BIG TECH IN FINANCE: A DEEP DIVE INTO THE FUTURE OF FINTECH

| February 10, 2020

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The following article looks at Big Tech and its impact on the financial services sector. Whilst competition from small fintech startups will certainly take away some market share from traditional banks, the impact of “GAFA” could be huge. The fintech movement did more than unbundle banking and its core services — it spurred financial inclusion across Asia, increased overall economic growth, and made significant inroads into the finance value chain. The born-digital companies brought technology to the forefront, attacking the traditional risk-averse sector from various points — digital payments, insurance, P2P lending, and investment management, among other avenues.

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EMC Insurance Companies

EMC Insurance Companies is among the top 50 insurance organizations in the country based on net written premium, and we have more than 2,500 employees. The company was organized in 1911 to write workers’ compensation protection in Iowa. Today, EMC provides property and casualty insurance products and services throughout the United States and writes reinsurance contracts worldwide. Operating under the trade name EMC Insurance Companies, Employers Mutual Casualty Company and one or more of its affiliated companies is licensed in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

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Investor Insight: Digital Marketing Trends in the Banking Service Industry

Article | August 18, 2021

With the growth of social media and a slew of technological changes, banking has changed the way it functions. Just as online shopping and e-commerce are boosting sales, similarly social media, blogs and the technology for sharing videos are also creating buzz about specific brands and products. Businesses need to adapt and keep up with the changing trends in digital marketing. Digital marketing trends in the banking industry is becoming increasingly important Everybody's digital today. Virtually any bank will have a digital presence from social media to PPC ads across Google and Bing. Most banks believe that their digital marketing spending must be increased and efforts must be across every digital platform to make their advertising more efficient. The number of digital advertising and marketing companies now accounts for more than 50% of their marketing expenditure, compared to 14% of 2017. The similar banking marketing trend has occurred in mobile marketing, which spends less than 40% of its budget but is increasing. Although the importance of digital marketing trends in the banking business demonstrates increased competition, it also makes it harder to distinguish. This means that banks must take uniquely different techniques, showcasing consumers and success stories, bringing value to market offering, and making the most of a highly competitive digital world utilizing non-traditional awareness campaigns instead of normal publicity campaigns. Transition from paid to owned media Paying or buying media is called paid media where investment is made through search, showing ad networks, or in the form of affiliate marketing where one can pay for visits, audience reach or conversions. The big share of paid media spent is still crucial to conventional off-line media such as printing, TV, and direct mail. Owned media is the brand's media. This includes online company websites, blogs, and mobile apps on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter. Brochures or retail outlets may feature offline-owned media. While neither is new, digital marketers are clearly warming up banks' options for both owned and paid media. Financial institutions may use these sorts of media to organize their media activities and use the media mix according to their marketing plan and budget. Marketing to Gen X and Y As millennials continue to age into their 30s and 40s, banks must adapt to the needs of this increasingly powerful consumer market. As more millennials reach credit age, they must have access to affordable banking products from a wide range of sources. Recent research shows that young adults are three times more likely to engage in a high-cost activity like signing up for bank loans and credit cards than their elders were at the same age. In the last five years, the overall number of bank account applications has increased by 165% -- faster than any other age group, according to a report from ‘The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).’ As the baby boom generation draws closer to retirement, banks have to figure out how to serve this growing generation of consumers. Marketing to millennials is no longer exclusively about offering something free or cheap -- think free travel or goods in exchange for checking out their accounts. Instead, examine how you can develop engagement with millennials as part of your overall banking experience and marketing mix. This includes pairing social media presence with mobile apps that allow millennials to check out different accounts or receive personalized services from banks. Consider a branded experience Fintech is a fast-paced field that allows users to interact with financial providers through apps and websites. The FinTech industry is growing rapidly, with a global reach and diverse competitive landscape. The FinTech culture is evolving rapidly regarding the customer base, service level, and governance factors. Digital transformation affects how organizations deliver services, deliver value and target their campaigns toward potential or current FinTech customers. Leveraging on the FinTech culture makes it possible for organizations to re-imagine their approach to customer service in a way that optimizes both results and cost-efficiency. There’s been an explosion in the world of FinTech. And not just in financial services but also software for everything from e-commerce to real estate. There has been a real shift in how people look at financial products. People want to feel comfortable investing their hard-earned cash in FinTech products -- including cryptocurrencies. It seems like everyone has an account at a financial services company. And they want access to new types of financial products that give them a branded experience. These services are designed to make it easier for ordinary people to get money from the banks, but not so easy that they miss out on exciting opportunities. Invest in personalized ad campaigns Personalization is the big concept behind any digital marketing campaign. It’s about figuring out which audience matches your interests so you can deliver the right product or service at the right time. In other words, personalization is about understanding your customer and discovering what makes them tick. How w0uld you know which customers will respond well to your marketing efforts is simply by understanding their specific needs and then tailoring your message to fulfil those needs. There is a growing shift from basic data science to more sophisticated personalization. Data science is an incredibly powerful way to understand your customer’s preferences, psychographic traits and other data points. Applied in the right way, it can provide a strong push toward providing more relevant content, special offers and better customer service. The challenge is applying that knowledge in a way that totally works for your bank. Integrate Digital Marketing Search Optimisation for banks The difficulty in creating effective digital marketing search strategies lies in the fact that customer expectations have never been higher. With e-commerce on the rise, customers expect to find what they are looking for quickly and easily. As a result, SEO strategies that are once suitable for traditional search engine optimization (SEO) are now impacting organic search results. The problem is that it can be difficult to determine which approach will deliver the best results for your business through digital marketing search engine optimization (SEO). Banks are beginning to pay more attention to digital marketing. They understand that by providing their customers with easy and convenient access to information. They will be more likely to spend money on the products and services said company offers. Digital marketing is not just about getting people to read blog posts or engage with social media pages - if that were the metric, everyone would read everything online! Instead, it’s about getting people who might not otherwise engage with business opportunities, or simply wouldn't know where to start looking for information. Maintain focus on customer experience and commitment The customer experience is the heart and soul of every bank’s digital marketing effort and every bank should strive to provide this level of customer service consistently. The digital marketing trend in the banking industry has taken to transparency and customer-focused messages. Many banks are beginning to understand how marketing messages can best stand on their own feet. With the ever-changing digital landscape, maintaining focus on customer experience is becoming ever more important. For banks and their customers, this means developing a continuous and interactive digital experience that allows them to stay engaged with their valued customers. In addition to branding and marketing campaigns designed to continue growing customer confidence, banks should also continue developing relationships with their fellow business partners through digital tools and social networking. The Take-Away There’s a numbers game attached to online marketing: The more you know about your audience, the better you can tailor your approach and demonstrate ROI. This is why marketers closely watch industry trends – it helps them to understand their customers better. In fact, according to a recent study by AdRoll, half of the businesses that use customer data to personalize their online ad campaigns have seen CTRs increase by 20%. Banks should be doing the same and looking to integrate data into their campaigns this year. Some Frequently Asked Questions What are the latest trends in digital marketing for banks? AI, augmented reality, voice search optimization, programmatic advertising, chatbots, personalization, automated email marketing, video marketing, Instagram reels, shoppable content, influencer marketing, and geofencing are just a few of the most recent digital marketing trends in the banking industry to watch out for. These new additions in the banking industry paves the way for a revolution in how financial institutes market their services. How do banks use digital marketing? Banks use the following types of digital marketing to gain attention: Explainer videos to make complex financial concepts more understandable. Make your website the primary point of contact for your customers. Set up a YouTube channel to provide information-dense content. Marketing through email Marketing via mobile device How valuable is digital marketing? Digital marketing not only helps in saving money by bringing in customers at a cheaper cost than conventional marketing techniques, but it also assists you in increasing your income. The value of digital marketing can now be evaluated more precisely and the influence it has on your business may have a significant positive impact. How do you advertise banking services? Make use of these five tried-and-true bank marketing strategies to raise awareness, attract customers, and do more: Content marketing: Content marketing is a kind of marketing that uses written content to promote a company's products and services. Develop textual, graphic, and interactive components for your website. Search engine optimization (SEO) Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising Social media marketing Online Reputation management { "@context": "https://schema.org", "@type": "FAQPage", "mainEntity": [{ "@type": "Question", "name": "What are the latest trends in digital marketing for banks?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "AI, augmented reality, voice search optimization, programmatic advertising, chatbots, personalization, automated email marketing, video marketing, Instagram reels, shoppable content, influencer marketing, and geofencing are just a few of the most recent digital marketing trends in the banking industry to watch out for. These new additions in the banking industry pave the way for a revolution in how financial institutes market their services." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "How do banks use digital marketing?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Banks use the following types of digital marketing to gain attention: Explainer videos to make complex financial concepts more understandable. Make your website the primary point of contact for your customers. Set up a YouTube channel to provide information-dense content. Marketing through email Marketing via mobile device" } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "How valuable is digital marketing?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Digital marketing not only helps in saving money by bringing in customers at a cheaper cost than conventional marketing techniques, but it also assists you in increasing your income. The value of digital marketing can now be evaluated more precisely and the influence it has on your business may have a significant positive impact." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "How do you advertise banking services?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Make use of these five tried-and-true bank marketing strategies to raise awareness, attract customers, and do more: Content marketing: Content marketing is a kind of marketing that uses written content to promote a company's products and services. Develop textual, graphic, and interactive components for your website. Search engine optimization (SEO) Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising Social media marketing Online Reputation management" } }] }

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4 Benefits to Becoming Digital and Data-Driven in Financial Services

Article | February 18, 2020

Make no mistake: the current explosion of volume in data coupled with the emergence of new tools and processes on the public internet has created a near-perfect storm when it comes to generating opportunities for the enterprise. In addition to the creation of all new forms of business – think of Netflix and Uber – the abundance of expansive data that can be utilized in cost-efficient applications can also drive insight and innovation in previously unimaginable ways.

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The Post-pandemic Market Infrastructure Growth Opportunity

Article | August 17, 2021

The current global pandemic has changed our mindset and habits, as we are forced to revaluate the current ways we do things by thinking further outside the box. Over the last 12-18 months there has been a complete contrast of fortunes in the capital markets technology sector, with some firms flourishing, some struggling to survive, and others having to reinvent themselves to do so. Here at GMEX Group it has presented a substantial opportunity for innovation, which continues to accelerate on the back of the momentum already built. One such opportunity centres on digital market infrastructure-enabled digital assets which, despite near-term market-driven volatility, will continue to experience increasing demand for solutions and services from institutional capital markets firms. Market Infrastructure Evolution GMEX Group started as a FinTech company over 9 years ago and focused on supplying technology to traditional exchanges and post trade operators based on a partnership-driven approach. Over the last few years, as a growth-stage company, we have focused on both digital market infrastructure solutions (including issuance, exchange trading, clearing, settlement and digital custody for digital assets), as well as continuing with traditional market infrastructure enablement. Our hybrid market infrastructure approach has enabled us to deliver technologically advanced, institutional grade, future-proofed solutions that take advantage of the inherently positive characteristics of both traditional and digital market infrastructure. In today’s environment, exchange matching engines, digital trading platforms and post trade systems need to embrace a hybrid ecosystem approach. Bridging the gap between traditional and digital capital markets, whilst effectively mapping to evolving regulatory frameworks, is essential. This requires an approach which encompasses traditional and digital assets, digital currencies, security tokens and digital securitisation of traditional assets including derivatives and commodities. The increasing regulatory requirements for digital asset infrastructure and the resultant demand for solutions that are fit for purpose has played into our core strengths. We’ve worked to provide a complete hybrid market infrastructure product suite called GMEX Fusion, which is ideally suited for regulated exchanges, trading venues, custodians and banks focused on both traditional and digital assets of all kinds. Our solution set has been designed to support the latest technology and business challenges that are impacting the way traditional exchanges are looking to operate as they look to embrace digital transformation. GMEX Fusion also addresses the demands from the cryptocurrency exchanges, digital asset trading venues, Non Fungible Token (NFT) marketplaces and emerging markets looking to start-up or enhance their exchange ecosystem and support digital assets. GMEX is working with many of these entities across multiple jurisdictions as our footprint is very much global, with clients and partners all over the world. Exchange 4.0 The Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) is driving technological innovation in many spheres, and with it comes the need to move from analogue to digital - and embrace Exchange 4.0. The industry-changing network will see exchanges, trading venues, post trade operators, custodians, and other services interconnect more seamlessly, with the ability to swap services and assets across jurisdictions and across different types of users. This transformational solution will necessitate digital exchange trading systems, order matching engines and post trade platforms to transition from the legacy solutions that have been around for decades. We are now moving past the second and third generation of blockchain in financial services towards Exchange 4.0 at an accelerated pace. As an industry, we’re in a state of flux which has merely been exacerbated by the crisis. If we look at FinTech firms now, I would argue it’s the most exciting time ever because so many new technologies are emerging. With blockchain on the one hand, and AI, Internet of Things (IoT) and quantum computing on the other. From being nascent, many of these are now starting to grow as well as integrate. With all this technology around, the opportunity for innovation is immense. But that’s counter-balanced by the inertia of existing legacy platforms, processes and mindsets. We know how the smartphone revolutionised the way we communicate, online and in every other fashion. Even 10 years ago, we couldn’t have envisioned where we are now and the extent to which it’s developed. We are now in the same place in financial markets. We don’t necessarily see it and despite the innovation there are many silos which don’t talk to each other effectively. There is strong client demand for the full spectrum of digital and hybrid services. However interoperability and time to market remain a challenge, with traditional and multiple types of blockchain-enabled digital market infrastructure being severely fragmented. The team at GMEX group firmly believe that digital market infrastructure and related services need to integrate with existing market infrastructure and technologies to foster interoperability. By doing so there is an opportunity to interconnect the whole capital markets value chain of participants across international nodes (jurisdictions), to more easily trade, clear and settle traditional assets and digital assets and eradicate the age-old exchange silos. The immense opportunities As unfortunate as the current crisis is, it will end and immense opportunities will follow once normality resumes. There is expected to be exponential growth in digital assets over the next five years, with a continued uptick in institutional demand. This is not only a huge opportunity for FinTech firms, but also a big opportunity for financial markets firms and those that provide financial services. To GMEX, this presents an opportunity where the right answer isn’t the traditional status quo and it isn’t the decentralised Wild West. The right answer is somewhere in between, and that presents an opportunity to create new products, new asset classes and new revenue streams. The ability to harness hybrid market infrastructure will be essential in the capital markets sector, irrespective of whether the underlying asset class is traditional or digital. And to achieve the winning position, innovation now is key!

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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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Spotlight

EMC Insurance Companies

EMC Insurance Companies is among the top 50 insurance organizations in the country based on net written premium, and we have more than 2,500 employees. The company was organized in 1911 to write workers’ compensation protection in Iowa. Today, EMC provides property and casualty insurance products and services throughout the United States and writes reinsurance contracts worldwide. Operating under the trade name EMC Insurance Companies, Employers Mutual Casualty Company and one or more of its affiliated companies is licensed in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

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