Connect with us

Finance

2021 IS THE YEAR FOR DIGITAL WORKFORCE MANAGEMENT IN FINANCIAL SERVICES

Published

on

By Tyler Suss, Product Marketing Director at Kofax

 

Even before the pandemic, the UK financial services sector viewed digital transformation as a high priority. Though adoption of robotic process automation (RPA) technologies was already underway, the pandemic truly upended operations.

When health mandates closed offices, the ability to manage operations became more challenging and complex. Many processes still aren’t fully integrated or automated, leaving remote workers with the challenge of having to bridge the gaps in fragmented and often labour-intensive processes. More than ever, they need a digital environment in which back-office processes are automated end-to-end to be productive.

Consumers, too, are learning new ways to manage financial transactions in a COVID-19 world. They’re becoming more comfortable with mobile banking and cashless payments, behaviours likely to stick once the pandemic ends. As KPMG notes, improving productivity and meeting new customer expectations for engagement are the sector’s top priorities for the coming year.

That means firms will need to move even more quickly to digitally transform their operations if they want to remain competitive. In 2021, intelligent automation and digital workflow transformation will become the main vehicles for driving employee productivity and customer experience.

 

Tyler Suss

The Next Priority: Digital Workforce Management

There are many reasons why an intelligent automation program combined with digital workforce management will accelerate digital transformation, but the four that follow build a strong case for adopting this approach in 2021.

 

  1. Workforce Orchestration

RPA caught on like wildfire because it made automating routine, mundane tasks simple and fast. Motivation-killing work like monotonous, cut-and-paste data entry is now a drudgery of the past. What’s next? For savvy financial firms, 2021 will be all about harnessing their RPA automation expertise—and leveraging it with complementary technologies like process orchestration and document intelligence to automate their mission-critical business and create high-value workflows.

With an open intelligent automation platform, financial firms will be able to orchestrate work across people, in-house technologies, and third-party RPA bots. They can assign the right worker, whether it’s a human or digital worker, to the right task at the right time, while maintaining total control over the complexity and cost associated with a given task or project. Additionally, they can take advantage of more advanced AI technologies as they emerge.

 

  1. Risk Management and Security

In financial services especially, it’s crucial that automated processes meet audit and compliance requirements. Security is also of paramount importance, with risk mitigation being a high priority. Yet many firms don’t properly consider the security risks associated with RPA, such as the access software robots have to sensitive data. As human and digital workforces merge, a single governance environment is vital.

Central control allows managers to synchronise software robot releases with broader IT system updates, minimising disruptions and failures among the digital workforce. Robust digital workforce management software lets companies secure and monitor how information is used by all resources. The integration of identity management with financial security solutions supports unified governance over the access human and digital workers have to sensitive systems and applications.

Financial firms also need a way to address potential misuse of digital worker credentials. A sophisticated solution supports the segregation of duties, in which functions are spread out across people and departments. Managers can ensure a particular individual doesn’t have access to too much sensitive information based on the combination of digital workers they oversee.

It’s also important to remember that a digital workforce management solution should enable the organisation to manage and enforce policy controls throughout the entire lifecycle of the digital worker, from creation all the way through decommissioning. Control over the entire lifespan of digital workers enhances security, compliance and auditability.

 

  1. Total visibility into operations across the firm

In order to drive continuous improvement, achieving—and maintaining—total visibility into all resources performing tasks within a process is essential. Financial services firms need to be able to answer such questions as:

What tasks are being worked on?

What’s in the pipeline?

How does process performance compare with KPIs?

An intelligent automation platform including process discovery and visualisation provides insight into business processes across the enterprise. Executives and managers get a holistic view overcoming the boundaries between departmental silos, making it easier to identify opportunities for digital workforce automation that can have a greater impact across the entire firm.

 

  1. Scalability

 The requirement to keep pace with changes in consumer behaviour and agile competitors has only intensified during the pandemic. Scalability will be more urgent in 2021, and yet the majority of organisations have struggled to expand their automation initiatives. The biggest barrier is process fragmentation, in which resources performing the work, including automation and digital resources, exist in silos.

Fragmented operations increase overhead costs and eat into the ROI on digital transformation investments. An open, integrated platform enables common governance and permits financial firms to scale rapidly.

As the pandemic wanes, firms need to reimagine customer journeys and rethink operations to improve customer and employee experiences. The successful ones will build upon their RPA capabilities and rely on intelligent automation digital workforce management to foster more agile and competitive ways of working and thinking so they can work like tomorrow—today.

 

Finance

CUT THROUGH VOLATILITY AND MAKE BETTER INVESTMENT DECISIONS WITH ALTERNATIVE DATA

Published

on

By

Tomas Montvilas, CCO at Oxylabs

 

Increased speculation, surging trade volume and a rapidly changing economic landscape are causing an unprecedented level of volatility in the markets. Investment professionals are increasingly looking to alternative data for clarity and to make better-informed investment decisions.

Despite record unemployment and a rapidly declining economy, the stock market is experiencing record highs across almost every sector. This perceived decoupling of the investment markets from the greater economy is concerning investment professionals looking to safeguard their funds from inflationary pressures and other serious issues that threaten to devalue portfolios of all sizes.

No one seems to be immune to the current events – and indeed, short-term market fluctuations are leaving investors of all types concerned about the future.

 

Alternative data provides clarity

Alternative data refers to data from non-traditional sources such as social media networks, forums, or credit card information. Besides providing timely and unique insights, alternative data can provide drilled-down, specialised information that can’t be obtained from traditional sources.

 

Alternative data is critical to decision making 

Technological advances have resulted in massive changes to the investment industry, ranging from how operations are conducted to the number and variety of investment instruments.

Investors of the past often based their decisions on the potential of an entity or commodity, such as a national expansion of a restaurant or clothing store or an investment in a growing public utility. More often than not, these decisions depended on sound economic and financial analysis along with geopolitical insights.

Today, the market has been turned upside down by algorithmic trading, derivatives speculation and over-valuations never seen before in human history. Add in trillions of dollars of government spending, currency devaluation and Covid-era economic restructuring, and we have a recipe for unprecedented volatility that threatens the livelihoods of investors on a global scale.

Alternative data has become an irreplaceable part of decision making. There are numerous benefits associated with alternative data:

  • Faster signal transmission. Traditional data sources like company filings, earnings calls, and other statistics provide data periodically and often with months of delay.
  • Increased granularity of data. Access to highly specific data points can reveal potential niche investments.

 

Alternative data can protect investments and identify new opportunities

While most day traders and speculators rely on short-term data and rumours, long-term traders look to alternative data for insights that help them make sound investment decisions.

Alternative data sheds light on real market events. It cuts through the irrational noise being made in the markets and gives investors insights into actual economic events that help them identify viable opportunities in emerging markets and sectors.

Recent events in the stock price fluctuations of GameStop can serve as a great example. As investor frenzy pushed GameStop prices to new heights, investment giants realised that keeping track of ticker sentiments on the internet can be a powerful tool for creating Alpha. There are now publicly available sources that track the ticker mentions in the subreddit /r/WallStreetBets (registration required).

 

Choosing alternative data types 

Investors and financial analysts looking to harness the power of alternative data have an entire world of information waiting to be explored. Consider the possibilities: According to Cisco, 90% of the data we have generated has taken place in the last two years and by 2022 4.8 billion people will use the internet across 29.5 billion networked devices.

Tracked sources are ever-expanding and diversifying to include social media sites, IoT, geolocation, e-commerce activities, data from government agencies, and much more. Some key areas of interest can include:

  • Supply chain data
  • Patent valuations and indicators
  • Environmental, Social and Governance data
  • Country risk scores
  • News and internet sentiment
  • Clinical trial milestones
  • Building permits
  • Government procurement and public contracts

 

Where to get alternative data

Sources of alternative data are numerous and growing, and determining the right choice largely depends on the data’s end purpose. Corporations across all sectors rely on firms that aggregate data from IoT, consumer websites, government sources and more, to enhance marketing strategies for their clients.

These data firms do not confine their scraping efforts to extracting data sets from standard sources. Many extract information from non-traditional sources such as tweets, turning them into alerts that gauge sentiment for use by traders, brands and other organisations that require real-time data. Others scrape application data to provide insights to brands that can aid product strategies and marketing campaigns.

 

How to extract alternative data

For most businesses, there are 3 options: buying alternative data from aggregators, outsourcing the scraping or building an in-house scraper. Buying or outsourcing data acquisition is simple as long as you are willing to pay a premium.

Extracting alternative data is a multi-faceted process that requires a scraping program and proxies. Success often depends on flexibility, so all data points are extracted successfully. Since all data sources are different, a hard-coded and inflexible schema is likely to result in serious issues during the data extraction process.

The use of high-quality, ethically-sourced proxies is essential to distribute requests and avoid server issues. The choice of either datacenter, residential proxies or next-generation solutions that leverage AI and ML technology depends on the type of data being extracted and its source.

Datacenter proxies offer unlimited traffic and are ideal for scraping raw public data with greater speed and stability. Residential proxies are suitable for more complex targets. Complex layouts requiring specialised customisation can be successfully scraped with the use of next-generation solutions powered by AI and ML technology that can extract public data with higher efficiency and greater success levels.

Not all businesses have an in-house scraping department. Financial organisations and investment firms can leverage ready-to-use solutions that provide data ready to be analysed. Besides freeing them from the complexity of data extraction, these tools allow companies to focus resources on analysing the data rather than focusing on the extraction process itself.

 

Wrapping up

The age of big data has arrived, offering solutions to investment professionals looking to cut through the prevailing stock market volatility to reveal clarity for better decision making. Alternative data, along with innovative scraping tools and proxies, can empower investors to make better decisions that can endure short-term instability for better returns over the long term.

 

Continue Reading

Finance

WHY SUBSCRIPTIONS ARE KEY TO THE FUTURE OF THE FINANCIAL SERVICES SECTOR

Published

on

By

Michael Mansard, Principal Director – Subscription Strategy at  Zuora

 

The business world is wondering: what does post-pandemic growth look like?

A phenomenon known as the “Subscription Economy” might give us a clue. This term describes a new business model where customers pay a recurring fee at regular intervals — weekly, monthly, yearly, or just based on a customer’s usage — to access a product or service.

Unlike the more well-known “Product Economy”, which relies on one-off transactions, subscription business models are built around generating stronger lifetime customer value.

For the financial services sector, this could mean more opportunities to upsell and cross sell services to customers, helping to reduce customer churn and to unlock new revenue streams.  Amid a decade of challenging regulatory frameworks, a wave of digital disruptors, failure to pivot business models accordingly could spell the end for many businesses operating within the financial services industry.

 

Signing up to the Subscription Economy

The subscription economy is just getting started, and use cases are likely to continue evolving as the technology develops to meet demand. During the COVID-19 lockdowns, many digital-based subscription business models fared well due to their promise of convenience and strong business continuity. Research from our recent Subscription Economy Index has shown that companies that embraced subscription-based models grew at 400% on average over the last 8.5 years, outpacing S&P 500 revenues by almost 6x during the pandemic last year.

One of the recurring success factors for these organisations across the board is personalisation – those that embrace customer-centric business practices prevail over those that don’t.

Tailoring a product or service to a customer’s needs in a time of immense change is a sure-fire way to gain loyalty and win over those who previously favoured more traditional financial organisations.

Subscriptions also help cast a wider net to expand an organisation’s addressable market. Financial services companies can expand their addressable market by making their products and services more affordable, not necessarily by reducing the overall cost, but by allowing customers to spread their payments over a longer time period. Given their ability to grow user bases, subscriptions can boost revenue growth in the long run.

 

Accelerating digital transformation with subscription services

Though the transition to the Subscription Economy is still in its infancy for the financial services industry, we are seeing significant traction from organisations in this area, outlined in our recent whitepaper, A new formula for growth for The Financial Services Industry (FSI).

Multinational wealth management and financial advisory company, Charles Schwab, for instance, shifted to the subscription model on just one of their product lines. Charles Schwab automated investing to build and manage clients’ portfolios for $30/ month fee for accounts with at least $25,000, and in doing so brought in $1B in new client assets, primarily from younger investors.

Financial services company Wells Fargo took a slightly different approach, leveraging subscription services to develop a hybrid digital advice platform. The service provides access to both a robo-advisor and human advisor through an annual subscription model which was recently lowered to 0.35%, with the aim to attract more mass and emerging affluent clients taking their first steps into investing.

Insurance provider Metromile, on the other hand, used their subscription model to offer pay-per-mile car insurance through its driving app, basing pricing on usage in addition to a monthly base rate. Metromile claims that the service allows its customers to save on average $741/year.

Meanwhile, in the B2B space, Serai (by HSBC) leverages HSBC’s trade banking client network, connecting buyers and sellers around the world and helping them to simplify the complexities of international trade. For “high touch” B2B offerings, the sales force is a crucial building block of sales strategy.

Since most established FSI players are using the same operating models they’ve used for decades, a shift to a completely new approach can seem daunting. Industry transformations are never fast, and never easy. But the good news is that financial services companies don’t have to dive in and completely change their business model to reap the benefits: new revenue streams, churn reduction, upsell and cross-sell to name a few.

Transitioning to the Subscription Economy can be an iterative, try-and-learn approach. That said, in a time of upheaval and rapid industry changes, financial services companies can’t afford to ponder the relative merits of the Subscription Economy for their business. Industry leaders need to be asking not if, but how they can adopt subscription models to position their organisation for growth and success.

 

Continue Reading

Magazine

Trending

Finance3 days ago

CUT THROUGH VOLATILITY AND MAKE BETTER INVESTMENT DECISIONS WITH ALTERNATIVE DATA

Tomas Montvilas, CCO at Oxylabs   Increased speculation, surging trade volume and a rapidly changing economic landscape are causing an...

Banking3 days ago

THE BANK OF 2030: A REVOLUTION FOR CUSTOMERS

By Venkatesh Varadarajan, Partner in Financial Services, Infosys Consulting   We are witnessing an evolution. Banking is changing in so...

Wealth Management3 days ago

TOP WAYS TO EARN FREE CRYPTOCURRENCY IN 2021

Simon Chandler, Writer for CryptoVantage   Cryptocurrency is everywhere these days. Open your favourite tech or finance website, and it’s...

Business3 days ago

THE BENEFITS OF HAVING GAP COVER

By Rachel Janssens, principal consultant at Alexander Forbes Health   Bridges the gap between hospital rates and provider fees Gap cover...

Finance4 days ago

WHY SUBSCRIPTIONS ARE KEY TO THE FUTURE OF THE FINANCIAL SERVICES SECTOR

Michael Mansard, Principal Director – Subscription Strategy at  Zuora   The business world is wondering: what does post-pandemic growth look...

Banking4 days ago

MODERN BANK HEISTS: FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS ARE BEING HELD HOSTAGE

By Tom Kellermann, Head of Cybersecurity Strategy, VMware Security Business Unit, @TAKellermann   The modern bank heist has escalated to...

Finance4 days ago

FUTURE-PROOFING FOR THE FINTECH INDUSTRY WITH NETWORK INNOVATION

Alan Hayward, Sales & Marketing Manager at SEH Technology   As the years pass, it is becoming far more difficult...

News4 days ago

HSBC JOINS BIAN TO COLLABORATE ON IT ARCHITECTURE DEVELOPMENT

The global bank brings an international perspective to the not-for-profit organisation   BIAN, the independent not-for-profit, and HSBC today announce that...

Business4 days ago

FASTER REACTIVITY TO END-OF-LIFE DEADLINES IS KEY TO COMPLIANCE

Mat Clothier, CEO, Cloudhouse   Across global industries, the financial services sector is among the most regulated. Ensuring compliance is...

Finance4 days ago

HOW DOES THE CREDIT CARD TOKENIZATION WORK?

Narendra Sahoo, Founder and Director of VISTA InfoSec    Credit card tokenization is the process of completely replacing sensitive data...

News4 days ago

DELOITTE ADVISES AL FALEH EDUCATIONAL HOLDING ON ITS DEBUT LISTING ON THE VENTURE MARKET OF QATAR STOCK EXCHANGE

Deloitte Middle East acted as the listing advisor for Al Faleh Educational Holding Q.P.S.C. (Al Faleh) for listing of 240...

Business1 week ago

PUTTING TECHNOLOGY AND EMPATHY AT THE HEART OF SMB LOAN SERVICING

Luis Huerta, Vice President and Intelligent Automation Practice Head, Europe at Firstsource By the end of March 2021, over one...

Finance1 week ago

THE PUSH AND PULL OF IDENTITY SECURITY ADOPTION IN THE FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY

Ben Bulpett, Director, SailPoint There is a dual movement spurring on the adoption of identity security in the financial services...

News1 week ago

GENIUS GROUP LAUNCHES 4-WEEK INVESTMENT MICROSCHOOL FOR ENTREPRENEURS TO BUILD A FUTURE-PROOF INVESTMENT PORTFOLIO

In response to the increased volatility in the global financial markets created by the Covid-19 pandemic, Genius Group is launching...

Business1 week ago

THE SPAC BOOM: WHY COMPANIES AND INVESTORS ARE INCREASINGLY LOOKING TOWARDS SPAC IPOs

Maxim Manturov, Head of Investment Research at Freedom Finance Europe Special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs) have long been part of the...

News1 week ago

HARDSOFT KEEPS CUSTOMERS CONNECTED WITH BLOCK DISCOUNTING FROM SIEMENS FINANCIAL SERVICES

One-stop leasing and IT solution expert HardSoft Ltd has expanded its offering with Block Discounting from Siemens Financial Services (SFS)....

Business1 week ago

5 REASONS SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS NEED FINANCIAL ADVISING

With everything else a small business owner has to deal with daily, having a financial advisor to help keep both...

News1 week ago

JSCRAMBLER X DOTCONNECT: JSCRAMBLER ENABLES THE SECURE DELIVERY OF DIGITAL BANKING SOLUTIONS FOR TWO OF THE FASTEST GROWING BANKS IN THE UK

-dotConnect successfully applied Jscrambler during the delivery of digital banking solutions for Al Rayan Bank and UBL UK- -73% of...

Business1 week ago

IT’S TIME SPECIALIST BUILDING SOCIETIES, LENDERS AND BANKS JOINED THE INSTANT ECONOMY

By Andrew Dellow, Director of Strategic Accounts at Modulr, the payments platform. Building societies, lenders and other specialist banks are...

Technology1 week ago

THE FINTECH REVOLUTION: BALANCING INNOVATION AND SECURITY

By Altaz Valani, Director of Insights Research at Security Compass. At a time of significant disruption for the financial services industry, a...

Trending