Trade Secrets in the Financial Services Industry

| November 9, 2018

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As one of the leading labor and employment law firms in the United States, Seyfarth Shaw LLP understands the risks and challenges financial institutions face with respect to protecting confidential information and client relationships. Consequently, Seyfarth has spent the last 60 years working with financial institutions on ways to protect their intellectual capital and client relationships.

Spotlight

First Republic Bank

First Republic is a different kind of bank. We and our wealth management affiliates provide exceptional service in everything we do. It’s one of the reasons for our high level of client satisfaction, and why we were named Best Private Bank in North America recently by Private Asset Management Magazine. With more than 60 offices on the West Coast and in the Northeast, we deliver a level of personal service you won’t find anywhere else.

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How FinTech Can Withstand the Coronavirus Outbreak

Article | April 15, 2020

Soon after, the World Health Organization declared the Novel Coronavirus outbreak an official pandemic, a sudden pandemonium busted across the globe. The COVID-19 crisis carries with it the potential equally disruptive economic fallout. It has brought a dominant shift in reality; in addition to the effects that the virus has had on our private lives, businesses in every industry are being forced to find innovative ways of operating on every level and the world of Fintech is no exception. Investors began drawing out their money. The stock markets of the world collapsed. Central banks made off-cycle rate cuts and inserted liquidity to keep the economy running. The financial services are currently confronting challenges on multiple fronts: banks have reduced their opening hours serving a few customers at a time due to social distancing rules, putting additional stress on channels like telephone service, online banking, and social media. Simultaneously, numbers of consumers are desperately trying to contact their bank with questions, concerns, issues, or to request appropriate solutions for their finances impacted by the fallout from the coronavirus. This is not the first or last global crisis. FinTech and banking companies of the 21st century need to be programmed to operate in such circumstances. Being a fairly new sector, fintech companies are already well-positioned to adapt to a world that suddenly exists primarily online; most fintech platforms now exist in online formats anyhow. Still, the paradigm shift brought to the world by coronavirus is forcing the fintech sector to come up with creative solutions when it comes to supporting customers, building relationships, boosting company morale, and planning for the future in this unprecedented situation. The behaviors that people can execute from their living room or from their den are going to grow, and behaviors that require face-to-face interaction or getting out into the community are going to diminish. What does that mean? You should have greater mobile apps and digital adoption in general. If I had been holding off on signing up for PayPal, for instance, I might just do that. Nigel Morris, Managing Partner of QED Investors, Co-Founder of Capital One “Fintech companies are probably some of the best-equipped organizations to take on this crisis.” If you’re a Fintech, you’re probably no more than 10 years old and as a result, have built your backend and developmental stacks on cloud environments allowing for operations to continue anywhere. Also, many business-to-business (b2b) communication tools that FinTech companies have naturally adopted and made available to employees such as Slack, Teams, Skype have been more heavily leveraged. Legacy financial brands are more than likely finding this time to be a bit more difficult. Paul Geiger, President, and Co-founder of Post-Trade Asset Management Firm Theorem Technologies The coronavirus pandemic could be destructive for multiple companies, but it's also flashing a spotlight on the potential of fintech. It has the potential to revolutionize how consumers and businesses handle financial transactions. There will surely be hits and knocks along the way, but fintech can manage to make this transition a lot easier. Here’s how. Table of Content: - Moving Back to the Digital Infrastructure - Utilizing Robotic Process Automation Software in Banking (Robo-Advisory) - Acceleration of Cashless and Contactless Payment Methods - Artificial Intelligence and Block chain Technology - Fintech Firms Providing Free Technology During the Coronavirus Crisis Moving Back to the Digital Infrastructure As the number of cases ticks up in the U.S., many are choosing to go cashless to circumvent potential hygiene concerns around handling banknotes. Almost half of the world’s population is now practicing self-quarantine. Interaction between humans is limited. All the public gathering places are closed down. Businesses that rely on people coming in or the shops that are commonly crowded are now starting to close down. The prevailing crisis will change our mindset and habits and make us re-evaluate our current way of doing things. All thanks to fintech, giving smaller communities a chance to keep their business open and operating. With digital payment options and online transactions, you can pretty much order any service, any product. You can even access your favorite types of entertainment online and all that without breaking the rules of self-isolation. Social distancing is the only effective method to fight the spread of coronavirus, and fintech has made this practice much more natural. Online services that we can pay for through fintech are now substantially covering every industry. These digital services have become such an essential part of our lives, and we should be appreciative of how easy it is to quarantine these days. Ordering groceries, favorite food, watching the newest movies, stuffs delivered right to our door, all this is only possible, because of different financial technologies and digital payments that have made money transfer easy and secure. Learn more: https://www.euronews.com/2020/03/19/next-day-delivery-the-challenges-for-retailers-during-the-coronavirus-pandemic Utilizing Robotic Process Automation Software in Banking (Robo-Advisory) Robo advisors, without human interference, provide automated support for all financial advisory services, such as trading, investment, portfolio rebalancing, and tax saving. It works with a pre-defined algorithm and analytics, calculating the best returns and plans for each individual as per his/her requirements and preferences. The need for no-touch and low touch investment solutions, which can deliver more informed intelligent analytics back to the user, will be more important than ever. Robo advisors are the next level in the evolution of asset management and financial advice. For the banking industry, robotics outlines a unique and underutilized way to increase productivity while minimizing traditional repetitive and manual-labor-intensive processes. The growth of Robo advisory services is attributable to the fact that it enables low-cost services, scalability, cognitive advice, and next-generation user experience. Though, for the next generation, virtual agents may be an acceptable help for financial matters. It is a fact that client advisors must fit with Robo-Advisors and artificial agents and a human-led technology-enabled model to a technology-led human-enabled business model in financial services. Acceleration of Cashless and Contactless Payment Methods The new coronavirus fears could be enough to introduce mobile and cashless payments to those who otherwise didn’t see the appeal. Learn more: https://capital.report/blogs/how-open-banking-is-catalyzing-payments-change/8262 Before the outbreak, mobile payments in the U.S. had not come close to global adoption rates. In China, by contrast, more than 80% of consumers used mobile payments in 2019, according to management consultancy Bain. In the U.S., major mobile payments apps had adoption rates of less than 10%. Major payment companies have already warned of the virus hitting U.S. spending. Visa, Mastercard, and PayPal have all cut guidance due to the coronavirus. I think this is an opportunity for a move to digital. Zelle, PayPal, and online banking could see a boost. I believe this crisis will accelerate and move people to utilize all forms of digital financial services. Peter Gordon, Executive Vice President and Head of Emerging Payments at U.S. Bank, The mobile fintech payment service that facilitates easy online and off-line payments are reaching millions of people and can truly capture the under banked population. The coronavirus crisis represents a huge opportunity to accelerate cashless and contactless payments. Retail and consumer payments are leading the way in the adoption of innovative payment capabilities aided by the growth in e-commerce and increased penetration of mobile phones. B2B opportunities are also gaining increased traction as a result of being more efficient and cost-effective. Some key trends in digital payments are: Contactless payment. This includes Near Field Communication (NFC) adoption, host card emulation and QR code generation for electronic interactions between consumers and retailers. Adoption of payment hubs. Banks are getting interested in looking at investing in harmonizing their payment infrastructure by moving to payment hubs. These hubs can process any form of payments irrespective of the origination channel. Real-time payments. This is transforming the retail funds' transfer process by providing electronic cash to anyone in the span of a few minutes. Peer to peer money transfers has been around for a while and have witnessed high growth. Virtual currency. Built on blockchain infrastructure this offers greater speed and efficiency of the transaction. Rise of marketplace banks. Challenger banks are being supported across geographies and given licenses to operate freely. Banks, by adopting open banking, has started exposing their APIs to third parties for large scale payments. Omni channel offerings. The framework of digital payments provides a seamless customer experience across channels leading to better transaction experience. The future of payments was already revolutionizing with new entrants such as contactless payment, NFC enabled smart phones, cloud-based PoS, and digital wallets. The crisis will merely accelerate the desire to tackle the issues with these new banking technologies. Artificial Intelligence and Block chain Technology Artificial intelligence and machine learning built upon distributed datasets and shared information are used for dynamic and psychographic client segmentation based on behavior and automated investment services. The adoption of such technology will become pivotal for large financial institutions to manage their client base and investment portfolios efficiently. In fintech, blockchain finds application in areas like digital ID, customer authentication, insurance, to name a few. Blockchain practitioners are experimenting with this technology to bring out new use cases and applications to solve the complicated issues in the fintech industry. PWC’s study of financial services and fintech shows that about 77 percent of the financial services industry is planning to adopt blockchain by 2020. The blockchain sector in fintech has been intended to provide banking with a more seamless and efficient experience. We will soon see the process of cash to crypto and vice versa to become ubiquitous. Blockchain asset management solutions are an alternative to offshore banking because there are substantial efficiency gains for cross-border transactions, for both private clients and businesses. Traditional banking and blockchain solutions will converge over the next decade with blockchain to become a commonly used technology in financial services. Learn more: https://www.forbes.com/sites/jeffkauflin/2019/12/26/five-fintech-predictions-for-2020-according-to-kleiner-perkins/#40c46b7d3d5a So, when we look at these phases of development in the fintech sector, we understand that it’s not just about inserting technology into banking, there is a larger shift here. Part of the shift is around trust and the utility of the bank. Fintech Firms Providing Free Technology during the Coronavirus Crisis Right now, you will be feeling the need for more reliability in software and information. Luckily, some fintech companies and teams are there to alleviate these issues. To help banks help their customers through these difficult times, many fintech providers are extending free, discounted, or accelerated deployment offers to financial institutions. Conclusion Business downturns are not uncommon. Sometimes there are unexpected circumstances. During these periods of change, the winners and losers will be defined by those firms able to make quick and decisive transformation reflecting the new environment. This is not just true in banking but in every industry. Fintech companies from across the world are all-in when it comes to coping with the current global health crisis. The progressions in digital technology are making the crisis more bearable and are empowering businesses to keep working with access to key services (communication, payments, credit, collaboration, etc.) while enabling social distancing and helping to fight COVID-19. We expect digital technology to experience another boost during and after the crisis.

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Trending Demand Generation Strategies to Drive FinTech Growth

Article | March 11, 2021

Once referred to as an emerging market, FinTech is a young market with regard to time and investment. It is also an independent market due to its changing trends and regulations. FinTech brands have gained enough capital to grow and expand over the years. The increasing number of smartphone users and affordable internet connections suggest a paradigm shift in the nature of banking with transactions going mobile-first. Raising dependency on mobile banking, online payment, and mobile wallets are cascading from luxury to basic requirements, making it one of the top reasons for both challenges and growth opportunities in the FinTech market. Besides, the FinTech market also includes businesses that provide AI solutions and work on risk & compliance management that is enabling companies to run smoothly even after the pandemic. Other winning sectors in the FinTech market are companies engaged in loans and insurance which are likely to do well. However, driving Fintech demand remains a key challenge for most companies in a fast-changing and evolving marketplace. By the end of this article, you'll be able to apply FinTech lead generation strategies to drive growth for lead generation for FinTech companies. Balancing Finance & Technology Technological advancement is dominating almost every market. Finance technology is emerging as an enabler for various industries helping and supporting finance teams to balance and manage their daily activities, financial close, collaboration, and documentation providing more visibility to transactions. FinTech brands invest in developing frictionless and seamless e-banking solutions and other financial and money management services. The FinServ market is witnessing a change in simplified access, embedded financial services, and financial inclusion. Developing a new product range allows FinTech brands to please investors to gain more funding and overcome other traditional investment barriers. Proven Demand Generation Strategies for FinTech If you are running a FinTech company, then FinTech marketing is all that's on your mind, particularly when the traditional banking companies are making up with the emergent technologies, best-in-class user experience, and expectations. Here are the top strategies for FinTech demand generation. Go mobile with your marketing initiatives In the 21st century, everything is on mobile. If you aren't considering a marketing initiative around this handheld device, you're missing out on one of the most effective ways to connect with the target audience. According to a recent study, on average, an individual spends 5hrs a day on a mobile device, and the time spent on mobile apps has skyrocketed a massive 69% from 2016. More than 50% of mobile phone users prefer online searching before buying anything. B2B FinTech companies need to focus on mobile phone users to get the most out of their marketing campaigns and reach their target audience. Create valuable content FinTech content must first address what problem it intends to solve, how it will solve, what are the benefits, what is its advantage over legacy processes, how it adds value, saves time and costs, drives growth, or simplifies processes. To create valuable FinTech content, you need to consider the following: • Analyze your target audience • Content competitive analyses • Note down your content goal, whether it's for awareness, engagement, or conversion stage. Segmented content hub - blog, white papers, case studies, eBooks, press releases, etc. Create a content hub or digital library that houses all your articles, blogs, case studies, whitepapers, eBooks, press releases, etc. this is an effective way to engage the target audience and generate demand. Ensure that your content plan is organized so that you cater to the requirements of all the platforms and audiences. While you focus on creating content on trending topics, you also need to ensure that you create evergreen content. Create a content calendar for the year. This will help you plan the theme you are going to cover each month for your target customers to drive demand in a phased manner. Create matchless video content to generate demand Video content is the most potent form of content marketing. According to a survey, around 87% of marketers use video for FinTech lead generation. Videos are used in different ways to generate demand. Video marketing does not always mean creating a new video, but leveraging or repurposing an existing one, judging your investment, and creating a new video, if required. The key idea of video marketing is to get a slice of the market which is being influenced by the evolving taste of content consumption by consumers. Getting your content out in the most trending format will help you get noticed in the clutter, build brand awareness, and also convey your message to your target audience. Adding a form or a call-to-action at the end of the video gets you qualified leads. Some of the commonly applied video marketing strategies include: • Use video in landing pages • Place video along with a form or other call-to-action button. • Optimize video to various social media formats. • Create a call-to-action button at the beginning or in-between the video; this can be a simple subscription invitation. • Video testimony is an excellent form of video marketing that influences and builds a better relationship with your customers. Social media trends for FinTech Social media platforms are no longer considered a place where people connect and communicate in real-time. FinTech can be a challenging market to promote on social media. Social media cannot be a one-size fit for all, but it has amazing advantages over traditional marketing channels. Be a thought leader FinTech marketing is social media marketing. By domain experts in banking, finance, and insurance. It is a platform handled by individuals who are market leaders, contributors, or influencers. Identify the most effective platform for your niche & promote your content on it Identify your audience and promote your content on the most effective and relevant platform to reach your niche audience. Rather than being all over the place, you can choose to stay on one relevant platform to promote your business. Get influencers to influence Getting market influencers to your site can be a great way to increase on-page engagement. Promoting guest articles or interviews by market leaders to share their knowledge and experience in the FinTech or FinServ market. Other useful ways to get influencers to your page include promoting a product/service, sponsored review, social media mention, running a contest on influencers page, getting influencer quotes on brand, creating a joint event, and promoting influencer content on your page. Interact with your customers/end-users Ensure that no comments or queries are unanswered or unattended. There are higher chances of them being your potential customers. Host events (online & offline) Hosting events both online and offline is a great way to reach your target audience. Events can be of different types – educational, promotional, announcement, launches, etc. Hosting such an event is an excellent idea to interact with your target audience. Ensure that you are listening/reading their comments to give them appropriate feedback. Also, apply their valuable suggestions whenever possible. Collect data to channelize FinTech demand generation campaigns In this data-driven world, it's easy to collect information about your customers. Effective FinTech demand generation starts with data. Make utmost use of the data and insights you gain from your research. CRM and analytics platform, carry out a detailed analysis into your users to better understand your audience's needs, build a FinTech lead generation campaign, and optimize your content, landing pages, CTAs, emailers, etc. High-performing websites and effective FinTech lead generation strategies focus on addressing and solving user needs. These insights will also help you get the most ROI from your PPC campaign and paid activities on social media platforms. Final Thoughts Applying these strategies for demand generation will help you attain the desired business growth. These days, the FinTech market has overcome common challenges such as varying regulatory and compliance laws, trust issues, cyberthreats, lack of support from government bodies, industry-related complexities, etc. Lag in digital banking experience Uneven digital transformation globally in the banking industry is the key reason for the lag in the e-banking experience. A new focus on customer experience During this time of digitalization, focusing on customer experience is the best practice. Gaining customers' trust and loyalty is the most important factor that the FinTech market is looking forward to. Shift from digital to mobile-first The ever-increasing number of smartphone and internet users is among the top reasons why many markets shift from digital to mobile-first. Invest in new technologies FinTech brands need to develop new technologies and come up with new and innovative ideas to promote their products online and get the target audience to drive demand. Investment in fintech companies FAQs Q1. What are demand generation activities for FinTech? A1. As mentioned in the above blogs applying following demand generation activities for FinTech market: • Go mobile with your marketing initiatives • Create valuable content • Social media trends for FinTech • Host events (online & offline) • Collect data to channelize FinTech demand generation campaigns Q2. How do you create a demand generation plan for FinTech company? A2. Demand generation can be defined as a general practice to create need or interest in your product or service and converting passive audience into qualified leads. To begin with, you need to have clarity about your customer base and potential audience to define your potential buyer persona. Once you have your defined audience; make goals and create your funnel such as create an awareness content plan, lead generating content plan and conversion content plan. Set up the tools or online platforms where you are planning to promote this content. Invest in paid promotional activities and lastly measure your success. Q3. Why is demand generation important in FinTech? A3. Demand generation is a data-driven marketing strategy that is designed to nurture future goals. The most important factor of applying demand generation strategy is it helps in generating more revenue. { "@context": "https://schema.org", "@type": "FAQPage", "mainEntity": [{ "@type": "Question", "name": "What are demand generation activities for FinTech?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "As mentioned in the above blogs applying following demand generation activities for FinTech market: Go mobile with your marketing initiatives Create valuable content Social media trends for FinTech Host events (online & offline) Collect data to channelize FinTech demand generation campaigns " } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "How do you create a demand generation plan for FinTech company?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Demand generation can be defined as a general practice to create need or interest in your product or service and converting passive audience into qualified leads. To begin with, you need to have clarity about your customer base and potential audience to define your potential buyer persona. Once you have your defined audience; make goals and create your funnel such as create an awareness content plan, lead generating content plan and conversion content plan. Set up the tools or online platforms where you are planning to promote this content. Invest in paid promotional activities and lastly measure your success." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "Why is demand generation important in FinTech?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Demand generation is a data-driven marketing strategy that is designed to nurture future goals. The most important factor of applying demand generation strategy is it helps in generating more revenue." } }] }

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How machine learning is changing financial services

Article | April 13, 2020

Artificial intelligence (AI) has become integrated into our everyday lives. It powers what we see in our social media newsfeeds, activates facial recognition (to unlock our smartphones), and even suggests music for us to listen to. Machine learning, a subset of AI, is progressively integrating into our everyday and changing how we live and make decisions.

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Applied Data Science in Fintech

Article | February 28, 2020

Under the supervision of Dr. Mario Gillrich and Maria Pelli, this course explores how new entrants in banking and finance are leveraging new technologies and methodologies to help traditional banks, their corporate clients and consumers use data and algorithms to better manage their financial operations and processes.

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Spotlight

First Republic Bank

First Republic is a different kind of bank. We and our wealth management affiliates provide exceptional service in everything we do. It’s one of the reasons for our high level of client satisfaction, and why we were named Best Private Bank in North America recently by Private Asset Management Magazine. With more than 60 offices on the West Coast and in the Northeast, we deliver a level of personal service you won’t find anywhere else.

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