Coach, Inc Financial Analysis: Room for Improvement

| May 5, 2016

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Coach, Inc. is a luxury goods manufacturer based out of New York that started as a family business hand-making wallets and billfolds in 1941 and has grown into a $5 billion global mega-brand over the last few decades. Coach was sold by the family to Sara Lee in 1985 and went public as Coach, Inc. in 2000.

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Housing Bank for Trade and Finance

The Housing Bank for Trade and Finance (HBTF) was established in 1973 as a public shareholding limited company with a capital amounting to half a million JD. The primary focus of the Bank was to provide housing finance, and hence the name.

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WHY FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS ARE ON CLOUD NINE POST-PANDEMIC

Article | June 4, 2021

Financial institutions have, for a while now, been operating in a highly cost challenged environment. These firms will continue walking the tight rope of executing on efficiency, digital transformation and supporting the business. Post-COVID when our dear planet begins to get back to some form of normality in the months ahead, it does not necessarily assume that wallets will be loser and further budget constraints are expected to be with us for some time. As we know the Genie is out of the bottle on the whole “agile” working theory and the Cloud providers have responded in kind such as providing virtual desktops and VPN solutions. Of course not forgetting the Video calling enablement which has coined a phrase never to leave our vocabulary “sorry I was on mute”. Cost pressures aside businesses are already reassessing the effectiveness of their technology stacks. I believe we will see an acceleration of an already giddy pace by firms to move parts of their estate and applications to the public cloud. It is not only essential from a practical basis covering the usual themes of cost, storage planning on demand compute etc but if you want to retain the best talent in technology you need to be exposing them to the likes of AWS, GCP and Azure in some form. Data is the new oil As to my world in data various analogies “data is the new oil” etc, but getting beyond the taglines the public cloud is shaking up the status quo. From off-the-shelf Amazon style access to data products via a web store or to throw in another term “supermarket”. Fundamentally the barrier to entry for clients to access data, storage and enormous compute resource is really down to what you can afford. Efficiencies on compute, serverless technologies pay for what you use not pay for standby is changing the paradigm in architecture. Thereby pushing boundaries in innovation, experimentation and exposing teams to AI/ML as a utility as opposed to things you read about in journals or online. No two businesses are the same which is why certain firms are further in the journey than others. But regardless of the path financial institutions decide to go down, it does not change the fact that data needs to be delivered to the right place, at the right time, and in a preferred format. Some firms will simply want their channel partners to ship data into the cloud as an end point. From Satellites to the Cloud This leads me into my next comparison. I was lucky enough (or unlucky) to be there when the internet created another paradigm shift as a delivery end point for data. Prior to that I spent many years plugging firms into Satellites or Leased lines for the delivery of Market Data. As a younger man I thought those days would never end! If the internet became the end point that people used to get data into their own network, then the cloud to a certain extent is the modern day equivalent. After all, if firms want to use cloud as an end point into a physical data centre or on-premise, they can do that. Alternatively, if the firm wants to use the data exclusively within the cloud, then that is also achievable in this day and age.

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Banking-as-a-Service (BaaS) Empowers Any Brand to Offer Financial Services

Article | May 14, 2021

Digital banking is not new – major banks began to offer internet banking services in the mid-1990s. However, the traditional banking industry is facing significant pressure from rapidly shifting consumer expectations, changing regulations and increasing competition from digital-native disruptors. Younger Gen Z customers are more apt to use alternative transaction methods such as mobile wallets or P2P payments (e.g., PayPal or the Dutch payment app Tikkie), and businesses are beginning to favor real-time digital payments to improve efficiency, reduce cost and better manage their cash flow. Moreover the ongoing global health crisis is accelerating the movement toward real-time contactless digital payments. Fifty-six countries are now live with real-time payments, and six countries more than doubled their volume of real-time payments in the past year. [i] Due to a joint implementation of the major banks led by the Dutch Payments Association (Betaalvereniging Nederland), the Netherlands is a European leader in terms of the adoption of real-time payments. In the midst of this fast-changing landscape, new business models are arising as digital-natives, FinTechs and incumbent banks partner to offer new banking and payment services in the cloud. One example is Dutch Cobase – a subsidiary of ING Group that bundles business accounts – which recently signed a cooperation agreement with the Nordic bank Nordea and the French Crédit Agricole. Amsterdam-based banking platform Five Degrees supplies its technology to banks such as ABN Amro, Van Lanschot and Knab, among others. Collaboration like this is spurring further innovation as these digital ecosystems expand, attracting new participants. But successfully delivering these new digital services requires the direct and secure, low-latency, reliable exchange of data between partners that interconnection can provide. BaaS needs FinTechs AND banks FinTechs born in the cloud have the IT infrastructure, skills and agility to deliver digital banking and payment services on-demand. They can also offer these BaaS capabilities to any brand who wants to embed financial services in their customer experience. Sometimes referred to as “embedded finance,” BaaS enables businesses to create new products and services along the customer journey as the diagram below illustrates. However, FinTechs typically lack the assets and regulatory license to fulfill financial transactions, and that’s where banks come in. To ensure that deposits and money transfers stay safe, banks are heavily regulated and often insured up to a certain dollar amount for each depositor. This combined with a longer history with customers means that banks have an advantage when it comes to perceptions of how safe and secure a financial transaction will be. As a result, there are a few collaboration paths that FinTechs and banks generally pursue to bring BaaS services to the market: The FinTech buys a bank that already has a license such as Jiko purchasing Mid Central National Bank in the U.S. or Raisin GmbH buying MHG-Bank AG in Germany. The FinTech partners with a bank to borrow their license such as Chime partnering with Stride Bank, N.A. and The Bancorp Bank. The FinTech acquires its own license (a lengthy process that could take up to three years) such as Railsbank in the U.K. or Varo Money in the U.S. The bank partners with a FinTech to launch BaaS services such as Deutsche Bank partnering with Traxpay to integrate supply chain financing technologies and solutions within its own offerings. Regulations are shaping the partnering model The regulatory environment may also impact the partnering model. For example, open banking laws in the European Union and the U.K. require banks to open APIs to third-party developers, making it easier for FinTechs to gain access to bank data. Regulations like these are helping to reduce uncertainty for startups and accelerate innovation in the European banking system. Challenger banks such as U.K.-based Revolut have also benefitted from special licenses that allow them to directly accept deposits, process payments or lend. In the U.S., the Durbin Amendment is accelerating partnerships between small-medium banks and FinTechs in a different way. The Amendment, which has been in effect since 2011, aimed to lower prices for consumers by reducing the fees that retail stores pay to banks when customers use debit cards. In reality, banks just responded by increasing the fees that consumers pay to make up the lost revenue. However, the Durbin Amendment exempts financial institutions with less than $10 billion, making them ideal partnering candidates for FinTechs. How BaaS actually works A hybrid digital architecture for BaaS with a mix of on-premises, colocation and public/private cloud elements. In this example, the bank is the license holder partnering with the FinTech BaaS provider to deliver embedded financial services to a Brand (such as a retailer or transportation business). The bank has also partnered with other FinTechs for real-time and cross-border payments, although it handles any card transactions in-house. Interconnection will be critical for ensuring secure, low latency data flows between the partners and digital infrastructure across the regions where the BaaS is offered. Partnerships like these are steadily growing into ecosystems of digital exchange around financial services that include clouds, networks, banks, FinTechs, payment rails, fraud detection and other service providers. By placing their digital infrastructure close to these ecosystems, leveraging an interconnection approach, banks and FinTechs alike can maximize their competitive advantage. Interconnection provides a more scalable, reliable, secure approach to moving data between members of the value chain than the public internet. With an interconnection strategy, banks and FinTechs can deploy a digital core, extend across edge locations and enhance their capabilities through digital exchange to create new BaaS markets for any brand.

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Five lessons US banks can learn from fintech disruptors

Article | March 15, 2020

The financial crisis of 2008 levelled the legacy banking industry quickly and decisively in North America. And rebuilding has been a long process — culturally, operationally and technologically. With the market once again in a state of volatility in part due to the spread of COVID-19, we’re facing the question once again: what does it take for financial institutions to weather the storm?

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COVID-19 Outbreak and Crypto Market

Article | April 8, 2020

The futuristic utopia that technological progress promises is coming ever closer at an astonishing pace, yet unseen challenges, have surfaced during the COVID-19 virus outbreak. The pandemic has managed to plunder and destabilize the world in just the last few months, putting in danger not only lives, but economic boundaries, well-established global businesses, and the very essence of the world’s financial system.

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Spotlight

Housing Bank for Trade and Finance

The Housing Bank for Trade and Finance (HBTF) was established in 1973 as a public shareholding limited company with a capital amounting to half a million JD. The primary focus of the Bank was to provide housing finance, and hence the name.

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