Friday, 2 June 2017
Essentially, many of the reporting solutions on the market today are largely designed to solve existing problems, such as the automation, control and governance of the current client reporting and sales information. For almost every firm within investment management though, be they institutional asset managers, retail asset managers, wealth managers and even private banks, the focus should no longer be about client reporting; the emphasis has shifted to improving the client experience: ‘going digital’, using technology to improve the business model and enhance the client interactions with the investment manager.
Wednesday, 31 May 2017
As the ATM is turning 50 this year, it is at the centre of a massive overhaul of the retail banking landscape. Banks have to completely rethink the way in which they interact with their customers while the digital revolution is taking hold of the sector. The speed at which this change is happening is breath-taking: Data company CACI predicts that the total number of mobile app log-ins by banking customers are going to increase from 427 million in 2015 to 2.3 billion in 2020, while the number of bank branch visits is expected to almost half to 268 million per year over the same period.
With the banking revolution right under way, most ATMs today are still based on a ‘cash and dash’ model with limited additional functionality. However, with the right software strategy, they have the potential to become a cornerstone for the omni-channel banking world as the last remaining touchpoints for banks in the majority of local communities.
Friday, 26 May 2017
So it will come as no solace whatsoever to remind you that the global currency system is anything but solid or dependable. That is one reason the world’s finances are in such a mess - but new digital cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin could bring us back down to earth.
Let me explain. Once upon a time, the currencies we used to buy and sell things had real tangible value; coins were literally made from silver and gold. When governments introduced paper money and coins made from non-precious metals, they needed a proxy for their former value. So the so-called “gold standard” effectively made coins and notes into an IOU against gold, and everything remained stable.
But when President Nixon ripped up the gold standard in 1971, currency floated free - the dollar became a so-called “fiat” currency, untethered to anything except its central bank’s ability to print more money.
Monday, 15 May 2017
Companies have played with it; they understand what blockchain does and how it works. Their innovation labs have participated in proof of concepts (POCs) and may belong to one or more industry consortiums created to vet the technology, but they haven’t taken the next step and implemented the technology for any mission critical apps.
Wednesday, 3 May 2017
The need for insurers to focus on customer service is even greater than it is within other industries such as retail, given insurance historically lags behind other industries.
In years gone by Insurers operated in a highly regulated, controlled and predictable environment. They knew that individuals chose their insurer based on their parents previous decisions. Once chosen, individuals would stick to that insurance for years, even for life, accepting new charges and changes in operation as it used to be too difficult and complicated to change insurer, as well as challenging to gather the relevant information on what insurance policy was best for each individual. This is no longer the case.
Thursday, 27 April 2017
As demonstrated by recent high profile cyber attacks, the cost of a data breach now comes in all shapes and sizes – from significant financial repercussions to damaged reputation and loss of existing customers. Ensuring this is avoided while improving the customer experience is the real tightrope challenge.
Friday, 21 April 2017
You’re limping through the desert, dying of thirst, when you come upon an oasis with what appears to be a bottomless well. You can’t believe your luck. Then you drop the bucket in and discover that the rope tied to it is so knotted and twisted that it stops short of the water line. By the time you straighten it out so that you can take that desperately needed drink, it may be too late.
Tuesday, 28 March 2017
A great example of this leapfrogging trend can be found in India. As the country’s leading payments services provider, we are seeing first-hand that India is fast becoming a hub of payments innovation and disruption at scale. India is home to several of the ingredients necessary to encourage new technology to flourish and old systems to make way for new. Key among these ingredients are the increasing customer demand for digital payments, a supportive regulatory environment and a highly skilled tech market.
Tuesday, 14 March 2017
In November 2016, the Bank of England (BoE) published the results of its 2016 banking stress tests which measured the resilience of UK’s major banks’ balance sheet in adverse scenarios. These incorporated a synchronised UK and global recession with associated shocks to financial market prices, and an independent stress of misconduct costs. The stress tests also represented the BoE’s first annual cyclical scenario (ACS), a new approach to stress testing, which examines the resilience of the system to a more severe stress than in previous years.
In 2017, the BoE is expected to extend stress testing even further by including a biennial exploratory scenario which will test the resilience of banks to risks that may not be directly linked to the financial cycle. At a UK level, the 2017 stress test scenario also includes a severe level of stress, with substantial impact on UK residential and commercial property, UK GDP and unemployment. However, the impact could be even more severe if the economic and political challenges currently facing the EU and Eurozone were to be incorporated, such as high-debt levels, security concerns and Brexit.
Friday, 24 February 2017
The HKMA’s quantitative impact study (QIS) on the modified net stable funding ratio (MNSFR) is the third of its kind and part of a broader, multi-year consultation exercise on NSFR’s local implementation. While previous studies targeted so-called ‘category 1’ institutions - generally larger, internationally active banks - that will be subject to the full force of NSFR requirements, this study will gauge the ability of smaller category 2 banks to adhere to MNSFR, essentially a less stringent ‘NSFR light.’
Wednesday, 22 February 2017
Fast-forward 5,000 or so years, and though the types of friction we are seeking to reduce have become a little more nuanced, the excitement of a new discovery is just the same. It’s what makes FinTech such an exhilarating industry to be a part of, as such discoveries and innovations are increasingly prolific. ‘Friction’ in our industry usually refers to the time taken to make payments, and ‘frictionless payments’ are those transactions that can be completed in an instant.
Friday, 10 February 2017
While substantial progress has been made it also shows there is still room for improvement. And this is especially true when it comes to digital sales. For example, retail banks are behind when it comes to the sharp rise in smartphone use, and the potential for mobile as a sales channel. Despite the availability of online digital applications, only 9% of personal banking products in the UK can be applied for using a mobile device. With two-thirds of UK adults now owning a smartphone, there is every reason to forge ahead in this area.
Thursday, 5 January 2017
Outsourcing will get smarter
Deloitte’s Global Outsourcing Survey revealed that not only is the use of outsourcing increasing, but attitudes among banks about how they engage with outsourcers is also on the move. Once seen as merely a cost-cutting approach – and make no mistake, this remains a significant motivator – service providers have widened their offerings to provide end-to-end solutions that offer a far greater depth of service support than before. More than ever before, outsourcers are becoming key business enablers that actively promote innovation. This is a key trend that will continue to shape the industry in 2017.