Friday, 2 June 2017

Client Reporting – time to evolve?

From both a business and a vendors’ perspective, the term ‘client reporting’ is increasingly inappropriate and lacks the necessary ambition to be effective in today’s investment management world. This situation is partially as a result of the terminology that the function uses and the perceived lack of added value within the client reporting process.

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

For operators, it should be ‘software-first’ to take the ATM into its next decade

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

Cryptocurrencies could fix our broken monetary system

In turbulent and fast-changing times, it helps to know that some of life’s uncertainties are anchored to something solid and dependable.

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

Blockchain is hot, but where’s the beef?

In spite of the hype—news of blockchain developments and its associated Bitcoin currency has become nearly ubiquitous—large-scale enterprises have been slow to adopt the emerging technology that promises to disrupt and improve a wide range of industries from finance & banking, insurance and real estate to cybersecurity and even music.

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 Transformation of the Insurance Sector due to the rise of Artificial Intelligence

The need for a business to offer their customers’ personalised, efficient and reliable service has never been greater. Today, society demands instantaneous communication with one another. Technologies such as Apple’s FaceTime, Facebook’s Live Messenger and Microsoft’s Skype allow communication around the world to occur immediately. This ability has meant there has been a proliferation in the amount of data being shared and consequently, it has become expected that businesses provide the same level of communication across devices. Businesses must ensure they connect with customers on a more 1-1 basis and that the customer is at the centre of its business, regardless of time or location.

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

Banking on loyalty – a bet worth making

Data protection has quickly grown from being a buzz-word to a concern keeping board-level executives up at night.

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

When you have to be right, right now

In-Memory Compute Grids (IMCGs) allow banks to process data faster and more accurately, too. Richard Bennett, Vice President of Regulatory Reporting for EMEA in Wolters Kluwer’s Finance, Risk and Reporting business, examines the latest trends banks need to consider.

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.