which is kept secure by using cryptography.


A method of storing and transmitting data in a particular form so that only those for whom it is intended can read and process it.10

Cyber Security

The body of technologies, processes and practices designed to protect networks, computers, programs and data from attack, damage or unauthorised access.11

Deep Learning

In the field of machine learning where artificial intelligence can learn from data that has no context and without supervision.12

Distributed Ledger

A consensus of replicated, shared, and synchronised digital data geographically spread across multiple sites, countries, or institutions. One distributed ledger design is through implementation of a public or private blockchain system.13

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

A new UK Regulation which enforces the way organisations collect and process customer data. It includes additional transparency for individuals on how their data is used and processed.

High Performance Computing

The aggregation of computing power that delivers a higher performance than a normal computer.

Open Banking

A term which refers to increased transparency choices for financial customers through the use of open source technology and Application Programming Interfaces.

Robotic Process Automation

The application of technology which enables the capturing and interpretation of data using existing applications.

Second Payment Services Directive (PSD2)

An European Union Directive which requires banks to give any third party access to its payments infrastructure and customer data assets. Third parties can then develop payments and information services to those customers.



Contact Mark Fry, Freephone: 0800 783 3040