The recent collapse of crypto exchange company FTX might have banks and fintechs reevaluating their partnership-vetting processes in 2023 to avoid potential reputational damage. “As a result of the recent circumstances arising in the digital asset space, it may lead to a phase of tread with caution [for partnerships],” Tejus Oza, managing director, North America […]
Open banking, augmenting the customer experience (CX), and AI were key themes across Bank Automation News’ most popular “The Buzz” podcast episodes in 2022. Listen as the BAN editorial team talks through the issues that will continue to impact the financial services industry in the year ahead. The three most played podcasts of the year: […]
As your financial institution compares tools, technologies and partnerships that will help you scale in the coming years, there are many aspects to weigh when evaluating a potential vendor. Here are five important factors to keep in mind as you consider changes for your financial institution.
As our digital and economic landscape continues to shift, financial institutions must be prepared to evolve alongside a society that expects instant results and the frictionless ease of automation. Post-pandemic, consumers are less likely than ever to go to a physical branch, so a robust online presence is a vital component to banking. With the market constantly in flux, choosing an agile vendor who can grow and adapt with you through an ever-evolving market is essential.
The more your technology can do for you, the more you can do for your clients with the time you’ll save by eliminating standard paper processes. Rekeying data manually with numerous handoffs increases the likelihood for error, while an efficient automated system reduces the number of errors and decreases time spent re-entering data in multiple locations. Choosing a vendor that helps increase accountability, reduce regulatory preparation time, increase staff productivity and reduce loan cycle times will benefit your financial institution’s overall profitability.
A top concern when choosing a new software solution is the implementation process. What kind of training is required for your employees? How big is the learning curve? Is there a robust customer support department ready to help your team overcome any unexpected challenges? Are there additional training resources available? As you review your options, consider choosing a vendor that has additional resources post-implementation available, such as customer support services and readily available assistance to address any issues your team may face.
Reading case studies and testimonials is vital to the selection process. These stories help you understand how the product you’re considering works, how it adds value to your institution’s daily processes and how your peers are leveraging technology in new and exciting ways. Testimonies from comparable peers are invaluable when considering the reputation of a technology vendor and how they might alleviate pain points for your institution.
Changing how you’ve always done things—spreadsheets, Excel files, faxing and scanning documents—can be daunting. Change is difficult, but it doesn’t have to be painful. When you review vendors, choose someone who can cut down multiple avenues of re-entry and processing. A vendor with a single end-to-end platform can save you time and money, allowing you more time with customers and less time with screens. Being able to log into once instead of in multiple platforms allows you to see the entire the lifecycle of your products and get to “yes” faster.
As you evaluate vendors, analyze technologies and look to the future of your financial institution, it’s vital to ensure that your next partner can not only meet, but exceed, your needs. These five factors are a great starting place, but they’re just the beginning.
Financial institutions looking to modernize their internal systems in 2022 have often turned to fintech acquisitions or partnerships for cloud computing, digital banking, robotic process automation, payments capabilities and more. Here are Bank Automation News’ five most-read transaction stories of 2022: 1. Envestnet acquires business intelligence firm Truelytics Wealth management giant Envestnet acquired business intelligence […]
Technological innovation has taken the auto industry by storm since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic by automating lending operations and addressing consumer pain points in the car-buying process to improve the end-to-end purchasing experience. In 2022, lenders continued to launch new programs, form new partnerships and leverage automation to expand capabilities and efficiency. Here […]
Financial institutions today are teetering into a Nash Equilibrium.
A Nash Equilibrium, named for mathematician John Nash, occurs when players in a game can fully anticipate the choices of other players. When all players’ actions are considered, everyone is able to achieve their objectives. Every player wins.
The concept was a groundbreaking contribution to game theory study and continues to be widely used by economists — but it also has practical applications. In the banking industry, financial institutions can benefit from Nash’s work by adopting a holistic approach to personalization, better understanding individual customer needs in order to make business decisions based on real market demand. This strategy is proving to be an effective way to connect with customers and win business.
Creating a tailored platform
The expansion and adoption of digital banking has unlocked the opportunity to create a highly individualized customer experience known as “hyperpersonalization.”
Deloitte defines this as “using real-time data to generate insights by using behavioral science and data science to deliver services, products and pricing that are context-specific and relevant to customers’ manifest and latent needs.”
Personalization powered by real-time data and analytics to serve each distinct customer has quickly become an expectation. A Salesforcesurvey found that 56% of customers expect banks to anticipate customer needs and make appropriate recommendations even before initial contact.
Banks are using automation to serve individual clients by tracking transactional activity and extracting unique data. They use the information to provide services that best fit specific customers’ needs. Based on customer expectations, banks are aggressively pursuing these strategies. HSBC executives expect hyperpersonalization will become a new standard of service, and JPMorgan Chase is investing $12 billion in cloud and AI technologies to strengthen the customer experience.
Leveraging partnerships to meet goals
Financial institutions understand that technology is the gateway to achieving hyperpersonalization.
In a survey conducted by information technology services company Wipro, industry leaders listed “improving the user experience with greater personalization” as the most valuable use of AI technology. However, most financial institutions are not equipped with the infrastructure to collect and process data, conduct pertinent market research and retain qualitative feedback from customers.
To bridge the technology gap and advance the integration of hyperpersonalization, banks are partnering with fintech companies like Plaid, MX and Alloy, which provide the mature and future-ready technology that banks need to foster a custom experience and better connect with customers.
With access to the right technology, the potential for hyperpersonalization is infinite. Leveraging automation and machine learning technologies gives banks an opportunity to connect with potential customers, solidify existing customers and serve as a differentiator in an increasingly diverse marketplace.
Knowing your customers inside and out
At its core, this strategy is simply a means of better understanding customers and the market. Technology can reveal subtle insights into customer patterns and behaviors and the trends shaping the market to deliver individualized solutions. Banks are able to use data to assess the risks and rewards, and make a decision that is best for the organization’s goals.
The strategy should also include an analysis of competitor activity, including niche submarkets and emerging specializations. Information about other industry players will reveal market gaps or unmet needs as well as overserved demographic groups or areas of the market with the potential to become overheated. Digital banks can use this information to decide which market areas to pursue and where the company’s product lines and expertise best fit within the existing market dynamics.
Banks are not the only beneficiary of a hyperpersonalized strategy. SMBs will benefit from individualized analysis, intelligent insights and personal communication. The strategy will not only win customers but establish a meaningful connection that will evolve into a trusted and loyal relationship. According to research from Deloitte on hyperpersonalization in banking, “emotionally connected customers are more than twice as valuable as even highly satisfied customers.”
To achieve a human connection, a personalization strategy should include progress reports for customers tracking financial performance, support and consultation, and education about how a company’s financial objectives are linked to broader economic, social and environmental trends. This is where customers will see the qualitative benefits of a bespoke platform.
With hyperpersonalization, the digital banking industry is playing a positive sum game, one where both banking customers and financial institutions win. The trend is redefining competition in the financial services industry and delivering better banking to small businesses. That truly is a victory.
Mike Butler is the chief executive of digital bank Grasshopper which offers small businesses products and services for specific industries such as commercial real estate lending and yacht financing.
Purchasing platform Teampay raised $47 million in Series B funding earlier this month. The New York-based fintech is a spend management platform that allows companies to request, approve and track expenditures in real time, according to Crunchbase. Teampay will use the funding toward advancing its go-to-market strategy, expand its workforce and prioritize its recent partnership […]
This week’s edition of Finovate Global showcases some of the fintech founders and CEOs we’ve had the good fortune to interview this year. From embedded finance to the emerging data economy to the connection between open banking and serving the world’s un- and underbanked, fintech innovators in developing economies continue to deliver for both their local communities as well as for consumers around the world.
Finovate Global Egypt: Cartona CEO and Co-founder Mahmoud Talaat
Cartona embraces the vision of a cashless society, investing in embedded finance and payments. We offer pay after four days or pay in four equal installments every 7-10 days. We have made sure our product is easy to use and seamlessly integrated into the ‘check-out’ section for ordering, with collection being all digital or through our supplier network.
Providing retailers with this technology-integrated financial solution not only boosts financial inclusion but also enables them to grow their business and provide customers with essential products at affordable prices. To supplement our core ordering business, embedded finance is what we believe is a key challenge and we see a clear need for it by retailers in the industry.
Finovate Global Finland: Building a Strong Data Economy with ReceiptHero’s Chris Moore
We are surrounded by data in our daily lives, most of it is unstructured and in hard to reach places. Receipts printed on paper are just that: unstructured and, as a customer, it’s hard to apply that purchase data to good use. Part of my opening remarks at FinovateEurope was that we are showered by amazing digital payment innovations and sadly the post purchase experience has mainly been left to stay in the analog world.
Purchase data is core to building a strong data economy, as this data has so far been siloed and in a format that is hard to receive in real-time. It’s not really been leveraged or valued as it should be. ReceiptHero is breaking down those silos and enabling a world where a consumer can have this data instantly in their banking app or in an approved service where the data is used to better the customer experience.
Finovate Global UAE: Abdulla Almoayed of Tarabut Gateway on Open Banking in the MENA Region
MENA’s young and tech-savvy population is still underbanked, and a driving factor behind Open Banking’s growth are companies and regulators who are keen to facilitate this huge opportunity in a responsible manner.
Moreover, banks in the region understand the benefits that Open Banking brings to their institutions. Open Banking enables them to stay relevant and to compete in today’s banking sector by providing enhanced digital offerings and customer-centricity.
Tarabut Gateway acts as the matchmaker between service providers and customers, creating a competitive fintech ecosystem where users receive the best, personalized products, and services.
Digital customer service provider Glia has integrated its platform into Jack Henry’s Banno Digital Platform to provide clients with a more comprehensive customer experience. The New York-based Glia earlier this month directly integrated its digital customer service (DCS) technology into the Banno Digital Platform through Jack Henry’s existing APIs, according to a release from the […]
The Federal Trade Commission ordered Mastercard Inc. to start providing its competitors with customer account information they need to process debit payments, a move that could cut costs for merchants. The enforcement action, approved in a 4-0 vote, is the culmination of a years-long investigation focused on Mastercard and Visa Inc.’s policies prohibiting merchants from […]
This is a sponsored post from Tim Fitzgerald, EMEA Financial Services Sales Manager, InterSystems.
Innovation undoubtably will help firms keep up with market volatility, changing customer demands, and the competition – not just today, but in the future. This is reflected in the thoughts of financial services leaders themselves as almost three-quarters (73%) believe innovation is vital to their survival as a business. Yet, despite widespread recognition of the critical nature of innovation, financial services firms are facing difficulties in successfully executing their innovation initiatives.
In particular, firms cite skills gaps and integrating disparate data sets as significant barriers to innovation. With the uncertainty and upheaval of the last few years showing no signs of slowing down as we head into 2023, finding ways to better leverage their people and data to further innovation, therefore, must be front of mind.
Obtaining a 360-degree view
Data has a vital role to play in innovation initiatives. Being able to access and use accurate, real-time data from all business units to obtain a holistic 360-degree view of the enterprise and its customers will enable firms to better identify and respond to growth opportunities, address challenges in an agile manner, and make more informed, in the moment decisions. This requires firms to address the data integration challenges they are currently facing and connect their myriad data and application silos.
One way of doing this is by adopting a smart data fabric which accesses, transforms, and harmonizes data from multiple sources, on demand, to make it usable and actionable for a wide variety of business applications. Ideal for complex data environments, the smart data fabric eliminates delays which lead to errors, missed opportunities, and decisions based on stale or incomplete data.
This approach allows existing legacy applications and data to remain in place, thereby enabling firms to maximize the value from their previous technology investments, including existing data lakes and data warehouses, without having to “rip-and-replace” any of their existing technology.
By obtaining this instant insight into their organization and customers, financial services firms will be able to make better, more accurate decisions to drive innovation, improve customer experiences, and get ahead of the curve.
Power to the people
Implementing new technology alone is not enough to help firms overcome the barriers that are currently standing in the way of successful innovation. People also have a significant part to play in innovation initiatives, so giving them the capabilities to conquer current skills gaps and to use data effectively to drive innovation are also key. Firms can achieve this by implementing a holistic innovation strategy which brings together all the critical elements required for successful innovation – people, processes, and technology – and identifies how to empower business users with data.
By putting data directly into the hands of business users, firms will be able to mitigate some of the impacts of skills gaps and help people to actively contribute to innovation initiatives. Self-service analytics capabilities embedded within smart data fabrics will provide immense value here. These capabilities will enable business users to freely explore the data, ask ad hoc questions, and drill down via additional queries based on initial findings.
In doing so, not only will firms be able to leverage their data more fully, but also they will be able to mitigate the impact of skills gaps by empowering employees to read and interpret data and make the data-driven decisions needed for successful innovation. This also will reduce reliance on IT teams to surface and interpret data, while avoiding the need for business users to learn a whole host of new skills and tools.
New year, new approach
As firms look to 2023, likely with a mix of excitement and trepidation about what the year may bring, ensuring they address the barriers currently standing in the way of innovation success is essential to help them respond to whatever comes next. By addressing issues with data integration and skills gaps head on, financial services organizations will be able to make more effective use of both their data and people to drive forward innovation initiatives.
Arming themselves with a clear innovation strategy and a team of empowered and data-enabled employees will give firms the capabilities overcome any challenges that may arise, but also critically, to grow their offering, future-proof their organization, and meet changing customer demand. Ultimately, adopting this approach will help firms to set themselves up for long-term innovation success, not just for 2023, but beyond.
Bank of America Senior Vice President Jorge Camargo is focused on delivering a high-tech, high-touch strategy to improve customer experiences.
The $3.1 trillion bank continues to invest in both tech talent and in the bank’s virtual assistant, Erica — an effort that Camargo has led.
Bank Automation News recently caught up with Camargo to discuss Erica and the bank’s digital strategy heading into 2023. What follows is an edited version of that conversation.
Bank Automation News: What is Bank of America’s innovation strategy for 2023?
Jorge Camargo: Understanding that the 2023 economic outlook is uncertain, it is crucial that financial institutions offer clients individualized banking solutions that evolve with their needs and lifestyle. These solutions should be personalized to each client and continue to change and evolve as their priorities do. We will continue investment in AI and automation in 2023. As adoption and engagement with Erica and other digital capabilities grows, we will continue to look at clients’ interactions and overall financial needs based on their current use to help inform our investments in new digital offerings.
BAN: How did AI enhancements improve Erica in 2022?
JC: Bank of America continues to expand and refine Erica’s capabilities to provide clients further insights and guidance on optimizing cash flow, managing debt, monitoring transactions, capitalizing on savings opportunities and balancing competing priorities to reach critical financial goals. In September 2022, we implemented Mobile Servicing Chat by Erica to connect clients with representatives to answer more complex servicing questions live, with more than 170,000 chats having already taken place.
We also integrated Erica’s capabilities further across all areas of our business, including the launch of Erica for Benefits online and the expansion of Erica’s expertise to include retirement-planning advice. We’re continuously enhancing Erica’s abilities; the latest example includes recognitions of many of the common searches we see on our online banking website.
BAN: Are automation improvements on the horizon for Erica?
JC: Our continued investment in Erica’s AI-powered capabilities enables us to quickly respond to voice, text chat, or on-screen interactions from clients who need assistance with financial transactions, while proactively delivering personalized insights and advice at key moments. Erica offers unique interactive insights on how to save money by paying down credit cards or notifying clients when recurring charges such as cell phone bills or subscriptions increase unexpectedly.
We continue to refine and automate our tuning process to ensure Erica continues to become smarter and the answers provided remain timely and relevant to our clients. Tuning is a continuous monitoring and retraining process that our team conducts in the background to guarantee Erica remains a state-of-the-art financial assistant.
BAN: How does the bank choose which upgrades to make for Erica?
JC: We’ve been on a journey of increasing Erica’s capabilities to reach all sectors of a client’s banking experience. Our team continuously reviews Erica client interactions and labels them to understand client needs and requests. Labeling is the process of mapping a client’s question or request to the resulting action Erica will perform. If any issues or opportunities for improvement are identified during the labeling process, our team uses those learnings to re-train the Erica AI model. This process is repeated thousands of times per year to ensure Erica continues to become smarter.
BAN: What new tech is on your radar for 2023?
JC: Bank of America invests over $3 billion on new technology initiatives each year. We are focused on being open, flexible and fast as we invest in state-of-the-art digital banking technology to help our clients easily and securely manage their finances. We’re always looking at innovations in technology and AI specifically that help to drive further automation at scale and deliver a safe and seamless client experience while keeping them in control of their information.
Applying data, AI and business intelligence to create tailored experiences with leading capabilities and relevant and timely information that empower our clients is at the center of everything we do. At Bank of America, we are dedicated to continuously improving our digital offerings, as well as listening to client feedback and data analytics to guide what’s working and how we can better our services.
J.P. Morgan Asset Management and cash management fintech Trovata are collaborating to offer access to higher yields on corporate investments amid rising interest rates and economic uncertainty through its Morgan Money platform, a multicurrency, trading and risk management system that launched in 2019. The collaboration will combine J.P. Morgan’s investment capabilities with Trovata’s ability to […]
American Express has launched business-to-business payments network AmEx Business Link, allowing commercial clients to support several types of payments including card, non-card, domestic and cross-border transactions. The API-based solution connects to a variety of technology platforms and provides buyers and sellers the ability to choose in real time how they want to be paid. “We […]
Demand for core provider Temenos’ services remains strong amid a focus on digital transformation among banks. The $36.4 billion Bank of Queensland, based in Queensland, Australia, in Q3 selected Temenos’ cloud-based platform for its retail banking business, a spokesperson for Temenos told Bank Automation News. The Geneva-based tech provider’s other Q3 bank contracts include: $67 […]
Here is our pick of the 3 most important stablecoin stories during the week.
What a year 2022 has been!
As this is my last post for the year, I have picked stories that seem to sum up what has been a wild 2022.
Firstly, in stablecoins we had a number, in particular Algo stablecoins lose their peg.
In the case of USTC, for example, the Terraform Labs ecosystem had flaws that allowed the exploitation of arbitrage opportunities due to the low liquidity of Curve (CRV) that underpinned the stablecoin’s parity.
Also, in May, the DeFi Anchor project, a protocol that allowed users to deposit USTC to earn rewards, reduced its yield from 20% to just 4%. This took many investors by surprise, and they decided to take UST out of Anchor and sell it on the market.
Another stablecoin fell apart this week, once again an Algo. The token of the decentralized application (DApp) creation platform Waves (WAVES) is plummeting after the algorithmic stablecoin backing it failed to maintain its peg to the US dollar.
And then as almost as if it was trying to bring some order to all this chaos the BIS have endorsed a finalised prudential standard on banks crypto asset exposures which will provide guidance and hence make it more likely that mainstream TradFi will dip its toes into Crypto. Some quick takeaways;
Group 1 cryptoassets. Those that meet in full a set of classification conditions. Group 1 cryptoassets include #tokenised traditional assets (Group 1a) & #cryptoassets with effective stabilisation mechanisms (Group 1b). Group 1 cryptoassets are subject to capital requirements based on the risk weights of underlying exposures as set out in the existing #Basel Framework.
Group 2 cryptoassets. Those that fail to meet any of the classification conditions. As a result, they pose additional & higher risks compared with Group 1 cryptoassets and consequently are subject to a newly prescribed conservative #capital treatment. In addition to any tokenised traditional assets & #stablecoins that fail the classification conditions, Group 2 includes all unbacked cryptoassets. A set of hedging recognition criteria is used to identify those Group 2 cryptoassets where a limited degree of #hedging is permitted to be recognised (Group 2a) and those where hedging is not recognised (Group 2b).
Additional key elements of the standard include:
Infrastructure risk add-on: An add-on to risk-weighted assets (#RWA) to cover #infrastructure risk for all Group 1 cryptoassets that authorities can activate based on any observed weaknesses in the infrastructure on which cryptoassets are based.
Redemption risk test and a supervision/regulation requirement: This test & requirement must be met for stablecoins to be eligible for inclusion in Group 1. They seek to ensure that only stablecoins issued by #supervised & #regulated entities that have robust redemption rights and governance are eligible for inclusion.
Group 2 exposure limit: A bank’s total exposure to Group 2 cryptoassets must not exceed 2% of the bank’s Tier 1 capital and should generally be lower than 1%.
Other elements of the standard include descriptions of how the operational risk, liquidity, leverage ratio & large exposures requirements should be applied to banks’ cryptoasset exposures.
And our final story, is a bonus fourth article, that focuses us on what this novel invention is all about – the technology. Credit Suisse, Pictet and Vontobel have conducted a proof of concept to issue tokenized investment products recorded on a public blockchain and traded on BX Swiss, the Swiss regulated stock exchange. The three processes of the proof of concept – issuance, trading and settlement – took place within hours, whereas in a traditional financial environment they take days.
So in summary, as the world of stablecoins and CBDC’s staggered thru the year, while the broader Crypto world descended into chaos and we all look forward to a break, recharge the batteries and get to do it again next year, remember the technology, it is novel, it is efficient and it brings powerful advantages over the existing system.
Wealthfront originally tapped Green Dot in 2020 to use the company’s banking-as-a-service tools to offer its Cash Account clients access to checking features. Today, the two announced they are continuing the relationship.
Wealthfront’s Cash Account leverages Green Dot to offer features competitive with other digital banks, including the ability to receive direct deposits up to two days early, pay bills, send and deposit checks, and use a debit card to access cash at ATMs. The account requires a $1 initial deposit, offers unlimited free transfers, automated savings features, near-instant transfers into Wealthfront’s Investment Accounts, and more.
Additionally, Wealthfront’s Cash Accounts pay a 3.80% APY, a huge improvement over what most firms were offering during the recent near-zero interest rate environment. The competition among digital banking providers has intensified, and competing on interest rates will be a good way for these newcomers to gain new customers and increased deposits. That’s because many large traditional banks are paying an average of just 0.24% APY.
Other players in the wealth management space are also currently offering high interest rates on their checking accounts. Personal Capital just announced it will pay 3.85% and Betterment is paying 3.75% on its high-yield account.
“Today’s investors want smart saving and investing products that help them build wealth in all market conditions, which is why we’re proud to offer the Cash Account to help our clients earn more on their uninvested savings,” said Wealthfront VP of Product Dave Myszewski. “With one of the highest rates on the market plus checking features powered by Green Dot, we’re able to provide a best-in-class Cash Account that is far superior to what a traditional bank can offer, so our clients can grow their long-term wealth easily and conveniently.”
Wealthfront had a hopeful start to 2022 when UBS agreed to acquire the California-based company for $1.4 billion in January. Nine months later, however, UBS called off the agreement because of “unspecified regulatory concerns.” Along with the termination, UBS gave Wealthfront $70 million in financing at a $1.4 billion valuation. “With this fresh round of funding under our belt along with the ability to begin self-funding the business, we are committed to building a lasting company that positively impacts the lives of our clients for decades to come,” said Wealthfront Chief Executive Officer David Fortunato.
Banks and credit unions will invest in their customer and member engagement offerings in 2023 as more clients desire relationship banking. Financial institutions (FIs) plan to invest in digital improvements, physical branch support, contact center technology, marketing, operations and loan technology, according to the report “ENGAGE 2023: Customer Engagement in Banking: Annual Trends Report” released […]
Small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) must navigate several challenges during their first years in business. Understanding the needs of SMBs is critical, as more than 50% of small businesses fold within the first five years, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Banks that create strategies to help support SMBs can become an integral part […]
Michael Lehmbeck, chief technology officer at BankUnited, will join the panel discussion “At the core: strategies for addressing legacy core systems” at the Bank Automation Summit U.S. 2023 on Thursday, March 2 at 2:15 p.m. ET.
The Summit will take place March 2-3 at the Westin Charlotte in Charlotte, N.C., and brings together U.S.-based industry experts to discuss banking automation and technology within two tracks: Advanced Technology and Advanced Strategy.
Lehmbeck will discuss BankUnited’s core system strategies, including integrating tools and whether to wrap or scrap legacy systems as part of the Advanced Technology track. He joins the 2023 speaker faculty following his participation at Bank Automation Summit Fall 2022, where he spoke on the citizen developers panel.
The Advanced Technology track includes panel discussions on pushing legacy systems to their limits, transitioning to new applications and a review of business intelligence use cases.