5 Ways Banks Can Use FinTech to Build Trust, Support Customers

online-banking-advantagesBanks can use fintech to build trust, believe it not. When catering to a consumer base that expects nothing less than instant gratification, fintech companies, and partnerships can offer traditional banks tools that guarantee convenience and seamless customer service.

Wasteful and cumbersome, physical pieces of paper aren’t convenient and can challenge customer service for many in the banking institution. For that reason alone, many people refrain from using banks, expecting that it’ll be time-consuming –that’s on top of a preexisting distrust of the traditional banking system. However, banks are demonstrated that they’re interested in address distrust and negativity. They’re willing to take on public perception by using digital tools to move products that are customer-centric. They’re interested in doing a number of things in order to better satisfy the communities they service, and among those things are the following:

  1. Demonstrate that they’re customer-center: Since the birth of the banking industry, the focus has been on the products, but technology has offered an opportunity to focus on customers first and foremost. Through engagement via social media and other platforms, banks can inquire about customers’ specific needs, their desires, and concerns about wealth management. In order to do this, banks must be able to focus on internal data analytics, which fintech can assist with. Fintech has made data more comprehensive and palatable. It also eases customization, automation, and tailored bank offerings.
  2. Develop seamless banking systems: Among the numerous things fintech companies are able to do, they’re great at helping banks to implement solutions, which makes it easier for customers to access necessary services and they help with customer interaction with banks at every level. Ultimately this leads to greater satisfaction.
  3. Offer targeted service offerings: Data analytics are another specialty offered by fintech companies. They’re able to provide targeted insight, incentives, and opportunities to clients. Based on needs or desires of certain clients, companies can accurately suggest services or products after gauging after gauging requests made by clients in similar situations.
  4. Correct and address any concerns faced by the underbanked and unbanked: Fintech can be used to serve an important, overlooked segment: the underbanked and unbanked. Financial technology can equip banks with easy and inexpensive mechanisms to educate and equip customers, facilitating access to convenient options that make digital payment, mobile payment, and online banking possible for those in the U.S. and abroad.
  5. Broaden a prospective client base: Those banks with enough foresight to employ the expertise of fintech companies, they’ve gained access to a wider variety of customers. Fintech companies can provide low-cost insights on upscale and as well as those with lower net worth. Data analytics and robo-advisory advancements are making wealth management attainable. Incorporating fintech innovations into organizations will help banks to reach a greater collection of customers.

Fintech is easily improving the relationship between customers and banking institutions. Connectivity, convenience, and customer-specific interactions have emboldened the banking population.

Paymency, API-driven Platform for Banking, Delivers “Banking-As-A-Platform” Service to US

paymencylogo_transparentWhile numerous European startups have succeeded in transforming banks into app stores, only the California-based Paymency has managed to do the same in the U.S. According to the American Banker, the API-driven platform for finance and banking delivers “banking-as-a-platform” service to U.S. banks.

Paymency founder Gary Lewis Evans predicts that application program interfaces will power banking. With the use of APIs –known to ease the outsourced software app creation process when building for customers — users will benefit revolutionary impact that’s akin to the emergence of credit cards or internet banking.

“We are going to be an API-driven platform for finance and banking the way Amazon is a platform for retail,” said the fintech veteran, Lewis. “Banks will have the ability to interface easily with products and services and use it as a way to create a virtual bank and get out of the legacy branch structure.”

Banks will have access to Paymency’s edition of an an app store, where they’ll offer budgeting, mobile payments, personal financial budgeting, as well as services a tad more sophisticated (P-to-P lending, insurance, and investing). Numerous fintech companies and their partners will be able to offer up products in the store. What’s more, Paymency may seek out a bank charter, making it possible for nonbank entities (ex. Walmart) or digital bank startups to connect and offer their customer base full-scale banking services. Microsoft Azure cloud computing platform is used as the base technology for Paymency.

According to Lewis, the company soon plans to unveil its text-based mobile payments product and network Groovy Pay, which resembles Kenya’s M-Pesa mobile payments system.

“I describe it as something very similar to when Amazon first launched as a bookseller, and then they expanded their platform at a later date,” said Lewis, who co-founded Bofl Federal Bank, once known as Bank of Internet USA. “So we’re going to launch with mobile payments and build our base that way before expanding.”

With more than four decades of experience under his belt, Lewis has a long history of digital innovation. He spearheaded California’s early venture into internet banking in 1995 when he was serving as president of La Jolla Bank, which was one of the first in the nation to do so. Lewis left La Jolla Bank in 1996 to launch Bank of Internet USA, starting out in a computer center at the University of California-Santa Barbara. He stayed on as president until 2010, leaving to pursue his next project, Paymency.

A “soft launch” of Paymency with GroovyPay is expected within the next six months. Lewis believes it may take up to three years for Paymency’s app-store-like platform to be fully formed and formally launched. The API-based model provides more flexibility, with regards to services and products, making it far more attractive to banks. To do this the right way, Paymency will have to appeal to banks’ core vendors, and banks’ will require core systems that could facilitate API-based banking. Core vendors tend to wank banks to buy all or most of their ancillary products from them, rather than another party. However, many believe core vendors are becoming more flexible and more willing to under consumers’ attraction to API-powered banking.

Banks are also more drawn to the idea of partnering with outside firms, so they’re able to offer more services and products. These fintech partnerships are changing with the market, becoming more fluid and more dynamic, offering solutions and becoming provocative for the sake of expectant consumers. The API banking-as-a-platform services are natural progress, as that’s the way technology is moving. Technology is moving so rapidly, that this is API banking-as-a-platform services are fixed part of banking reality, according to Lewis.

Fintech Startups Aren’t Going Anywhere & They’re Changing the Way We Do Business

23273130005_f8c800bcfe_oThe sizzling hot buzzword, fintech, an amalgamation of finance and technology, has appeared within the pages of countless publications. This term packs power because of  its disruptive abilities. In fact, Netflix, Apple, and Facebook are prime examples of companies that have disrupted industries and sparked new initiatives and startups. Fintech is impacting every modern industry.

Apple and the other companies understand that fintech plays an active role within their industry, altering the way money is invested and managed. Also, it alters the way people get loans and do financial research. For this reason, fintech will only get bigger. Last year, global investment into fintech companies reached nearly $20 billion, with most of that backing coming from venture capitalists. Within just two years, the number of venture capitalists acting as investors increased by 106 percent in 2014.

OurCrowd is a company that allows the public to invest alongside angel investors and venture capitalists, with funds directed toward pre-vetted startups. Platforms, such as Slingshot Insight, is revolutionary. It brings crowdfunding to research, enabling the public to pool money in order to access analysis and interviews from industry experts. This can be helpful for those who seek advice from doctors about digital medicine and biotech stock. The platform TipRanks is now a go-to source for those researching analyst ratings. This particular platform makes it easier to select the right select the correct stock while the application Quantcha makes it easier to search through trade options.

When it comes to finding information about an active return on an investment or the performance of an investment against a market index, Prattle, Running Alpha, Metricle, and HedgeSPA are valuable companies, offering investors unique data points for investors. Also, for those interested in ways to organize and analyze new data, companies like uxMarketFlow, Ormsby Street,  and Alpha Hat are incomparable resources. SeedFeed is valuable for those interested in a comprehensive platform that has aggregated crowdfunded real estate investments.

All of this is to say that fintech is more than investing, it’s responsible for alternatives in lending and financing. Credibly and similar companies are responsible for helping to rescue smaller businesses, and Financial lends a hand by helping businesses connect with the best possible lenders to provide owners with personal loans. Once a business owner has secured a loan and found that they’re struggling with repayment, they can turn to CommonBond, which helps them to refinance.

While fintech is about far more than investing, it has made investing easier for those without the time or energy to do their own research, or they require recommendations or direct stock picks. Tradespoon, Trade Ideas, Stockal, and Vetr are some of the companies responsible for educating men and women about investing and trading.

While fintech is relatively new, it’s already changing. Traditional institutions are bending to adapt to new competition, proving to be better for investors. The fintech realm will only expand. The aforementioned companies are just a small chunk of the industry, and what’s happened barely hints at what’s to come. Traditional brokerages and banks will introduce their own fintech product, which will be better for investors looking to keep their funds attached to brick and mortar institutions.

 


David E. Mickey is a financial executive based in Buffalo, New York, and he’s an Enterprise Sales Executive at Docupace Technologies. Please visit his websites to learn more: http://davidemickey.com; http://davidemickey.net/; and http://davidemickey.org/.

Green Finance Becoming a Reality

Palm with a plant growng from pile of coins

The European economy is recovering – albeit slowly – and sustainable finance may just be a major component of growth. The urgent need that exists to invest capital into sustainable infrastructure and technology may contribute to driving job growth in European nations. Individual investors, as well as national institutions, are prioritizing the need to invest in sustainability. The new movement is sure to become a contributing factor in Europe’s overall economic growth.

Individuals, companies, and central banks are supporting the transition to a greener economy. Surprisingly, Europeans are putting more of their savings in assets supportive of sustainability, while European financial institutions recognize the importance of sustainability in their business models. According to Achim Steiner, Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Program, the transition has been underway for sometime but has quickened since Europe’s major climate agreement. This and other international agreements have signaled to global markets the importance of sustainability and environmental concerns on future global developments.

Some major European institutions are already attempting to influence financial policymakers. The Bank of England has delivered an assessment of what climate change can mean for the insurance sector. France has introduced new labels to help consumers choose financial products that are sustainable, or at least, sustainability-oriented. Other countries like Spain, Germany, and Portugal have undertaken similar policies. Sweden, on the other hand, has enacted policy to link the financial world with sustainable development.

According to Steiner’s article, the European Fund for Strategic Investment approved 42 new projects, of which more than half of those are sustainability-related. Climate action, resource efficiency, and sustainable development are some of the included components. The Capital Markets Union even provides easier access to sustainable finance through financial instruments like green bonds, which facilitate financing of renewable energy and energy efficiency projects. Major European companies like Allianz, and Amundi are committing themselves to these greener initiatives by aligning their portfolios with carbon-reducing assets.

Key elements of these efforts include an array of other financial strategies. These include: “reallocating capital, assessing risk, clarifying responsibility, and improving reporting. ” The movement is becoming global as well. China is hoping to raise 400 billion in green investments every year for five years, mainly from financial and capital markets.

Green finance is becoming a reality, and as global concerns of climate change continue to rise, so will the need for financing in sustainable projects. If you liked this post and would like to read more about global finance, check out my twitter @DavidEMickey for more.


David E. Mickey is a financial executive based in Buffalo, New York, and he’s an Enterprise Sales Executive at Docupace Technologies. Please visit his websites to learn more: http://davidemickey.comhttp://davidemickey.net/; and http://davidemickey.org/.

Voice Recognition – Bank’s New Solution To Passwords

Palacio_Avenida_HSBC_2_curitiba_brasil

One of the main struggles in many people’s lives is trying to remember their passwords. With more companies requiring passwords have different characters, upper and lower cases, plus a unique symbol, it makes it difficult for people to recall them off the top of their heads. Good news lies on the horizon though. Banks have been working on a solution to solve this by trying to implement voice recognition as your password instead.

On February 19th, 2016, HSBC announced that they would start implementing “voice biometric security technology” for the clients in the UK. The technology allowed banks to implement a program that would allow clients to be recognized by their voice when attempting to sign into their individual bank accounts. 15 million people are expected to have this program implemented by the 2016 summer. In addition to the voice recognition, the bank released a “touch ID” technology. For those who choose not to use their voice, they will be able to use their fingerprints to sign in.

HSBC spoke about how they plan to introduce the voice and touch technology into the Mexican, Canadian, French, American and Hong Kong markets in the near future. However, they did not release a time frame of when that would occur.  The bank is not the first financial company to offer this specific technology to its clients. Barclays, Vanguard and Banco Santander Mexico have already weaved it into their client’s accounts.

Nuance Communications are the company that supplies HSBC with the voice recognition technology.  They began to research vocal biometrics back in the early 90’s. It wasn’t until 2012 that banks began to have a demand to obtain this technology for their retail banking clients. Before that, many wanted it solely for their high profile clients and corporate wire transfers.

Many banks have shifted to the technology after becoming frustrated with passwords. In a 2014 study released by Verizon, two-thirds of all data breaches occurred from passwords being stolen or weak. As many banks need to reset their passwords often, it makes them vulnerable to hackers. In addition to the higher risk of attack, it often is costly and time-consuming to reset passwords.

The change from traditional passwords to voice recognition will take several years as the banking industry has millions of consumers that would need to adapt. As a high stake move, banks will move forward cautiously, but it’s more likely clients will see it mixed in with current trends.


David E. Mickey is a financial executive based in Buffalo, New York, and he’s an Enterprise Sales Executive at Docupace Technologies. Please visit his websites to learn more: http://davidemickey.comhttp://davidemickey.net/; and http://davidemickey.org/.