Artificial intelligence in banking

| June 4, 2019

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Artificial intelligence (AI) is a significant step forward in the digitalisation and transformation of modern businesses. In short, it refers to computers’ capability to acquire and apply knowledge without programmers’ intervention. Investors are lining up to be part of the imminent change. AI attracted USD 24 bn in investments globally in 2018, a twelvefold increase since 2013. US startups received the most attention, followed by Chinese, which already outpaced European AI start-ups.

Spotlight

Folio Investing

Folio Investing is the brokerage designed specifically to help you maximize returns by providing you with the ability to create customized, well-diversified portfolios and manage them at a low cost. It’s the one place where you can create an unlimited number of diversified investment portfolios, called folios, to combine the benefits of direct stock ownership with one-click control over your portfolio strategy. You can customize each folio with up to 100 stocks, ETFs, and mutual funds or choose from over 160 free, pre‐made Ready-to‐Go folios that you can use as-is or customize. Diversification is easy and accessible at Folio because with fractional share investing, you can trade securities at any dollar amount even less than a full share.

OTHER ARTICLES

How the Coronavirus Crisis is Impacting Fintech

Article | March 26, 2020

The global coronavirus pandemic has far-reaching implications for every aspect of the economy, and fintech is already feeling some of the consequences of the escalating crisis. From canceled events to shrinking opportunities for fundraising, we’re talking through some of the biggest challenges this crisis will present to the industry. We’re also highlighting the areas of opportunity unique to fintech as the situation continues to evolve.

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THE DIGITAL TIPPING POINT IN FINANCIAL SERVICES

Article | May 27, 2021

There is a huge transformation underway in the financial services industry. Over the past year – as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic – clients have been forced to take on more of an active role in monitoring and planning for financial uncertainty. But the big change is that these clients have become much more emotionally invested in their organisations’ financial wellbeing. In a time where everything is digital first, it’s no surprise that many clients want to be able to search for answers themselves, escalate issues quickly and receive the support they need to better navigate the uncertain economic landscape, at speed. Of course, as clients demand a smoother and more fulfilling experience, we’re seeing a shift in how financial services companies manage their business model for success in the long term. Whilst, stereotypically, the financial services industry has been considered ‘old school’, and in many cases still lags behind other industries in the digital transformation race, the pandemic is proof in point that relying on legacy systems is just not an option for the sector anymore. Thriving during turbulent times The good news is that many organisations in the sector are already rising to the challenge, adjusting their products and services to meet the needs of customers who might have been struggling through the pandemic themselves. Siemens Financial, a division of Europe’s largest manufacturing company, for example, moved quickly to scale their service to meet surges in customer needs. The financial arm provides B2B financing solutions to a large client base covering both small businesses and large corporations. When the pandemic struck, while the company was quickly inundated with requests for support, they had the right mindset and tools already in place to keep things running smoothly. At the onset of the pandemic, the organisation witnessed a 30 percent increase in customer support ticket volumes. Like with all other businesses operating in the service industry, the team were challenged with managing a huge influx in client requests, whilst maintaining their core offering of delivering a personal service to every client. Based on a data-driven decision, the team moved its entire operation online, within 48 hours. In doing so, they were able to respond to new tickets during the peak of the pandemic within just six to seven hours, plus decrease resolution time from 24 hours to little more than eight. What’s more, they quickly moved the entire team to a remote working set up. Frictionless digital services are paramount to remaining resilient in the face of COVID-19. Of course, for all organisations, this means saying goodbye to those spreadsheets used to track customer data and instead, embracing custom built support solutions providing real-time insights to support businesses in making decisions, at speed. Investing now, for a successful future However, for organisations who have more traditionally operated off of old or outdated legacy systems, it can be hard for them to visualise what a more digital way of operating could look like in practice. As you think about the road to recovery, it might therefore be worth considering where to invest first for the best return. For example, according to the Zendesk Customer Experience Trends Report 2021, 67 per cent of customers are willing to spend more at a company providing them with a good experience. Whilst it may feel like the thriving organisations are the ones investing lots of money into CX technology, it’s clear that investment - or lack thereof - is being felt by customers too. We’ve reached the digital tipping point - where holding at the status quo will actually put companies further and further behind. It’s about equipping your employees with the right technology, at the right time. We saw that Siemens Financial could keep track of customer conversations remotely, with minimal disruption. This is because the flexible platform they used to keep track of the customer experience provided their service agents with a 360 view of all clients’ prior interactions with the team. For example, whether they’ve used WhatsApp, the phone, or email to communicate with the brand, for customer experience agents using an omnichannel platform, the conversation looks the same.

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Effective Use of Intent Data for Financial Institutions

Article | June 30, 2021

The world began its course to become a digital open book after the internet came into existence. With almost everything available for purchase, the internet has brought the world to the buyer's doorstep. With the purchase, comes the data, and with effective use of the data collected within a period, any industry can speculate the buyer’s journey and take compelling steps to attract the buyer. Looking at the facts, around 93% of purchases start with internet research. Intent data is the name of the collection of the behavioral signals that a user shows while purchasing anything. This data helps businesses be available at the right time and the right place to pitch their product to the customer who is already interested in buying what they are selling. Businesses can analyze these signals, accurately understand where the prospect is in its buying journey and can give a solution to the problem. With intent data, even financial institutions can up their game and generate greater ROI while accurately predicting the buyer’s position in its purchase journey, and provide the best value to attract him/her. With over terabytes of intent data available for use, financial institutions can use it to flourish in this pandemic hit economy, using fewer resources and marketing their services to ready to buy consumers. Since its inception, intent data is on the top priority of every marketer’s to-do list, with its usage in advertising campaigns, outreach campaigns, content creation, SEO, etc. This article covers how financial institutions can use intent data to their advantage, provide value to the user, and draw massive attention to their platform to reach their ultimate goal and generate more revenue. Before going further, let’s understand the basic concept of intent data and its type that comes into the use for financial institutions. WHAT IS INTENT DATA? Intent data refers to collecting information on online behavioral insights of internet users or prospects, allowing you to better focus on the audience that has more chances of buying your products or services. To put it simply, intent data will help you display your product or services to those already searching for it. For example, your financial department is facing challenges to keep the accounting on track, checking the organization’s financial status, etc. While, you look for the solutions online, you Google “best financial tool for in-house accounting.” Out of millions of search results, your search concludes with some of the top tools like Robotic Press Automation (RPA) in accounting kept aside. Now, your search would be more specific and according to the selected tools. Now, for comparing and selecting the best tools, you may Google- “How RPA keeps track on accounting?” “What is the ROI of RPA in accounting for small enterprises?” “What is the role of RPA in accounting?” And so on. Notice how your search query got specified after some informative searches. Imagine having the power of intent data of your customers and satisfying them with your content. Intent data helps you nurture a highly targeted audience and eventually convert them into your clients. When prospects face challenges, they search for the solution online. While providing the solution for any specific query, websites ask the prospects to accept their cookies. These cookies monitor their intent of searching and this data is then pushed to the marketers to mold their campaigns suited better for these targeted customers. Let’s look at how financial institutions can focus their campaigns on highly targeted prospects with types of intent data. TYPES/SOURCES OF INTENT DATA The types of intent data divide the vast information of intent into three types - first party, second party, and third party. First-party The data you now gather on known contacts and anonymous visitors is first-party intent data. It can also involve prospective website connections, newsletters, emails, and social media. You can use the first-party intent data to segment messages, build workflows, and get more leads. You can assist your marketing and sales team in determining how to approach and convert a prospect. Second-party Second-party data refers to data collected by another company. It is like gaining insights into your prospects from the shops they have visited earlier. The second-party intent data includes review websites and publishing networks. And all this information is voluntarily provided by the user. Sometimes, the user may also share the contact details and their business email id. Third-party While some systems only track a network of pages, third-party intent data is gathered from all across the web. In several cases, this intent data is extracted using one of 3 techniques: reverse IP lookup, Bidstream data from ad networks and widgets, and media exchange/publishing participants. Third-party intent data can show the user’s intent that is relevant to your campaign. STEPS TO BUILD GREATER ROI FROM INTENT DATA How can a financial institution decide whether a particular lead is worth its investment? Answer: By lead qualification. By segregating each lead into three types, you can decide whether the prospect is an active buyer or someone who wants some information over the web. It allows the marketing team to use their time efficiently and target the leads which are likely to convert. For significant ROI from intent data, financial institutions should gather intent data and segregate it into three types of B2B data- Fit data, Intent data, and Opportunity data. Fit data Fit data shows how well your product or services fit the need of the customers. Imagine if a financial institution provides loans on a low credit score, and a user searches for loans on a low credit score, we can call this collection of information as fit data. With this information, you can efficiently use your time and investment to target a specific prospect. This information collection may include the prospect’s age, sex, job level, job function, and the residing location. Fit data is generally the data that won’t change quickly. It may give you a right fit of prospects for your campaign but cannot tell you the right time or context of search intent. Opportunity data Opportunity data is event-based data on particular prospects. Suppose, you are a financial institution providing a car loan on reduced interest rates, and you come to know that a specific company is crediting bonus salary to its employees. If you market your car loan services to their employees, you can have more leads as you know they have a bonus salary in their account. This is called an opportunity data, which sometimes is also referred to as data scoops that give you information about favorable conditions for sale. As the name suggests, the opportunity data gives you the data of a perfect opportunity to market your services to targeted prospects. Intent data Intent data indicates that the time has come to engage with folks who actively express a desire to acquire a solution. When the intent data is integrated with other signals and a solid fit, the chances of conversion increase dramatically. It's helpful to know when there's movement at a company, but if you don't know who to connect with and don't have a phone number or email address for them, it's only informative. You need actionable data along with intent data to perform a perfect marketing campaign. COMMON USE OF INTENT DATA A Segment to sort out active prospects With the use of intent data, B2B marketers find companies actively looking for products or services they are serving. Intent data solutions provide segmentation tools that you can utilize to sort out active prospects that fit perfectly with your services. This segmentation tool can help you filter your prospect with an unlimited combination of the type of company, contact details, location, industry, and technology they use. Intent data for Account-Based Marketing Leading B2B marketers use intent data to drive their ABM campaigns as it naturally fits these campaigns. ABM and intent data are the two sides of the same coin, as ABM delivers results through specific account’s interest and intent data provides timely opportunities to initiate the contact. Integrating both helps you elevate your marketing reach. Intent Data for marketing campaign Optimization Integrated marketing strategies help financial institutions because marketers can pump useful insights to drive effective and relevant demands. The sales team of financial institutions get into the conversation with the buyer while having more information on their pain points and what solutions they are looking for, giving them an upper hand in exchange. SIGNIFICANT FINANCIAL MARKETING TREND Insight-driven marketing With the help of effective machine learning and artificial intelligence, insight-driven marketing helps financial institutions to offer financial assistance to the right fit of customers. Marketers can further collect the right type of customers that fits the services and not the other way around. Prospects with other financial needs can be routed to more appropriate services you offer. Awareness of the customer journey Intent data helps financial institutions optimize and understand the customer journey and correctly map customer interactions. It enables to influence the end-to-end experience of the customer. By having a perfect understanding of where the customer stands in the customer journey, financial institutions can market their services according to their needs. Increased personalization Intent data allows the marketers to look further into the minds of their prospects. It enables them to read the customers as an open book while segmenting them on their thought process. For example, which customer is more savings-oriented? Which one is planning for their retirement? With these insights, marketers can match the right customers to their services with the relevant type of marketing to compel the audience. TYPES OF MARKETING SIGNAL AVAILABLE Signals are the hints prospects resonate, showing financial institutions they are ready for being potential customers. These signals are everyday actions like Googling stuff they need orLike hard searching online, clicking on financial institution ads, applying for any loans, and paying off debts. Financial institutions can use these signals to run highly specific marketing campaigns. Let’s look into these marketing signals further. Most marketing signal falls into three major categories, such as: Behavior-based The behavior-based marketing signal includes hard searching like credit inquiries and online searches that signal intent to look for services. It may also include some minor changes that indicate future requirements like a change of residence or buying intent of large purchases like automobiles and real estate. Event-based Event-based marketing signals include automobile lease expiring, mortgage rate settings, or child passing the high school. These are the hints that indicate the prospect is going to have a requirement for your services. These signs show that the customer is about to have a significant financial shift, and financial institutions can use this opportunity to market their services. Predictive Predictive signals are passive hints that prospects show. It may not be as obvious as behavior-based, but it can set a boundary to your targeted customers. Some of the predictive marketing signals could have data of savings, debit consolidation, and mortgage refining. Predictive marketing signal can give low fidelity and can assure you the maximum coverage of your marketing campaign. CONCLUSION Using signals to attract and retain consumers is an effective component of a well-thought-out marketing strategy. Moving to a signals-based strategy, on the other hand, does not have to be a huge overhaul of your current procedures. Continue to use your tried-and-true strategy, but experiment with new ways of analyzing and responding to signals. Worried about how much money you'll need to set aside to fund the signal-based marketing strategies? You can assess the ROI of the marketing strategy before expanding your program if you start with a scalable service with no commitments. Traditional signals continue to be relevant and form the basis for customer-focused marketing. Combining them with potentially powerful signals that indicate purchase intent will enable proactive communication and elevate financial marketing initiatives to the next level.

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Financial infrastructure: the FinTech way

Article | February 24, 2020

Financial infrastructure plays a critical role in a country’s economic development and stability. It determines how efficiently financial services can be provided. A high-quality infrastructure lends itself, among other benefits, to lower transactional costs and more accurate risk evaluations, improving lending and access to capital.

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Spotlight

Folio Investing

Folio Investing is the brokerage designed specifically to help you maximize returns by providing you with the ability to create customized, well-diversified portfolios and manage them at a low cost. It’s the one place where you can create an unlimited number of diversified investment portfolios, called folios, to combine the benefits of direct stock ownership with one-click control over your portfolio strategy. You can customize each folio with up to 100 stocks, ETFs, and mutual funds or choose from over 160 free, pre‐made Ready-to‐Go folios that you can use as-is or customize. Diversification is easy and accessible at Folio because with fractional share investing, you can trade securities at any dollar amount even less than a full share.

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