Connect with us

Business

NO MOJO? THE UNLIKELY SOLUTION TO THE FINANCIAL INDUSTRY’S IMPENDING TALENT CRISIS

Published

on

Matthew O’Neill, Industry Managing Director, VMware EMEA

 

The financial services industry has lost its mojo. There was a time – in the not-too-distant past – where it was the place to work. But the industry that we know today is no longer the place young talent. Other sectors simply have surpassed the sector on the ‘cool’ factor.

There is a solution, and it comes from an unlikely source. The pandemic. It has forced companies, including those in the financial services industry, to change working practices.

But it’s going to require a more open-minded approach, which won’t be easy for an industry steeped in very traditional views and big on security and compliance. That said, opportunities like this don’t come around very often so I’ve outlined three reasons why the future of talent in financial organisations depends on them grasping it with both hands.

 

Timing is everything

Wind back the clock to before 2020 and it would’ve been inconceivable for most financial firms to embrace regular remote working outside of the occasional snow day or plumbing emergency. Presenteeism largely equaled work. It has taken something as dramatic as a global pandemic to force the financial services industry into changing this perception.

Investment in corporate real estate has been a key reason for this. Companies wanted to optimise the number of people consuming the buildings that they pay huge, fixed costs to build, rent, run and manage. But culture – across sectors – is arguable still the biggest problem. Being seen in the office was considered far more valuable than actual content output.

While the flaws in both reasonings for avoiding remote working were well known, it took the pandemic to show just how flawed they were. The challenge and opportunity now are for executives to look at how they can rethink the office environment to make it one that supports hybrid working models, as well as rethink culture through different ways of measuring success.

This is crucial if you want to attract the next generation of talent. For example, HSBC recently decided to scrap the entire executive floor of its London HQ to remove the divide between C-suite office managers and everyone else. They recognise the importance placed on flexibility and an inclusive culture by the younger generations and are looking at how they can introduce changes to make themselves more attractive to that talent.

 

Big Brother, no thank you.

Technology, of course, plays a key role here.

The adoption of video and collaboration platforms have now gone from a nice-to-have for executives to a mandatory need-to-have for all. Traders at Barclays, for example, have adopted messaging platform Symphony, which has bank-level compliance and security to keep in touch. Installed on company phones and employee’s computers it has become, a “pure and compliant” social network for traders. This is just one example of why distributed working is achievable. Made possible by the ability to manage security, all the way to today’s distributed edge, centrally.

So, they’ve done the work that enables people to do their jobs. Now they need to take it a step further and approach technology from the angle of what makes people the most productive. That doesn’t mean – as is a possible short-sighted remedy to not having line of sight of your employees – putting in place spyware or screen monitoring capabilities to track how much time employees are spending at their computer or counting the number of keystrokes.

That starts with a mindset shift – to look at the employee experience as a productivity measurement. As PWC outlines, that means looking comprehensively at the nature of work, the activities that different employees perform, and their output. Focus on what have they created or driven rather than how many hours they spent on the phone or in meetings.

To support that further, organisations should also consider how individuals can improve their productivity through new ways of working and the development of digital skills. Financial Services Skills Commission (FSSC) chief executive Claire Tunley recently stated that “investment in learning and developing is not keeping pace with the sector’s evolving needs”. By showing new talent that they offer better development opportunities or the ability to work in a way that suits them, they are going to appear much more on the pulse. And they can also better develop existing talent rather than always having to recruit from outside.

Which brings me nicely to my third point.

 

Choice not conformity

This is the industry’s opportunity to truly embrace difference. To start giving employees the right set of tools to do the job, in a way that they are exceptional at. To get the most from their people, play to their differences and strengths (or as René Carayol calls them, their Spikes) rather than trying to transform them to fit into a bell curve. A basic example is that some employees will want the latest version of Windows and some will want Mac OS. Organisations can make it the individual’s choice and give them a level of flexibility that makes them feel valued.

Mel Newton, Head of Financial Services People Consulting at KPMG UK put this perfectly, “flexibility is more than just allowing people to work from home on the occasional Friday. What the future workforce wants is personal choice”.

To compete for the best talent, personal choice and flexibility is what financial services firms will have to deliver. These need to be embraced, even in the most established of firms.

 

The draconian days are over

Rethinking working practices in financial services is long overdue. While not everyone is on board, there are far more who are embracing the opportunity for change. As Claire Tunley said, “the skills issue is bigger than any one firm” and it will get worse if organisations don’t start thinking about their people differently. They are technologically ready to do so but it’s going to need a different culture and the courage to leave tradition behind.

Business

OUTSOURCING YOUR IT SOLUTIONS CAN SAVE YOU FROM COSTLY DOWNTIME

Published

on

Amir Hashmi, CEO and Founder of leading IT and Cloud services provider Zsah, discusses why you need full-time professionals if you want to avoid the money pits of IT downtime

 

A lot of wealthy business owners will uphold the following infamous statement – time is money. Many CEOs believe that it should be at the heart of your business strategy. They aren’t wrong, and it is no different when it comes to IT. Therefore, it is high-time that businesses consider the real risks and costs associated with IT downtime, and do all they can to avoid it

In the midst of a post-pandemic technological revolution, it’s now more important than ever to carefully consider who manages your technology. It is essentially the motor that drives productivity, efficiency and growth, and if therefore, if there isn’t a thorough and dedicated system in place, businesses risk system failure, which can risk everything.

Something so essential to a company deserves to be taken more seriously than just to deploy the services of an IT help desk when there’s a significant issue. The answer isn’t necessarily to consider ways in which you can fix a problem once it arises, but instead to ponder upon ways of preventing an issue from occurring in the first place. This is what leads us to managed IT support services: your personal, dedicated team of IT experts that not only fix issues when they occur, but that also constantly improve the software and hardware so there is less chance they ever take place.

 

The real cost of downtime

Whenever your IT isn’t functioning at its full capability, you are losing money. Even the shortest of gaps in service can severely impact the customers’ experience, your reputation, and the output and efficiency of your entire staff.

In 2017, ITIC sent out an independent survey to measure downtime costs. It found that 98% of organisations say that a single hour of downtime costs over USD $100,000, with 81% putting the figure at over $300,000. For 33% of businesses, 60 minutes of downtime would cost their firms between $1 million and £5 million.

Figures from Statista.com reveal 24% of organisations worldwide reporting average hourly downtime costs amounting to between USD 301,000 and USD 400,000, with 14% reporting greater than USD 5 million in costs.

Elsewhere, IHS Markit surveyed 400 companies and found downtime was costing them a collective USD 700 billion per year – 78% of which was from lost employee productivity during outages.

 

Managed IT solutions are the key

Though we may never know the full cost of downtime, it is evident that it costs individuals and businesses a large amount of money. Don’t wait until your next emergency to remedy a problem; get the professionals in now to prepare for the future, rather than just fix problems in the present.

When you work with a managed technology services provider, your network and infrastructure are supervised 24 hours a day, all year round. As with any IT service, this means that issues will be fixed – however the real advantage is more long-term. As technology service providers perform regular proactive upkeep, there will be a reduced chance of suffering from issues in the first instance, and when (or if) they do occur, it will be far simpler to recover data thanks to full cloud integration.

Continue Reading

Banking

HOW TRADITIONAL INSURERS CAN USE TECHNOLOGY TO IMPROVE THEIR RELATIONSHIP WITH CUSTOMERS

Published

on

The customer experience with insurance is anomalous, in that one is only required to engage with their insurer if things are going wrong for them. To add value to the relationship, new technology and methods should be adopted, in turn driving loyalty and business growth, writes Oliver Werneyer, CEO and Co-founder of Imburse

Oliver Werneyer

Insurance is one of the oldest industries in the world and it is still, to this day, considered a grudge purchase. Looking back, insurance has a history of having a challenging relationship with its customers. According to an IBM study, in 2008, only 39% of consumers trusted the insurance industry. This percentage has stayed largely similar over the years, having reached only 42% in 2020. For any business with growth ambitions, good customer relationships are crucial.

I believe that now more than ever, the insurance industry not only needs to continue investing in improving relationships with customers, but to really think about new ways of doing so. At a basic level, the moment of truth for an insurance customer is when either they need to pay or are getting paid. Insurers can have the best policy wording, quick claims processes, apps and advisors, but if the experience to pay premiums or to receive a claim is bad, the customer immediately loses trust.

The pandemic has exposed this tenuous relationship between insurers and its customers. The need to move everything online and provide personalised services has exposed significant shortcomings in the service insurers provide. The industry has been too slow to adopt newer technologies and move engagements closer to the customer (self-service and empowered). This is largely due to the legacy systems and processes that insurers failed to modernise over previous years.

This means that the better-positioned incumbents have stronger customer relationships and benefit disproportionately from the pandemic, as they are able to win more new customers and convert customers from other insurers. They also benefit from significantly lower customer acquisition costs and much better growth, as illustrated in this McKinsey report. Even new entrants or InsurTechs are benefitting massively by focusing on improved customer experience and customer relationships.

However, it is never too late for insurers to build better relationships with customers. The main way to build a good relationship with a client is to make life easier, live up to promises and add value through the relationship with them. By working on these key elements, insurers can start building strong relationships with their customers, and, through the right partners, deliver this in a timely and non-disruptive manner.

 

Embedded Services

Insurance products often get a bad reputation because they cost money, but the benefits might only come much later, or never. Customers don’t get to experience a positive relationship with insurance products, either because they never claim and feel like they lost out, or they claim and they’re in a bad situation. By either embedding other services into the insurance experience to deliver a more transactional engagement, or embedding insurance products into general customer experiences such as online shopping or rewards, insurers can enrich customer relationships to generate value.

This way, insurers become a value-adding part of the customers’ everyday activities and not just a product that they have to pay for and may never get anything back from. One example is to embed micro-savings capabilities, often found in banking, into pension savings and insurance products. This can allow customers to save more for pension, attract younger customers and build a portfolio of fiscally disciplined customers.

 

Tailored journeys and personalisation

Customers have come to expect personalised journeys and engagements from product providers. Streaming services, social media, e-commerce or mobility services have shaped the customer expectations. Now, customers are also expecting personalisation for insurers.

Insurers need to invest very heavily in delivering personalisation and customisation to customers as they engage with their products. Failure to deliver this puts renewed strain on the value perceived by the customer and their relationship with the insurer. This applies not only to customer interfaces, but to aspects such as payments. Insurers should make it easy and pleasant for customers to pay and get paid. As the main moment of truth, payment experiences need to work optimally.

 

Perceived customer value metrics and delivery

The value customers derive from insurance products is, generally, monetary. Therefore, insurers must invest in product enhancement to increase its perceived value. Perceived value is not tied to a monetary value. By being able to choose between multiple payment options, such as a $300 pay-out to a bank account or a $320 Amazon voucher, the customer has a higher perceived value of the payment. This can be achieved by leveraging non-insurance products that can be purchased at a discounted price, exclusive access that the customer would otherwise not have or conversion into a form that is more useful to the customer.

Payments, for collection and pay-out, are at the core of delivering this value. An excellent payment experience immediately influences the customer to be positively inclined toward a product (PwC report). In order to offer this, insurers need to leverage multiple technologies and providers, offer any speed of transaction in any market, and deliver faster automation and better risk control. The key is to transform insurance products into transactional value-adds to customers’ lives and use this opportunity to continuously build on relationships with customers.

The main roadblock for insurers is still the operational implications of these activities and the costs that arise. In looking to build a better customer relationship, insurers need to look at partners that are operational enablers to deliver this. Partners that can solve the integration and speed-to-market problem so that insurers are enabled to deliver new capabilities, not bombard them with new ideas and no path to delivery.

Imburse, for instance, enables insurers to access all the global payment providers and technologies available in any market. Through a single connection, insurers can deploy any payment capability into any channel, for collection and pay-outs, without ever again needing to build a direct operational integration to the providers. This gives them full freedom to leverage payments as a key value driver and customer experience enhancer.

Building a better relationship with insurance customers is key for the insurance industry to close the protection gap. Incumbents are in the prime position to look at Insurtech and Fintech partners to rapidly and significantly modernise, digitalise and transform their own capabilities to deliver major enhanced value to their customers.

Imburse is an advanced universal payment connector that enables businesses to gain cost-effective access to complete global payments technology, regardless of the service provider. To learn more, please visit www.imbursepayments.com.

Continue Reading

Magazine

Trending

Business24 hours ago

OUTSOURCING YOUR IT SOLUTIONS CAN SAVE YOU FROM COSTLY DOWNTIME

Amir Hashmi, CEO and Founder of leading IT and Cloud services provider Zsah, discusses why you need full-time professionals if...

Banking2 days ago

HOW TRADITIONAL INSURERS CAN USE TECHNOLOGY TO IMPROVE THEIR RELATIONSHIP WITH CUSTOMERS

The customer experience with insurance is anomalous, in that one is only required to engage with their insurer if things...

Business3 days ago

THE FUTURE OF CLOUD: HOW TO KEEP YOUR DATA SAFE

By Pete Braithwaite, COO of KIT Online Cloud services are inherently scalable, responsive and flexible. They offer huge flexibility –...

Business4 days ago

ETRADING SOFTWARE AND ARTIS HOLDINGS LOANS ELECTRONIC PLATFORM OPEN FOR BUSINESS

The Bids Wanted in Competition (BWIC) process completes on the WIC trading platform   Etrading Software, the independent, global provider...

Finance4 days ago

AIRBANK SELECTS YAPILY TO BUILD A FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT SOLUTION FOR SMBS

Airbank, a financial management solution for European startups and SMBs, has selected open banking infrastructure provider Yapily to help its...

Interviews4 days ago

COULD YOU PROVIDE US WITH SOME BACKGROUND ON YOUR CURRENT ROLE WITHIN THE FINANCIAL SERVICES SECTOR?

– Shanker Ramamurthy, Global Managing Partner – Banking at IBM, BIAN Executive Board Member   I lead the banking consulting...

Business4 days ago

IT COST MANAGEMENT: 10 STEPS BUSINESSES CAN’T IGNORE

By Matt Dando, Director, Strategic Business Value Consulting at Serviceware   In today’s ever-accelerating digital era, and as we recover...

Banking5 days ago

UNCHARTED TERRITORY: HOW OPEN BANKING CAN HELP BANKS NAVIGATE COVID CHALLENGES

Opinion from Rafa Plantier, Head of UK and Ireland at Tink The last year has propelled banks, businesses and consumers...

Finance5 days ago

AI AND HOW IT’S LEADING THE FIGHT AGAINST FRAUD IN THE FINANCIAL SECTOR

Geoff Clark, Managing Director, Aerospike EMEA Much like many other sectors financial institutions have accelerated their digital transformation projects since...

Banking5 days ago

HOW DIGITAL IS MAKING THE ‘IMPOSSIBLE’ POSSIBLE FOR FINANCIAL FIRMS

  By Lavanya Kaul, Head of Customer Success, BFSI, UK&I, LTI Article synopsis: Focused on the digital transformation of the...

News5 days ago

DANSKE BANK TO BRING DOMESTIC SCHEME, DANKORT, TO APPLE PAY

Danske Bank, Denmark’s leading bank, supported by Nets, will bring Dankort to Apple Pay Dankort is the preferred means of payment...

News5 days ago

TACKLING THE FORGOTTEN PLASTIC PANDEMIC: CLIMATE CHANGE

By Mark Taylor, Group CCO, Waterlogic   Last year the COVID-19 pandemic was, quite rightfully, at the forefront of all...

News5 days ago

CROWN AGENTS BANK ACCELERATES GLOBAL GROWTH AND EXPANDS INTO NEW MARKETS WITH MULESOFT

MuleSoft, provider of the world’s #1 integration and API platform, today announced that Crown Agents Bank (https://www.crownagentsbank.com)  is using MuleSoft to digitally...

Finance5 days ago

THE IMPORTANCE OF ACCURATE AND TRUSTED TIMESTAMPING IN FINANCIAL SERVICES

Richard Hoptroff, CTO, Hoptroff   Recent global financial regulations such as MiFID II require that all stock exchanges, credit institutions,...

Business5 days ago

HOW OPEN DATA CAN HELP FIGHT CLIMATE CHANGE

David Lais, Co-Founder and CPO at Ecolytiq – providing banks and financial institutions with the digital infrastructure for green finance....

Business1 week ago

NOW’S THE TIME FOR THE INFRASTRUCTURE SECTOR TO GET IR35 RIGHT

Matt Fryer, Head of Legal Services at Brookson Legal   The Government’s recently announced £650bn programme of infrastructure works is...

Business1 week ago

MAKING THE MOST OF RPA TO ENHANCE THE CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE

Standfirst: Capturing and analysing business processes should be a prerequisite for any implementation of robotic process automation, argues Dr Gero...

Banking1 week ago

FINTECHS AND BANKING POST-COVID

COVID-19 has forced businesses and society to adapt to new realities. From big-name Wall Street banks to up-and-coming financial technology...

Technology2 weeks ago

WHY AGILE TECHNOLOGY PLATFORMS ARE THE KEY TO EFFECTIVE INNOVATION

Sujit Unni,CTO, Paysafe   A main reason why platform technology can prove to be so effective for a business is...

News2 weeks ago

DIGITAL TOKEN IDENTIFIER REGISTRATION OPENS WITH ETRADING SOFTWARE

Top 100 cryptocurrencies can now be tracked authoritatively using new ISO standard   Etrading Software, through its non-profit division the...

Trending