Trends Behind Digitalization in the Financial Services Industry

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For the third consecutive year, GFT, the global IT consultancy for the financial services industry, has surveyed decision-makers in banking to gain insights into the trends behind digitalization in the financial services industry.

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Futurity First

Futurity First is an independent, nationwide insurance distribution organization specializing in retirement income and insurance protection solutions.Planning for "today's needs and tomorrow's dreams" is our culture as we influence financial and retirement peace of mind, one client at a time. This means you can rest assured knowing you are getting the most appropriate solutions for your unique needs. We don't believe in one size fits all - and neither should you.

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CORE BANKING

4 Ways CFOs Can Prepare for a Dynamic New Normal

Article | July 20, 2022

Before the pandemic, CFOs associated resilience and organizational agility with the ability to anticipate and adapt to changing consumer demands and experiences. However, the pandemic completely overhauled corporate dynamics by disrupting supply chains, changing consumer patterns, and encouraging a remote way of working. The WNS Global CFO Survey 2020 showed that many CFOs are looking for strategic ways to get ahead of these challenges. Here are four ways that CFOs can refocus to respond to the new dynamic normal. Reinforce the Supply Chain Global supply networks have been impacted by COVID-19, prompting many firms to rethink their procurement practices. The WNSsurvey indicates that over 32% of CFOs rank the continuity of theirsupply chain as one of their three most significantchallenges. The primary difficulty facing the manufacturing and consumer packaged goods (CPG) industries is maintaining supply chain stability. CFOs can engage with procurement teams to review the supplier base in order to increase supplier resilience, as well as lead their organizations in implementing new supply chain models and processes. Digital technology enables the ability to make orders automatically and spot deficiencies more rapidly. It can also enable supply chains to become more flexible. Advanced analytics-based dynamic forecasting provides data in real-time so that inventory systems can be quicker and more reactive to demands. Drive Digital-powered Decision Making The WNS survey shows thatincreasing visibility is among the toppriorities for46% of CFOs. When aggregated financials are compared with overall performance, things are different. These comparisons also don't provide the organization with an adequate picture of the organization’s action steps. In such a scenario, data analytics, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and robotic process automation (RPA) offer a clear representation of information and key metrics. These cutting-edge solutions have empowered decision makers to pinpoint profitable products and services and mobilize investments into some products on the basis of solid data. Through close collaboration with data teams, CFOs may be able to achieve success in establishing and managing performance insightsfor sales, investments, marketing expenditures, and other areas of activity. Capital Management While customer demands are dipping across many industries, CFO's have a new capital challenge at hand. Theymust make sure their companies are adequately equippedto deal with the impact on income and itsimplications on investment and capital spending. Using a financial and governance framework, the information concerning receivables, payables, inventory, taxes, risks, and cash flow may all be integrated into a unified view of liquidity for CFOs. Gear Up for Disruption CFOs must help ensure their companies are adaptable enough to handle unforeseen turmoilas well as general political and economic unpredictability. Blockchain and other digital technologies establish a distributed system for frictionless departmental collaboration. Hence,the CFO and the widerorganization can build predictions and forecasts based on a single source of data. Parting Thoughts Rebuild but reimagine is what organizations and CFOs must do in order to thrive in the new dynamic normal. A stable supply chain, data-based decision-making, smart capital management, and gearing up for any future disruption is the way to go.

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A Guide to Banking in the Metaverse: Part 2

Article | May 26, 2022

In the first part of this article, we took a dive into what the metaverse is in the context of banking, what its benefits are and how it is affecting bank and consumer relationships now and in the future. Metaverse banking is undoubtedly the next phase of banking, but is it really a new concept? While the component technologies of the metaverse have been around for a while, their convergence has ushered in a new period of innovation for the banking industry. According to Accenture’s Technology Vision 2022 survey, 67% of banking executives worldwide believe that the metaverse will impact their organization positively, while 38% state it will be a transformational technology. Here are some organizations that are at the frontline of the metaverse banking revolution. KB Kookmin Bank: One of South Korea’ s most prominent financial institutions, KB Kookmin Bank, has a virtual bank that allows customers to access their financial information as well as get professional advice from a financial advisor through a VR-based interaction. BNP Paribas: The global banking group has a VR alternative for their retail banking customers. It offers a virtual reality app that enables users to access their account activity and transactions in a VR environment. Bank of America: Going one step ahead with its workforce management and training, Bank of America uses VR to train staff at its 4,300 financial centers across the country. VR environment training lets bank employees do complicated tasks in a simulated environment where they learn how to interact with customers and make sales. J.P. Morgan: J.P Morgan launched an Onyx lounge, a virtual lounge in the metaverse of Decentraland, which is itself a blockchain-based VR system. The bank enables cross-border payments, trading, foreign exchange, and financial asset creation, while Onyx facilitates blockchain wholesale transactions. HSBC: HSBC has gone ahead and bought a plot of land in the metaverse called The Sandbox, aimed at engaging sports and gaming fans. The Challenges Ahead and the Takeaway: As in social media or interactions in the real world, banks and other brands may be exposed to a variety of legal issues by using metaverses. Similar to how many didn't anticipate the potential adverse effects of personal abuse and the dissemination of "fake news," the extent of the risks may be difficult to predict at this stage. Despite the challenges, the metaverse offers an exciting possibility for banks. It could reduce the friction between modern digital platforms and offer a seamless consumer experience and a new way to move data without hindering security and data privacy. It’s a radical new technology, and financial institutions who are still considering its impact must start planning to enter the metaverse in the next couple of years.

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FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT

4 Trends Powering the Digital Banking Revolution

Article | June 24, 2022

Fueled by the emergence of new technologies and an ever-shifting workplace landscape, banking is powering a transition into a digital future for finance. The disruption in how we receive, save, and spend money is also enabling customers to expect and demand more from their banking. Service providers must now provide cutting-edge solutions to meet these demands in the era of open banking. The pursuit of innovation is producing a multitude of new trends in banking and finance. Here are five trends that are at the forefront of the banking story. 1 #1 APIs Application programming interfaces, or APIs are helping mobilize digital applications in banking like never before. Financial institutions are now able to offer swift yet secure digital banking services with a host of cutting-edge solutions through the use of APIs, all without incurring heavy costs to implement proprietary applications. 2 #2 Frictionless Transactions Being able to send and receive money seamlessly and in real-time has to be one of the most significant achievements of the digitalization of banking. It has not only upended traditional banking by reducing bottlenecks and delays, but also given a much needed thrust to the overall customer experience. The flexibility, ease, and promptness with which customers can now conduct transactions has singlehandedly given the digital banking economy a boost and laid the foundation for the creation of virtual versions of physical assets like credit cards and wallets. 3 #3 AI-powered Chatbots Artificial intelligence and machine learning in banking and finance are creating next-generation customer service solutions. The automation capabilities offered by AI chatbots and virtual assistants are helping financial institutions deliver faster and better banking experiences at a fraction of the cost. They are more capable of optimizing workforces to meet customer support demands, freeing up more resources. 4 #4 Multichannel Services Now that banking institutions are able to simplify consumer experiences, meeting customer needs across all channels has become a lot easier. Many organizations are developing an omnichannel banking experience that enables them to cater to complex demands and connect with customers at different touchpoints and stages of their consumer journeys. This enables banks to not only deliver better services but also customize their products and services, and provide a seamless, well-integrated experience. 5 To Conclude The digital wave is in full force, and banks and other financial institutions must take steps to integrate the above trends in their digitalization journey. They will need to on board a combination of automation, cloud banking, and analytics to unleash the full potential in order to keep customers coming back.

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CORE BANKING

A Guide to Banking in the Metaverse: Part 1

Article | July 13, 2022

The next generation of banking technology is here, and it’s in the metaverse. The metaverse is a virtual space that allows users to go beyond the web browser to engage in or even share experiences. The metaverse is built using technologies like virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), blockchain and more. Consider being able to shop at a store, or play a game, or interact with friends, or meet with your bank representative, all in the 3D and without leaving your home. Now that the future is here, financial institutions will need to prepare to enter the metaverse and reimagine how they cater to their customers online. According to the Financial Brand, more than 47% of bankers believe that by 2030, many customers will use AR/VR as a channel for transactions. The opportunity is now. 1 Benefits of Banking in the Metaverse The most significant opportunity for banks is to capitalize on AR/VR to develop seamless consumer and employee experiences in the real-world. Some of the benefits include: 1.1 For Consumers Providing consumers with the ability to check balances, pay bills, transfer money, and do business utilizing AR and VR channels is known as metaverse banking Personalizing the banking experience by offering white glove service, tailored financial recommendations, investment planning and much more. 1.2 For Employees Providing immersive learning opportunities in the secure, replicated settings of customers or integrating their remote staff in ways that foster engagement, learning, and a sense of belonging. Equipping employees with the ability to underwrite loans using digital twins of a property instead of 2D photos and videos of the building. 2 How the Metaverse Will Impact Consumer Relationships? Banks shouldn't think ofjust enteringthe metaverse, determiningthe conditions of interaction, and capitalizing onit in order to increase trust and foster engagement. Innovative financial institutions will need to establish open communication with their consumers so that they are aware of the goals and intents of the organizational brand. The value transfers between institutions and consumers are no longer viable since the dynamic is one of collaboration and not just a vendor buyer relationship. Banks will need to reorganize how they create value if they want to build and maintain trust. 3 Moving Forward Many prominent financial institutions are riding the wave of metaverse banking. In the next part of this article, we will discuss organizations that are moving fast when it comes to adopting banking on the metaverse and how they are monetizing it.

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Spotlight

Futurity First

Futurity First is an independent, nationwide insurance distribution organization specializing in retirement income and insurance protection solutions.Planning for "today's needs and tomorrow's dreams" is our culture as we influence financial and retirement peace of mind, one client at a time. This means you can rest assured knowing you are getting the most appropriate solutions for your unique needs. We don't believe in one size fits all - and neither should you.

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FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT

Trustar Bank Raises $18 Million in New Capital in Latest Stock Offering

Trustar Bank | July 21, 2022

Trustar Bank is pleased to announce the successful completion of its recent capital raise. In less than a month’s time, the offering surpassed its initial $15 million goal, resulting in an over-subscription of 36% and over $20 million in received subscriptions. To accommodate the overwhelming investor support, the offering will be “up-sized” by approximately 20%, for a total capital raise of $18 million. This is the Bank’s second oversubscribed stock offering, the first taking place prior to the Bank’s inception in early 2019. “We are excited to have the continued investor support affording us the opportunity to build an outstanding financial institution serving the needs of our community. This new capital will further position the Bank to effectively implement our growth strategy and build stockholder value,” CEO Shaza Andersen said. “We are excited to have the continued investor support affording us the opportunity to build an outstanding financial institution serving the needs of our community. This new capital will further position the Bank to effectively implement our growth strategy and build stockholder value,” CEO Shaza Andersen said. About the Bank - Trustar Bank is a full-service bank offering comprehensive banking products and services to small- and medium-sized businesses and consumers. It is the first bank to be chartered and opened in Virginia in over a decade. For more information, please visit Trustar Bank online at trustarbank.com.

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FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT

Capital Engine® Launches Capital Engine® Go, a Lite Version of its Capital Raising and Investor Management Solution

Capital Engine | July 05, 2022

Following market demands, Capital Engine® has introduced a preconfigured version of its highly regarded Capital Engine® Investor Management software solution called “Capital Engine® Go”. Capital Engine® Go delivers the same usability as Capital Engine’s existing “Professional” version and includes our tried and tested, capital raising tools and investor management functionality. In addition, the preconfigured nature of Capital Engine® Go and the streamlined implementation methodology means there is no requirement for design, build and customization, which enables companies to be up and running quickly with a standardized version of our financial technology. Offering the new product on a SaaS basis, delivered from the cloud, gives investment management companies the advantage of a single provider for every aspect of the delivery, as well as global coverage, and a high level of scalability that enables a quick ramp-up and efficient rollout to our clients. Capital Engine® Go is aimed at forward-thinking organizations that require a focused application and that are unlikely to have to modify it to suit their organization, as well as companies that want to be able to grow the platform in the future without having to undergo major changes to their infrastructure. “Today’s launch is a significant evolution of the Capital Engine® tech-enabled platform as it offers more companies the benefits of our financial technology,” said Bryan Smith. “Today’s launch is a significant evolution of the Capital Engine® tech-enabled platform as it offers more companies the benefits of our financial technology,” said Bryan Smith. “By selecting Capital Engine Go enterprising companies can benefit from a streamlined implementation, reduced costs and integrated suite of digital investment tools, and distribution platform to connect private capital with investors of all types.” About Capital Engine® Capital Engine® works with forward-thinking organizations to help them raise capital more effectively, automate their investment operations and manage their investors with tech enabled investor management solutions. Built for high-performance capital raising, our technology helps leverage the opportunity to better originate and showcase a diverse selection of private investment deals and offer these to investors i.e. a deal’s potential viability can be better assessed, market appetite determined and transaction promptly closed. Our clients and strategic partners include real estate funds, broker dealers, investment banks, family offices, angel networks, wealth managers, incubators, accelerators, social impact, healthcare, and Reg CF portals.

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PAYMENTS

Priority and Mastercard Track Join for a New Partnership to Modernize B2B Payments

Priority Technology Holdings, Inc | March 04, 2022

Priority Technology Holdings, Inc., a well-known payments technology company, has announced its new partnership with Mastercard Track™ to modernize B2B payment solutions for their customers. Mastercard Track Business Payment Service has automated its payments-related data information between buyers and suppliers. The payment data information consists of a portfolio of B2B solutions. Mastercard Track helps businesses increase flexibility, simplicity, and efficiency by providing these solutions, thus optimizing the best option of paying and getting paid across multiple payment platforms. Priority's partners will benefit from the new partnership; they'll get an allowance to use virtual cards, a direct deposit experience. In addition, when customers would make payments through MasterCard Track, they will receive enhanced remittance automatically, which will eliminate the need for manual extraction of payment details and data. On the new partnership news, Stephen Tackett, Executive Vice President and Head of the B2B division for Priority, says, "We are thrilled to be expanding on our successful partnership with Mastercard. Mastercard Track delivers tremendous value to both buyers and suppliers by simplifying and automating the exchange of payments-related data while cutting costs and reducing complexity and risk for businesses." We're seeing a paradigm shift happening in the B2B payments landscape, and Mastercard is working at scale to offer a choice for suppliers and buyers to optimize the best payment option to pay and get paid. With Mastercard Track and through collaborations like this one with Priority, we're delivering on our mission to make B2B payments work for everyone." Marie Elizabeth Aloisi, Executive Vice President of Commercial Solutions for Mastercard Therefore, Priority's incorporation with Mastercard Track will bring best-in-class payment solutions to the market—buyers and suppliers.

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FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT

Trustar Bank Raises $18 Million in New Capital in Latest Stock Offering

Trustar Bank | July 21, 2022

Trustar Bank is pleased to announce the successful completion of its recent capital raise. In less than a month’s time, the offering surpassed its initial $15 million goal, resulting in an over-subscription of 36% and over $20 million in received subscriptions. To accommodate the overwhelming investor support, the offering will be “up-sized” by approximately 20%, for a total capital raise of $18 million. This is the Bank’s second oversubscribed stock offering, the first taking place prior to the Bank’s inception in early 2019. “We are excited to have the continued investor support affording us the opportunity to build an outstanding financial institution serving the needs of our community. This new capital will further position the Bank to effectively implement our growth strategy and build stockholder value,” CEO Shaza Andersen said. “We are excited to have the continued investor support affording us the opportunity to build an outstanding financial institution serving the needs of our community. This new capital will further position the Bank to effectively implement our growth strategy and build stockholder value,” CEO Shaza Andersen said. About the Bank - Trustar Bank is a full-service bank offering comprehensive banking products and services to small- and medium-sized businesses and consumers. It is the first bank to be chartered and opened in Virginia in over a decade. For more information, please visit Trustar Bank online at trustarbank.com.

Read More

FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT

Capital Engine® Launches Capital Engine® Go, a Lite Version of its Capital Raising and Investor Management Solution

Capital Engine | July 05, 2022

Following market demands, Capital Engine® has introduced a preconfigured version of its highly regarded Capital Engine® Investor Management software solution called “Capital Engine® Go”. Capital Engine® Go delivers the same usability as Capital Engine’s existing “Professional” version and includes our tried and tested, capital raising tools and investor management functionality. In addition, the preconfigured nature of Capital Engine® Go and the streamlined implementation methodology means there is no requirement for design, build and customization, which enables companies to be up and running quickly with a standardized version of our financial technology. Offering the new product on a SaaS basis, delivered from the cloud, gives investment management companies the advantage of a single provider for every aspect of the delivery, as well as global coverage, and a high level of scalability that enables a quick ramp-up and efficient rollout to our clients. Capital Engine® Go is aimed at forward-thinking organizations that require a focused application and that are unlikely to have to modify it to suit their organization, as well as companies that want to be able to grow the platform in the future without having to undergo major changes to their infrastructure. “Today’s launch is a significant evolution of the Capital Engine® tech-enabled platform as it offers more companies the benefits of our financial technology,” said Bryan Smith. “Today’s launch is a significant evolution of the Capital Engine® tech-enabled platform as it offers more companies the benefits of our financial technology,” said Bryan Smith. “By selecting Capital Engine Go enterprising companies can benefit from a streamlined implementation, reduced costs and integrated suite of digital investment tools, and distribution platform to connect private capital with investors of all types.” About Capital Engine® Capital Engine® works with forward-thinking organizations to help them raise capital more effectively, automate their investment operations and manage their investors with tech enabled investor management solutions. Built for high-performance capital raising, our technology helps leverage the opportunity to better originate and showcase a diverse selection of private investment deals and offer these to investors i.e. a deal’s potential viability can be better assessed, market appetite determined and transaction promptly closed. Our clients and strategic partners include real estate funds, broker dealers, investment banks, family offices, angel networks, wealth managers, incubators, accelerators, social impact, healthcare, and Reg CF portals.

Read More

PAYMENTS

Priority and Mastercard Track Join for a New Partnership to Modernize B2B Payments

Priority Technology Holdings, Inc | March 04, 2022

Priority Technology Holdings, Inc., a well-known payments technology company, has announced its new partnership with Mastercard Track™ to modernize B2B payment solutions for their customers. Mastercard Track Business Payment Service has automated its payments-related data information between buyers and suppliers. The payment data information consists of a portfolio of B2B solutions. Mastercard Track helps businesses increase flexibility, simplicity, and efficiency by providing these solutions, thus optimizing the best option of paying and getting paid across multiple payment platforms. Priority's partners will benefit from the new partnership; they'll get an allowance to use virtual cards, a direct deposit experience. In addition, when customers would make payments through MasterCard Track, they will receive enhanced remittance automatically, which will eliminate the need for manual extraction of payment details and data. On the new partnership news, Stephen Tackett, Executive Vice President and Head of the B2B division for Priority, says, "We are thrilled to be expanding on our successful partnership with Mastercard. Mastercard Track delivers tremendous value to both buyers and suppliers by simplifying and automating the exchange of payments-related data while cutting costs and reducing complexity and risk for businesses." We're seeing a paradigm shift happening in the B2B payments landscape, and Mastercard is working at scale to offer a choice for suppliers and buyers to optimize the best payment option to pay and get paid. With Mastercard Track and through collaborations like this one with Priority, we're delivering on our mission to make B2B payments work for everyone." Marie Elizabeth Aloisi, Executive Vice President of Commercial Solutions for Mastercard Therefore, Priority's incorporation with Mastercard Track will bring best-in-class payment solutions to the market—buyers and suppliers.

Read More

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