Xpedition, leader in the implementation of cloud-based business applications, has deployed a new system which has digitally transformed the customer experience for Openwork, one of the largest financial advice businesses in the UK.
Openwork has a professional community of more than 3,600 financial advisers which it provides services and support to ensure they can deliver optimum service to their clients. Dynamics 365 is planned to roll-out to 6000 users over a five-year period. With Xpedition’s support and delivery of this innovative, new Microsoft Dynamics 365 platform, each Openwork network member now has access to a customised portal along with core customer management and financial advice functions, plus various adaptations to fit their different business models. This enables financial advisers to offer tailored advice to suit their client’s personal needs, whether it’s for investments, pensions, mortgages or financial protection.
To offer better account visibility, a self-service offering has also been installed. The administrative processes have also been automated, whereas before they were operating on legacy, outdated systems. The cloud-based technology enables Openwork to take advantage of new emerging technology and embrace new network user needs that surface as their client base continues to grow.
Initial roll-out will be across 12 Openwork firms. In the next two years, all 650 advice firms in the network will see the benefits of the digital transformation, supporting more than one million clients.
Xpedition was selected from a shortlist of service providers to deploy the Microsoft Dynamics 365 solution to provide the flexible and proven functionality that Openwork needed to replace its legacy systems and overcome its fast-expanding customer base. The platform enables the development team to configure application functionality in a low code environment, meaning they can be more responsive with embracing new technology demands as they evolve.
“The combination of an agile development approach, the future-focused Dynamics 365 technology and our team of highly experienced and responsive consultants has delivered the capabilities Openwork need to serve their customers in the digital age,” said Dean Carroll, General Manager, Xpedition. “The Xpedition team has risen to Openwork’s challenge and provided the organisation with the efficiencies and flexibility needed to support ongoing growth and customer loyalty, served up on a trusted, world-class platform that offers far more adaptability and potential than a bespoke financial services solution.”
Other issues have been tackled such as securing and segregating centrally held data, to avoid complications with firms dealing with the same customer for multiple reasons, and meeting stringent security and compliance needs. Xpedition consultants worked in sprints alongside Openwork analysts to deliver the functionality needed to create a truly innovative client lifecycle management solution.
“The Microsoft Dynamics 365 platform provides the flexible and proven functionality that Openwork needs for market-leading customer experiences and robust security and compliance. It includes seamless integration with existing Microsoft office systems, KPI reporting and analysis, and comprehensive data access via its open API which is complemented by Microsoft’s Logic Apps and other Azure services.” – Craig Woodhouse, Technical Consultant, Openwork
GALA TECHNOLOGY SELECTS NUAPAY TO ENABLE OPEN BANKING PAYMENTS
Nuapay, powered by Sentenial, today announces it has been chosen by Gala Technology, a payment security solution specialist, to provide Open Banking payments to its partner network and direct merchants across multiple sectors including retail, hospitality, and financial services.
Gala Technology’s multi-award winning SOTpay ‘Pay-by-link’ solution simplifies PCI DSS requirements and protects merchants against the ever-growing risk of fraud by ensuring that the transactions are authenticated, shifting liability and often lowering acquiring processing costs. SOTpay’s integration with Nuapay’s Open Banking platform now enables them to process non-card payments.
Nuapay’s FCA-licenced Open Banking payments service enables Gala Technology’s partners and merchants to accept payments via any sales channel of choice, including telephone, web chat, SMS and social media. It can do this without requesting sensitive card data, which ensures SCA compliance and eliminates fraudulent chargebacks.
“The capabilities of Open Banking have become more apparent in 2020 as merchants have been forced to explore alternative contactless, mobile and ecom-friendly payment methods that can be accessed quickly and are lower in processing costs, due to a need to respond to change brought by Covid-19.” shares Nick Raper, Head of UK at Nuapay. “We’re thrilled to be working with Gala Technology, as we have a shared drive to eradicate payment fraud. This partnership will help to increase widespread adoption of live bank transfer payments as SOTPay gives us an exceptional opportunity to demonstrate Open Banking payments’ usability and benefits to new audiences.”
Nuapay is one of the only PISPs which offers a fully inclusive open banking payment initiation, webhook notification and payment account solution; which quickens checkouts, speed-up access to cash flow, reduces processing costs, and enables full reconciliation and batch settlements of transactions. Gala Technology’s customers now have access to new payment innovation and will be able to perform refunds or make instant payouts.
Steven Jones, Commercial Director at Gala Technology, said: “We chose to work with Nuapay as their complete Account-2-Account payments capabilities and high customer service levels are unparalleled. Looking forward, Nuapay’s presence within the UK and Europe will greatly help us reach new clients and will extend our service offerings to existing clients too. Nuapay’s Open Banking payments solutions help us to provide a better service; in turn, the time, money and resources our customers save will enable them to focus on growing their businesses in a more profitable way.”
Nuapay’s PISP processor has a single connection to all major banks in the UK and a growing number of connections across Europe, ensuring that Gala Technology’s clients’ payments will be supported, no matter where their customers bank.
THE EMBEDDED BENEFITS IN ESEF DIGITAL FINANCIAL REPORTING
The inclusion of a simple link delivers serious gains in transparency, trust and real time verifiability for the whole financial ecosystem. It’s another digital feather in the LEI’s hat, explains Stephan Wolf, CEO, Global LEI Foundation.
In a battle for significance, no other public facing business document can match the annual financial report. It is the document that a public corporation must, by law, publish to describe its operations and financial condition, and to chronicle its activities over the past twelve months. Shareholders, investors and the wider financial ecosystem make innumerable strategic and operational decisions based on its contents.
In today’s digital age, then, it is little surprise that the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has mandated that annual financial reports published from the start of 2020 follow a consistent digital configuration, known as the European Single Electronic Format (ESEF) and, in them, embed their Legal Entity Identifier (LEI).
On first glance, the ESEF format appears to be designed to drive financial report production into a convenient paperless form factor. While this is both true and highly commendable, an ocean of additional potential is revealed by ESMA’s insistence that corporations embed their LEI. This mandate will heighten transparency, enhance trust, and provide instant and non-repudiable verification that the organisation filing the report is, indeed, who they claim to be. These far-reaching benefits are all enabled by the report linking to the filing entity’s verified LEI reference data held within the Global LEI Index.
The simple process of embedding an organization’s LEI – or, indeed, that of its affiliates, subsidiaries and parent companies – within an ESEF financial report means that regulators, investors, traders and other financial stakeholders, can consolidate and verify information on the filing entity faster and more conveniently than ever before.
LEI reference data includes business card information on an entity, including name and registered address, together with relationship data which confirms if the entity owns, or is owned by, other entities. This increased transparency relative to an entity’s ownership structure means that relationship networks between LEIs can be quickly and automatically established, since the LEIs of the filing entity, its affiliates, subsidiaries and parent companies are all provided in the new machine-readable ESEF format. Usefully, because the reference data is reverified annually by GLEIF accredited LEI issuers, it is always accurate and up-to-date. The net result is a substantially more useful document for end users, which is also verifiably trustworthy, authentic and integral.
ESMA has published the Global LEI Foundation’s 2019 annual report on its website to provide a best practice example of a report published in the ESEF format, which other preparers can reference. The report is published in human and machine-readable Inline XBRL and HTML formats, with LEIs embedded within both the annual report and the digital certificates of the report’s signing executive officers. The combination of these two features provides something completely unprecedented: instantly available, digitally verifiable credentials that confirm both the authenticity of document and the key individuals responsible for its content.1
Beyond the single report, the LEI embedding process creates broader opportunities for the financial ecosystem. Aggregating information on companies from multiple sources is dramatically simplified, making the job of comparing standardized financial information both faster and easier. This can be accomplished either manually, by ‘clicking through’ to view the LEI reference data, or via an automated process, saving yet more time and eliminating the risk of human error. In time, this level of facility will lead to the automated creation of online databases that use the linked LEIs to collate key data assets, to the benefit of, frankly, any person or organization that has interest, globally.
The mandatory embedding of LEIs in financial reports is just one demonstration of this technology’s transformative potential. In broader terms, not only is the LEI shoring up the digital financial ecosystem, it is helping to stabilize the evolution of the world’s digital economy. It is no exaggeration to say that the LEI, together with the Global LEI System, solves the problem of trust for legal entities worldwide. It is the only open, commercially neutral, standardized and regulatory endorsed system capable of establishing digitized trust between all legal entitles, everywhere. It was conceived and designed as a public good, and can be deployed without charge in a wide – and growing – variety of digital use-cases. Put simply, the more it is utilized, the more good it will do.
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