5 Must-Read Reports for IT Security Leaders in Financial Services

May 2, 2017 | 34 views

In 2016, most attacks against financial services firms were unknowingly facilitated by “inadvertent actors,” reports IBM. That is, by insiders without malicious intent, such as employees or contractors, who simply clicked a bad link or downloaded the wrong attachment. Many financial organizations have locked down their IT infrastructure to reduce the attack surface for web-borne threats - at the risk of impeding productivity. But a simple page view request can still lead to major system exploits, data egress and significant financial damages.

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Transamerica Financial Advisors, Inc

At Transamerica Financial Advisors, Inc. we focus on creating, growing and managing wealth through a range of financial products and services. Our company’s vision is "to enhance the present and future economic well-being of our clients and representatives."​

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Machine Learning Application in Finance

Article | July 21, 2022

Machine learning (ML) is a facet of data science that uses experience instead of programming to learn patterns and improve performance. There is no doubt that it offers an exciting opportunity for the financial industry, where data rules the roost. Machine learning, like artificial intelligence, is designed with automation as the end goal. Ideally, machine learning will enable computer systems to access data and improve experiences based on them. All of this happens in the background. As such, there is no room for human intervention and, thus, no human errors or bias. Subsequently, this brings precision and accuracy in data insights, even when the volume of data is tremendous. With the inexplicable power that machine learning brings to finance, many fintech and financial institutions are implementing it in a multitude of ways. From an economic point of view, it is very premature to predict what we have for the next months and years, but within all the effects that this pandemic brought, it is notable that people have increased the desire to have their own companies and go digital.” Oscar Jofre Jr., Co-Founder, President/CEO at KoreConX Here are some of the applications that are currently in use. 1 Trading based on Algorithms Traditionally, traders rely on mathematical models that are based on constant monitoring of trade news and real-time market activity. These models use some predetermined criteria like timing, quantity, pricing, and other such factors to make automated trades. Algorithmic trading involves the use of trained algorithms to make informed and precise trading decisions. However, it takes the analysis and monitoring aspects to the next level. It is able to process enormous amounts of data and make near-instantaneous decisions, which gives traders an edge over the market. It also eliminates emotion-based decisions, making the process truly revolutionary. 2 Detecting and Preventing Fraud A fortified digital infrastructure is a must for banking and financial institutions to operate in the modern world. However, fraud and cybersecurity threats continue to grow in significance. Traditional fraud systems are susceptible to modern fraudsters. However, with machine learning at the helm, organizations can sift through a massive amount of data in less time to identify anomalies or unusual activities. This way, security teams can be instantly alerted to act. 3 Computed Portfolio Management Machine learning is taking portfolio management by storm with the introduction of robo-advisors. Robo-advisors are online applications that use machine learning to deliver financial insights to investors. They use algorithms that assess the investor’s goals and risks and provide a financial custom financial portfolio tailored to their risk tolerance. Not only are robo-advisors cheaper, but they also require low account minimums. 4 What’s the Writing on the Wall for Financial Services? AI, machine learning, and deep learning are the heart of the technology-driven innovation in finance and banking. Fintech applications like Signifyd, that uses ML to spot fraud transactions during checkout stages on eCommerce sites are paving the way for multi-industry digital security. Another ML startup called Zest is empowering lenders with credit scoring solutions that help in risk management. These examples only illustrate the many innovations that are driving the exponential growth and use of machine learning in trading, investments, and finance.

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3 Reasons CFOs Should Care About Investing in Cloud Based Banking

Article | June 22, 2022

Consumers today want fast, seamless, and effective services at their fingertips. In a world of virtualization, these demands keep bank C-levels on their feet. What better than cloud technology to address these demands? Cloud computing uses the internet to access data stored on external servers. Traditionally, banks have been slow adopters of technology and for good reasons. The risks involved in becoming a heavily cloud-dependent organization aren’t few. And banking institutions too, take their own time to assess risks. Despite this, cloud computing in banking presents a glowing opportunity for financial institutions to transform their operations. On-premise banking infrastructure no longer cuts it. It cannot meet modern challenges that require banks to access applications via the internet. Moving to the cloud isn’t a not an easy bargain, but one with many paybacks that bank CFOs must take note of. In this article we talk about the intricacies of switching from on-premise to the cloud in a modern context. We also talk about how CFOs can regulate costs and drive long-term financial strategies using the cloud. Ironclad Security Security is a serious concern for banks when moving to the cloud. Although 90% of banks use cloud computing for non-core processes, core services remain on the premise and off the cloud. This leaves a huge opportunity unused. With the unique security challenges so common to banking institutions, CFOs can advocate for specialized security enforcement solutions inside and outside the cloud that can meet rigorous security parameters. Fraud detection- It is important to mention here that public clouds are known to be more secure than on-premise infrastructure. This is thanks to the layers of protection that the cloud can be equipped with. Cloud-based banking also offers seamless fraud detection and protection by assessing large amounts of data from a variety of sources. It empowers banking institutions to stay ahead of the curve when anticipating discrepancies beforehand. Blockchain integration- Blockchain is the latest in technological innovation to provide ground-breaking use cases. In cloud banking services, blockchain is outgrowing its cryptocurrency ecosystem. It can be used to add a layer of security to data and cloud architecture. Richer Analytical Insights, Better Financial Reporting Cloud services for banks arm banking and financial institutions with the ability to breakdown data silos across the organization. This leads to centralizing data and generating 360-degree insight for analytics. Data insights have been proven to transform decision-making, operational efficiencies, and organizational processes. The most significant advantage, however, is product and consumer analytics. Product analytics- A reduction in product deployment cycles is just one of the many advantages that cloud computing in banking has to offer. It simplifies product testing in a way that enables organizations to test new solutions and to meet market demands and challenges while thinking on their feet. One of the most significant advantages is the easy facilitation of cloud banking possibilities that can empower customers of both traditional and non-traditional financial services. Consumer analytics- The cloud offers a hyper-flexible platform that is ideal for processing tremendous amounts of real-time data. For instance, when the cloud replaced an investment bank’s legacy banking infrastructure, it yielded an enormous boost in analytics. The transformation enabled trading teams to explore new strategies, execute experiments, and adopt analysis of data points they did not have before. Barclays, a premier banking institution, was able to free up resources for its risk analysis team by implementing a cloud-based automation process. This is further helping banks and financial firms tailor products that align with consumer demand while also balancing financial risks in a volatile market. Companies that do not make customer experience a priority will struggle and quickly fall behind.” Jeff Pedowitz, President and CEO at The Pedowitz Group Agility in Developing and Scaling New Product Offerings Agility is not just a buzzword in business. Today’s processes need to be lean and simplified to support growth in a fast-changing market. Cloud computing empowers organizations to be nimble in reacting to competitive market landscapes. In addition, accompanied by the power of data, modern financial institutions can go further than they would have anticipated in designing solutions. The wide-berth of opportunities posed by cloud computing for financial services can help create a highly competitive, agile, and scalable financial organization. Constraints to Look Out for When Switching to Cloud Computing for Banks While cloud banking services provide a new vista for banking and financial services, the transition to cloud banking may not be simple. The banking sector is evolving, and the demonstrated capabilities of the cloud come with a significant challenge that senior leaders must take into account. Migration Costs- The upfront cost of using cloud computing in banking is high. This may keep many banking and financial services’ organizations, especially smaller ones, from truly leveraging the cloud for open banking. A thorough financial analysis and planning is required to attain an equilibrium in cost through cloud banking services. Skill Shortage in Cloud- According to an Accenture study, 41% of organizations rank a shortage of cloud skills as one of the top three barriers to adopting the cloud. Achieving a balance of in-house and third party cloud talent is key. A great example of this was demonstrated by the banking industry itself when it transitioned from brick-and-mortar operations to digital and from websites to mobile. Compliance Concerns- Meeting security regulations and banking compliance codes is another significant challenge for cloud banking. Although regulatory authorities are increasingly supporting the cloud transformation, many banking institutions are cautious when it comes to exposing critical moving parts to regulation and the risk of non-compliance. To Round Off The cloud offers modern technology that is ready to scale at a day’s notice. With agility on offer, cloud computing in finance is much more than just an on-demand access to computing resources. Banking technology services are poised for a revolution, and cloud banking will play a major role in it. The points covered in this article discuss the immediate benefits that the cloud can offer. But as consumer demands and expectations undergo a whirlwind of activity, banking and financial services must join the bandwagon. They will need to assess how to leverage the cloud for their specific needs in a way that increases ROI and creates a sustainable, thriving organization. Frequently Asked Questions What are some storage options for cloud computing in finance? Public cloud storage is easily scalable as well as economical while private cloud storage offers complete control and greater scalability. Hybrid cloud storage offers the best of both worlds with significant user control and simplified customizations. Banks can explore a combination of cloud storage solutions that align with their security needs. What are the types of cloud banking services used by banking institutions? The types of cloud banking services that banks can opt for include: Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) How many banks are now using the cloud? An IBM banking multicloud survey revealed that over 91% of banking and financial institutions were already actively using cloud technology.

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How Open Banking is Uncovering the Shroud of Consumer Experience

Article | July 13, 2022

The future of financial services is here, and transparency is at the core of the evolution. While technology, as with other industries, is at the center of the transformation, the unfolding face of finance is fueled by more than just innovation in technology. Putting the Consumer at the Heart of Banking Open banking is the latest advancement to come out of the crucible of technology and growing consumer demands. Open banking is the practice of enabling third-party financial solutions providers complete access to the consumer financial data stored by banks and non-banking financial institutions. This is executed with the help of application programming interfaces, or APIs. The concept of open APIs has been around in the form of standard web APIs that provide limited access to consumer data to IT departments of financial institutions (FIs). How Open Banking Aims to Raise the Bar? Currently, several process challenges are hampering customers’ banking experiences across the board. Some of these include lack of proactive customer service, lengthy resolutions, and delayed support. Open banking will get the ball rolling for new and small banks to compete with larger, established banking institutions. The increase in competition, transparency, freedom, and clarity is aimed at empowering consumers to seek out comparisons and customizations in financial services. For instance, through open banking solutions, consumers can easily access details on interest rates, banking fees, and other costs associated with a financial product or service. What’s in it for Financial Institutions? Any new financial and banking concept must be lucrative for it to be sustainable. So, it wouldn’t be unwise to ask how it benefits financial institutions of all shapes and sizes. While the open banking practice is customer-centric at heart, it has several benefits for everyone, from large corporations to small banks. Increasing Traction for a Wider Range of Products and Services Open banking will offer next-generation analytics capabilities that will set the ball rolling for banking institutions to cross-sell their products. By storing and managing all banking data on one platform, organizations will be able to optimize business resources while personalizing cross-selling and upselling offers to customers. Garnering Clear Insights to Inform New and Better Business Decisions Consumer research will no longer be needed for rolling out new products and services. With a holistic view of the banking customers’ data at hand, FIs can drum up their investments and make better business decisions. Gaining an Edge Over Competitors with Much Lesser Market Research Open banking allows fintech companies and other financial institutions access to data. But in addition, it also allows institutions to communicate with each other, which means being able to diversify and offer financial products that are a departure from the usual offering. Even then, FIs will be able to mold their solutions to meet the most urgent challenges of customers. Preparing for the Inevitable Disruption Whether or not you’re looking to adopt the open banking system, it is on a path towards disruption in financial services. Where FIs have been traditionally closed in order to maintain security, open banking is delivering iron clad security and privacy without the restrictions. Getting a peek into a rich set of consumer data is the best way to create valuable offering that uplifts traditionally banking service to be innovative and customer-centric and thus sustainable and effective.

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Blockchain and Its Most Useful Applications in Finance

Article | May 19, 2022

Blockchain technology is notable for its transparent database, safe data, decentralized network, and cryptographic transactions. By incorporating blockchain into existing banking procedures, FinTech firms have advanced even further. The powerful blockchain technology notably stores and records information on identities, assets, transactions, money and asset swaps in a secured network. Interestingly, the data is stored in blocks, each with a storage capacity of 1 MB. Having said that, Blockchain capabilities have contributed a new dimension to the Fintech scene, evolved as a technological revolution, provided enormous potential, and resulted in substantial changes to business structures and operations. Furthermore, they have piqued the interest of both start-ups and financial application development firms in investigating the demand for blockchain. Principles of Blockchain Blockchain, aside from being safe, gives true democracy and equality to financial institutions overseas. Blockchain has grown as a tremendous possibility for banking services to give billions of people the best and most convenient financial operations worldwide. Behind the successful virtue of blockchain, what are the core principles based on which blockchain is in demand nowadays? Find out the core in the following: Peer-based communication Computational logic A distributed database Permanent records Consensus protocol Distributed ledger All of the above principles of blockchain are successfully catering to the financial industry. Useful Blockchain Applications in Finance Blockchain applications gained popularity after the digital transformation of the finance industry. Some of the applications have assisted finance in shifting its operations to a more efficient and effective path. Based on these blockchain applications, Accenture predicts that embracing blockchain will save banks $8 billion in costs by 2025, a 27 percent decrease from 2019. Reduced costs of transactions Secured digital identity management A global network having no geographic limitations Crypto lending Regulatory compliance New crowdfunding models KYC Verification Maximizing Benefits and Minimizing Dilemmas Blockchain technology applications in finance have shown maximum benefit and have minimized a lot of financial glitches that existed before. To stay abreast, the legacy system of financial deeds is becoming increasingly rare, as most financial institutes and banks implement the technology globally. According to a Deloitte analysis, revenue from business blockchain applications is expected to reach $19.9 billion by 2025, giving considerable prospects for growth in blockchain FinTech. While talking about the transformation to the blockchain, automation played a crucial role in reshaping critical financial, operational risk and finance systems on a cloud platform. Most financial organizations now store their data on the blockchain, eliminating inefficiencies such as input failures, duplication, fraud, and other issues. The combination of automation and data empowers faster financial services that is likely to enable more effective financial services and client experiences in the future.

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Spotlight

Transamerica Financial Advisors, Inc

At Transamerica Financial Advisors, Inc. we focus on creating, growing and managing wealth through a range of financial products and services. Our company’s vision is "to enhance the present and future economic well-being of our clients and representatives."​

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Volante Technologies has been Awarded The CFI.co Best Payments & Financial Messaging Solutions Global Award for 2021

Volante Technologies | April 06, 2021

Volante Technologies, the international pioneer in cloud payments and financial messaging, reported today that it has received the Cfi. co Global Award for Best Payments & Financial Messaging Solutions for 2021. The CFI.co awards program aims to recognize and honor excellence in individuals and organizations, as well as to promote innovative fintech solutions and consistently high levels of customer satisfaction. Volante's emphasis on cloud-native solutions to optimize and automate complex processes in payments and financial messaging, along with the firm's customer-centric style, was one of the main differentiating factors in the award win. The below are some of the highlights of the panel's final report: Customers of Volante account for 40% of all commercial bank deposits in the United States and 70% of global card traffic. Volante has a footprint in 35 countries and a sizable share of the financial sector, with four of the world's top five corporate banks as clients. Volante has over 100 clients worldwide, all of which have seen project cost savings of almost 62 percent and a 70 percent reduction in the time taken to complete the project. Volante Technologies CEO Vijay Oddiraju said, "Our goal has always been to provide our customers with innovative and transformative solutions. We work with them to accelerate their modernization journeys, from real-time payments to ISO 20022 migration to cloud payments. In recognition of our achievements, we are honored to have received the Cfi. co Best Payments & Financial Messaging Solutions Global Award for 2021." About Volante Technologies Volante Technologies is the world's leading provider of cloud payments and financial messaging solutions to help businesses accelerate their digital transformation. In 35 nations, they are a trusted partner of over 100 banks, financial institutions, market infrastructures, clearinghouses, and corporate treasuries. Every day, their solutions and services process millions of transactions and trillions in value, powering four of the top five multinational banks, 40 percent of all commercial bank deposits in the United States, and 70 percent of global card traffic. As a result of their continuous innovation, their clients can stay ahead of new trends, become more competitive, have better client experiences, and expand their businesses.

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Fed's Janet Yellen says case for rate rise has strengthened

LPL Financial | August 26, 2016

Speaking at an annual meeting of central bankers, Janet Yellen was cautiously upbeat about the US economy.She said economic growth and a stronger jobs market meant "the case for an increase in the federal funds rate has strengthened in recent months".

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PAYMENTS

Volante Technologies has been Awarded The CFI.co Best Payments & Financial Messaging Solutions Global Award for 2021

Volante Technologies | April 06, 2021

Volante Technologies, the international pioneer in cloud payments and financial messaging, reported today that it has received the Cfi. co Global Award for Best Payments & Financial Messaging Solutions for 2021. The CFI.co awards program aims to recognize and honor excellence in individuals and organizations, as well as to promote innovative fintech solutions and consistently high levels of customer satisfaction. Volante's emphasis on cloud-native solutions to optimize and automate complex processes in payments and financial messaging, along with the firm's customer-centric style, was one of the main differentiating factors in the award win. The below are some of the highlights of the panel's final report: Customers of Volante account for 40% of all commercial bank deposits in the United States and 70% of global card traffic. Volante has a footprint in 35 countries and a sizable share of the financial sector, with four of the world's top five corporate banks as clients. Volante has over 100 clients worldwide, all of which have seen project cost savings of almost 62 percent and a 70 percent reduction in the time taken to complete the project. Volante Technologies CEO Vijay Oddiraju said, "Our goal has always been to provide our customers with innovative and transformative solutions. We work with them to accelerate their modernization journeys, from real-time payments to ISO 20022 migration to cloud payments. In recognition of our achievements, we are honored to have received the Cfi. co Best Payments & Financial Messaging Solutions Global Award for 2021." About Volante Technologies Volante Technologies is the world's leading provider of cloud payments and financial messaging solutions to help businesses accelerate their digital transformation. In 35 nations, they are a trusted partner of over 100 banks, financial institutions, market infrastructures, clearinghouses, and corporate treasuries. Every day, their solutions and services process millions of transactions and trillions in value, powering four of the top five multinational banks, 40 percent of all commercial bank deposits in the United States, and 70 percent of global card traffic. As a result of their continuous innovation, their clients can stay ahead of new trends, become more competitive, have better client experiences, and expand their businesses.

Read More

Fed's Janet Yellen says case for rate rise has strengthened

LPL Financial | August 26, 2016

Speaking at an annual meeting of central bankers, Janet Yellen was cautiously upbeat about the US economy.She said economic growth and a stronger jobs market meant "the case for an increase in the federal funds rate has strengthened in recent months".

Read More

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