Connect with us

Finance

DRIVING A COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE IN THE FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY WITH DATA

Published

on

Romain Picard, VP EMEA at Cloudera

 

There are no shortages of challenges to be faced when it comes to the financial services industry. Ranging from the maze of regulatory compliance such as potential reforms to GDPR, rising customer expectations and hot competition from new digital entrants such as Revolut that continue to grow. It goes to show that there is an urgent need for banks to be nimble and adaptable to truly overcome the obstacles they face. Failure to do so and financial institutions risk falling behind the competition, missing out on opportunities to grow and possibly even financial or reputational damage in the case of adhering to regulations.

However, as banks begin to find their bearings in this landscape, what appear to be insurmountable odds may in fact be opportunities for growth and differentiation. But how exactly do these financial institutions tap into this? The answer lies in becoming data-driven.

 

Tapping into new customers and markets 

A recent study by Accenture revealed that consumer trust in their banks is declining, even before COVID-19 hit. Despite this, banks have a real opportunity to win it back by truly adopting a customer centric approach that speaks to changes in customer behaviours post-pandemic. To achieve this, financial institutions need a data management platform that can keep pace with its digital transformation efforts and ensure they successfully meet customer needs. As part of this, the data platform needs to support a variety of data sources. This is to enable timely and relevant services to meet customer needs effectively, while also maintaining flexibility to adjust to evolving market developments. In doing so, financial institutions can drive business growth and make sure they are remaining ahead of the competition.

Romain Picard

Importantly, having the right access to data enables better informed decisions, such as what new markets to expand in and how to do so effectively. A great example of this is Bank Rakyat Indonesia (BRI). The bank discovered that 66% of Indonesia’s 275 million population are unbanked, and do not have access to financial products and services. With the objective of improving financial inclusion and addressing the needs of unbanked Indonesians, BRI saw a real opportunity to target this customer base. We worked with BRI to construct a five-layer IT architecture with AL and ML capabilities that allowed it to store, consolidate and process information from multiple data streams into a single platform. This resulted in more detailed analysis on customer transaction data, 40% fraud reduction and an improved credit scoring system. In turn, BRI was able to develop a new digital microfinancing product for customers that were formerly assumed too risky to be served.

As showcased by BRI, more precise business insights obtained from transaction data reveals previously untapped opportunities in the form of new customers and markets for banks.

 

Getting personal with customer experience 

In any successful growth strategy, customer retention goes hand-in-hand with customer acquisition. Now more than ever, customers are digitally engaging with their banks. In fact, two-thirds of banking customers say they would convert fully to a digital bank in the future. With this in mind, there is a new impetus for banks to create better digital customer experiences in order to attract and maintain customers that translates to long-term brand loyalty.

Data-driven insights are vital to nurturing individual customer relationships as it produces actionable insights that can be used to deliver a high quality and personalised service. For example, real-time data analytics can help augment a bank’s risk management and detect warning signs of potential repayment problems. In this manner, the bank can proactively assist customers and avoid defaults. It’s value-added interactions such as these that can help strengthen trust in the brand and ultimately loyalty.

 

Charging digital transformation

Moreover, in an industry where making informed decisions is vital, data-driven insights are crucial to driving successful digital transformation and retaining a competitive advantage. Businesses using data backed findings are more likely to make smarter, more informed decisions about its future. This is because data provides greater direction for a robust business strategy to be created that takes into account any risks and showcases ways to manage them. For example, this could include, deciding which new markets to expand into and how best to navigate this. With these sharper business insights, organisations can tap into new opportunities with more agility.

This data-driven nimbleness was one of the reasons that Bank Mandiri was able to navigate the effects of the pandemic. When lockdowns swept through Indonesia, Bank Mandiri needed to ensure that its systems could integrate data sources to generate insights efficiently while also supporting their teams working remotely. In response, the bank established the Enterprise Information & Decision Platform (EIDP) as a single source of truth running data integration on its data management platform. This also provided the foundation for the bank to build three dashboards in a day to address pandemic-related developments.

These dashboards informed decisions on whether to open or close branches as needed, ensuring that transactions could proceed with minimal disruption. With the platform affording more scalability and flexibility, Bank Mandiri was able to ramp up its daily data processing to ten million records each day. All whilst shortening the time it took to process data from seven days to a matter of hours. Having access to this data and real-time monitoring helped avoid a lack of visibility into the bank’s liquidity status, which could have resulted in estimated losses of USD 1 billion. Additionally, it also helped to prevent potential transaction losses of approximately USD 7.3 million per week at each of the bank’s branches. Without this data backed decision making, Bank Mandiri would have struggled to make effective decisions about the future of its operations.

 

Making a competitive advantage last 

Keeping a pace with new customers, new and old rivals and complex financial regulations, banking institutions demand a strategic use of the data available. Organisations who embrace transformation fuelled by data will develop the business agility and heightened competitiveness to excel in the years to come. Those that fail to adopt a data-driven approach risk making ill-informed decisions that harm both the future of the company and its relationship with its customers.

 

Business

IS SCARCITY OF TALENT THREATENING THE UK’S FINTECH CROWN?

Published

on

To be attributed to Rafa Plantier, Head of UK and Ireland at Tink

 

From the Square Mile to Canary Wharf, London has been the historic centre of global finance, with long-established trading exchanges and trusted financial institutions. In the digital era, it has also ensured that it’s moved with the times to become a thriving hub for fintech.

But the UK financial services sector is now at an inflection point. In the past year, London’s position as a global fintech leader has been under threat. Earlier this year, Amsterdam overtook The City as the largest European share trading hub. The European Banking Authority moved from London to Paris. And Dublin, Paris and Frankfurt are all competing to win a greater share of the European financial marketplace.

The culprits of the shift are the twin challenges of the pandemic and Brexit, combined with the speed of technological transformation in financial services – disrupting the traditional flow of people, capital and ideas. So the pressing question for the industry is: how do we maintain and, more importantly, accelerate momentum to retain London’s fintech crown?

The answer revolves around one key thing — people.

 

Diverse talent drives innovation

Attracting the best talent is crucial if the UK financial services sector is going to continue to thrive and retain its global position as the preeminent financial centre.

In February 2021, the Kalifa Review laid out a strategy and delivery model for the UK to lead the fintech revolution, covering five key areas. These included skills and talent, investment and international attractiveness and competitiveness. But what became clear was that access to the right level of highly skilled talent was one of the biggest challenges for UK fintech, with barriers spanning both domestic skills shortages and the need to access foreign talent seamlessly.

As a native Brazilian in the UK, working for a Swedish-owned fintech, I understand these challenges as well as anyone. I love London, but we must recognise that fintech firms need unique talent and skills, and such a talent base can’t be met by a single city – not even one as resourceful as London. Not only do fintechs require technology and data specialists, but also experienced managers with good knowledge of high-growth companies and financial services.

As someone lucky enough to have worked with startup and scale-up fintechs across the world,  I understand the unique grounding that comes from being a part of a high-growth global company. That’s why I believe it’s vital that we attract people from across the world with commercial experience at ambitious, rapid-growth businesses — so they can bring this experience to bear on the UK financial services sector.

At the same time, many companies face renewed pressure to create new services and products to meet expectations for growth. That is why it’s critical that the UK has access to people with the right technical skills in areas such as software engineering, DevOps, Cybersecurity and data science.

Put simply, having the smartest minds delivering the best products is good for everyone. It drives efficiency, productivity,  growth and, ultimately, prosperity.

 

The UK is open for fintech

The UK should be proud of being a fintech pioneer and the driving force behind legislation that helped usher in the era of open banking. There is now an exciting opportunity to take this even further. Having access to a diverse pool of talent and skills will empower the financial services industry to create innovative products to tackle complex social challenges, such as better B2B payments, financial inclusion and climate change.

The good news is that the UK government clearly recognises the role the industry has to play in driving growth and innovation. The 2021 Autumn Budget reaffirmed commitments to reskill the nation. With £3.8bn budgeted for skills and a formal criteria for the long-awaited Scale Up Visa, the Chancellor announced a set of proposals that will support the breadth of our sector — from startups right through to unicorns and incumbent banks. This will be essential for fintechs like ours to continue to trailblaze and for the UK to differentiate itself on the global stage.

In an increasingly competitive global landscape, and to sustain momentum, we must keep talent avenues open to attract the best of the best in the industry. As one of the fastest-growing areas of the UK economy, the benefits of nurturing UK fintech to drive productivity, growth and lead the UK’s post-pandemic recovery, cannot be overstated. 2021 has seen a surge of activity in the industry and I am eager to see what London’s fintech sector can achieve in 2022.

Continue Reading

Business

THE EVOLVING TECHNOLOGY NEEDS OF THE FINANCE DEPARTMENT

Published

on

By

THE EVOLVING TECHNOLOGY NEEDS OF THE FINANCE DEPARTMENT

Jennifer Sims, Senior Consultant at Xledger

 

The world of finance software is evolving quickly, but with many new software contenders entering the market it can be a mindfield for organisations. Many finance teams are already using multiple accounting apps and software packages for bookkeeping, payroll and invoicing to service individual needs. Whilst it may work fine for now, this segregated approach isn’t sustainable for long-term growth. The world is swiftly moving to agile, automated ways of working. As a result, there is a growing need to choose suppliers that can fulfil multiple functionalities within the one platform.

Financial software is evolving at such a pace that it can be difficult to keep up. Changing up a finance solution is a big step and ease of migration can be a substantial factor in determining which solution provider to go with. But how do you choose a solution that will grow with your business and still offer something innovative in five or ten years down the line? The fear is always that non-techie organisations will end up falling behind, but in such a highly concentrated industry, how do you decide which solution would work best for you?

 

Cloud-first: the term that makes all the difference 

You could find a ‘cloud-based’ service with an application that comes with automated audit trails to make it easier to meet compliance and record-keeping obligations, for example. But for a solution to offer all of the many future benefits promised by the cloud, it needs to have been built specifically for a cloud environemt from the outset – ie. not an on-premise built system that has been later adapted. Cloud-first services (true cloud) were always intended to leverage economies of scale, cope with live updates, be accessible from anywhere with an internet connection, and to scale rapidly, to name just a few of the many benefits.

When we talk about innovation in financial technology, we’re not just talking about software that makes it easier for the financial controller to create reports. If eliminating reliance on Excel spreadsheets is the only tangible benefit you have to really shout about, you are missing out on the real deal. With ‘true’ cloud finance software the sky is the limit.

Finance and accounting technology needs to directly meet the needs of the finance function and support the wider business needs.  When looking at accounting software platforms you’d be hard pressed to find one that doesn’t now promise ‘cloud-based’ enterprise resource planning (ERP) capabilities. The cloud is nothing new, but it’s the way that a solution harnesses this environment that makes a real difference. And here is where there is a need to read between the lines.

 

Automate more with true cloud 

Historically, repetitive and manual tasks are typical of the finance role – from invoice postings to expense claims handling – these can overwhelm the finance team. Research by Xledger[1] has found that an enormous 91% of CFOs and finance decision makers are carrying out at least one of these repetitive tasks as part of their job. What’s more, senior finance leads are averaging a whopping 25 hours per week carrying out repetitive and manual tasks, compared with 15 hours for other finance decision makers.

A modern, true cloud finance system can enable your business to automate repetitive tasks and provide one source of truth so that teams can make informed business decisions that will help to scale a business. Bank reconciliation, dashboard creation and reporting are just some of the tasks that can be handled automatically.These capabilities are aiding overtasked finance teams and saving hundreds or thousands of hours a year.

Whilst different companies are at different stages in their digital transformation what is clear is keeping up with the latest technology is fundamental to the future success of an organisation.

Xledger is a true cloud finance solution. The basics include invoicing, robust general ledger accounting, detailed slice and dice reporting, purchase orders, billing, VAT reporting, and cash and bank payments. It also adds process and structure to the enterprise with procurement and inventory, budgeting and forecasting, and project accounting. Users are always on the latest version of the software and with regulation more stringent than ever today, Xledger is ISO 27001 accredited.

Choosing the right provider for your financial ERP solution comes down to whether it has the fundamentals right. When hosting all of your vital data in the providers’ own servers, it should evidence a highly tested security process that comes with backup services as standard.

As our demand for technology capabilities grows and as ERP models progress, innovation will become the structure for growth – and there is no end to the possibilities.

 

Continue Reading

Magazine

Trending

Business45 mins ago

IS SCARCITY OF TALENT THREATENING THE UK’S FINTECH CROWN?

To be attributed to Rafa Plantier, Head of UK and Ireland at Tink   From the Square Mile to Canary...

SET YOUR BUSINESS UP FOR SALES SUCCESS IN A POST-PANDEMIC WORLD SET YOUR BUSINESS UP FOR SALES SUCCESS IN A POST-PANDEMIC WORLD
Business2 days ago

SET YOUR BUSINESS UP FOR SALES SUCCESS IN A POST-PANDEMIC WORLD

Dean Fiveash, Head of FinTech Sales, IFX Without doubt the Coronavirus pandemic impacted every aspect of our lives and fundamentally...

THE EVOLVING TECHNOLOGY NEEDS OF THE FINANCE DEPARTMENT THE EVOLVING TECHNOLOGY NEEDS OF THE FINANCE DEPARTMENT
Business2 days ago

THE EVOLVING TECHNOLOGY NEEDS OF THE FINANCE DEPARTMENT

Jennifer Sims, Senior Consultant at Xledger   The world of finance software is evolving quickly, but with many new software...

HOW RETURNS ABUSE AFFECTS RETAILERS HOW RETURNS ABUSE AFFECTS RETAILERS
Business2 days ago

HOW RETURNS ABUSE AFFECTS RETAILERS

By Aaron Begner, EMEA GM at Forter   Accompanying the significant growth in ecommerce over the past 12 months, is the...

TINTRA PLC FINALISES JOINT VENTURE WITH ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE PARTNER TINTRA PLC FINALISES JOINT VENTURE WITH ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE PARTNER
News2 days ago

TINTRA PLC FINALISES JOINT VENTURE WITH ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE PARTNER TO BUILD INDUSTRY CHANGING REGULATORY TECHNOLOGY

Innovative fintech company, Tintra PLC(https://tintra.com/), has formed a joint venture with award-winning Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning business, TMC2, via...

CELLPOINT DIGITAL PARTNERS WITH VYNE TO ENABLE INSTANT OPEN BANKING PAYMENTS FOR MERCHANTS CELLPOINT DIGITAL PARTNERS WITH VYNE TO ENABLE INSTANT OPEN BANKING PAYMENTS FOR MERCHANTS
News2 days ago

CELLPOINT DIGITAL PARTNERS WITH VYNE TO ENABLE INSTANT OPEN BANKING PAYMENTS FOR MERCHANTS

The partnership will allow CellPoint Digital customers to incorporate Vyne into its payment ecosystem and access instant payments without a...

WHY A MULTI-ACQUIRER STRATEGY IS KEY TO GLOBAL GROWTH WHY A MULTI-ACQUIRER STRATEGY IS KEY TO GLOBAL GROWTH
Business5 days ago

WHY A MULTI-ACQUIRER STRATEGY IS KEY TO GLOBAL GROWTH

As online business grows exponentially, finally fulfilling the internet’s promise of a ‘global village’ in which anyone can buy and...

Business5 days ago

TAKE THE NO-CODE LEAP TO DIGITAL INNOVATION WITH A FUSION TEAM

Chris Obdam, CEO, Betty Blocks   In the last couple of years, a new sector has emerged alongside enterprise financial...

Finance5 days ago

HOW FINANCIAL ORGANIZATIONS CAN PROTECT THEIR DATA

Yuval Wollman, President, CyberProof and Chief Cyber Officer, UST   Top executives from Wall Street’s largest banks pinpointed cybersecurity as the...

Top 105 days ago

IF IT’S A LOSS, YOU’RE TOO LATE – WHY THE INSURANCE INDUSTRY NEEDS TO FOCUS ON FIRST NOTIFICATION OF RISK

Simon Dicks, Insurance Channel Manager EMEA, Lytx   Insuring commercial fleets can be an expensive business. Average repair costs have...

Business5 days ago

IDENTITY SECURITY IN THE ERA OF SOX

By Steve Bradford, Senior Vice President, EMEA, SailPoint   The Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) is a federal law that mandates practices...

News5 days ago

EXPERIAN LAUNCHES VERIFICATION SERVICE TO SUPPORT FASTER, MORE ACCURATE LENDING DECISIONS

Work Report™ is the UK’s first service that automates the digital sharing of payroll information on behalf of the consumer...

News6 days ago

TENUREX AND ELUCIDATE PARTNER TO INCREASE FINANCIAL INCLUSION WORLDWIDE

TenureX and Elucidate have announced a strategic partnership with a mission to increase financial inclusion worldwide and tackle the laborious...

Banking6 days ago

WHY THE TIME IS NOW TO BANK BEYOND BORDERS

by Lili Metodieva, MD of Monneo   As our world becomes more interconnected, so too does the need for banking...

News6 days ago

PAYCAST PARTNERS WITH MARQETA AND MASTERCARD FOR NEW MARKETPLACE PAYMENT SOLUTION

Paycast will leverage Marqeta’s modern card issuing platform and the Mastercard network to empower marketplaces with payment solutions that help...

Finance1 week ago

HOW FS ORGANISATIONS CAN USE API-DRIVEN DATA AUTOMATION TO JOIN THE OPEN BANKING REVOLUTION

By Steve Barrett, Senior Vice President, International Operations at Delphix    Technology is rapidly transforming all industries across the world. However, for the...

Banking1 week ago

IT’S TIME FOR BANKS TO SIT THEIR CUSTOMERS DOWN AND TALK OPEN BANKING

Eugene Danilkis, CEO at Mambu   We are living in an experience economy, and banking is no different. Customers need...

Banking1 week ago

WILL CHALLENGER OR TRADITIONAL BANKS WIN THE SECURE CARD PAYMENTS BATTLE?

By Vince Graziani, CEO, IDEX Biometrics ASA   Challenger banks have shaken up the payment ecosystem in the last decade....

Banking1 week ago

TOP ITALIAN BANK ROLLS OUT FIRST OF ITS FULLY DIGITAL BRANCHES WITH AURIGA

Banca Carige Smart, the new intelligent branch model enabled by Auriga #NextGenBranch solutions , combines digitalisation with a human touch...

Banking1 week ago

HOW BANKS CAN PROTECT THEMSELVES AGAINST RANSOMWARE

Jay Ralph, Managed Cloud Global Sales Lead at SoftwareONE   We’ve seen a slew of high-profile ransomware attacks in 2021. From hackers...

Trending