Much has been written about automation, with banks, insurers and FinTechs all exploring the potential for automated technologies to drive efficiencies by replacing manual tasks, accelerate workflows and create new products and services through AI and machine learning.
But how true is it to say that financial services companies have fully embraced automation, and how many are still just at the start of their journey, even after the digital shockwaves of the pandemic?
And once the technology is implemented, what processes are ripe for automation, which are proving more of challenge, and how are senior leaders integrating automation into company cultures without fuelling employees’ fears over the changing nature of work?
To discuss these questions in more detail FStech was joined by Monica Sasso, chief technologist for EMEA at Red Hat.
How are banks providing omnichannel customer experience?
In the on-demand economy, customers now expect to be able to engage with their service provider - be it a streaming service, online retailer, or banking provider, at the click of a button and on the channel of their choice.
As a result, financial services providers are under mounting pressure to leverage data, AI and automation to provide a personalised and seamless customer experience, whether the customer is accessing online, via an app or calling the customer service phone line.
And while FinTechs and InsurTechs enable customers to switch smoothly between online chatbots and a human advisor, more established banks are struggling to connect all of the elements of the customer journey.
To delve further into the key challenges and opportunities for FSIs in building an omnichannel customer journey. FStech was joined by Monica Hovsepian, Head of Worldwide Financial Services Industry Strategy at OpenText.
Reality check: monetising Open APIs
In the age of data-driven financial services, Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) have become the essential building blocks of digital channels such as the apps and online banking services used by millions of customers.
But as the data ecosystem evolves, and Open Banking shifts into Open Finance and Open Data, APIs are becoming far more than just gateways for data exchange between applications and systems: they are in the process of becoming drivers of real innovation and strategic value.
As a result, FSIs who are slow to adopt this approach and fail to unlock the potential for new products and services, risk losing out to more nimble, Open API-enabled competitors.
In this podcast we were joined by Alfonso Navio, business strategist for financial services at Red Hat to explore how FSIs are leveraging APIs to drive value for their customers.
Fact or friction: What do we really know about consumer banking?
As consumers adapt their habits and increasingly transact online, demand for digital financial services has risen exponentially.
As a result, financial institutions (FIs) are under pressure to provide smooth onboarding processes, featuring the most up to date and easy to use technology combined with security and compliance – or risk losing the customer at the first hurdle.
To delve further into these challenges, FStech partnered with HID Global to conduct a survey to shed some light on how financial institutions in UK and around Europe view these challenges.
In this podcast, Dean Stevenson, a consultant and secure identity specialist at HID Global, explores the results of this recent survey and how FIs are keeping customers safe while reducing friction.
How are financial services institutions managing risk in real-time?
The past year has brought unprecedented disruption for financial services providers and their customers.
For many, the pandemic-induced risk landscape has created new challenges for FSIs including balancing disruption detection, digesting information from all over the globe, and managing a co-ordinated response. From local COVID-19 lockdown mandates affecting physical branches to cyber criminals targeting financial services providers, there are devastating consequences for an organisation’s reputation and bottom line when crisis response is inadequate.
As a result, FSIs have been under pressure to ensure they have 24/7 visibility of emerging risks, so that they can respond swiftly to protect their customers and employees while ensuring operational resilience across their physical and digital presence around the world.
To tackle this challenge, forward looking FSIs are exploring the potential of real-time alerting platforms, which use AI to process billions of data units daily from thousands of public information sources such as social media, blogs, information sensors, and the deep web, to alert customers to emerging and sudden threats as they occur.
To delve further into these challenges for retailers and possible solutions FStech was joined by Helen Sutton, Senior Vice President of EMEA and APAC sales at Dataminr.
Bending the risk curve in the hybrid workplace
As the workforce prepares for the long-term shift to hybrid working, financial services organisations are considering how the established operating model should change to maintain both security and agility. But hybrid working comes with its own challenges. Whether it’s personal devices accessing corporate data and applications or cybercriminals exploiting vulnerabilities opened up by remote access – the risk is vast.
Enhancing IT security seems an obvious route to address the challenge, but how do FS organisations meet the demand for agility without increasing complexity? And what measures should they consider to make hybrid working secure without reducing employee productivity?
Additionally, how are companies integrating secure access into wider strategic priorities as they scale?
To answer these questions and explore possible solutions, FStech was joined by Helen Patton, Advisory CISO and Richard Archdeacon, also Advisory CISO at Duo, a secure access specialist (now part of Cisco).
Counting the cost of downtime for FSIs
Banks are under immense pressure to undergo rapid transformation and roll out innovative new products and services at the same pace as their competitors, while at the same time ensuring the high-quality customer experiences which consumers now expect.
Attempting large scale digital transformation in a short period of time always carries a degree of risk when it comes to operational continuity, with some FSIs left counting the devastating cost of IT failures and data breaches to their reputation, compliance and their bottomline.
This situation has only been made more difficult by the fact that many FSIs are simultaneously attempting to undergo migrations to the cloud, while also carrying years of accumulated legacy infrastructure at a time when employees are working from home, which can make visibility across all their networks and applications an almost impossible task.
All these factors combine to mean that when a system fails or is brought down by malicious actors, the process of establishing root cause and ensuring full recovery can be excruciatingly slow, with the impact on customer trust reverberating well beyond the weekly news cycle.
To delve further into these topics as well as some possible solutions to these dilemmas, FStech was joined by Phillip Gervasi, Senior Technical Evangelist, at Riverbed.
Taking Open Banking one step further
Open Banking is already proving to be a significant disruptor in the current financial services market. It’s providing a new way to elevate customer experience by harnessing data to improve services and offer a much wider range of products.
But what if Open Banking could be taken one step further? Imagine an ecosystem that goes beyond the standard format and instead reaches customers outside of but related to financial services, enabling banks and financial institutions to offer an even wider range of products.
Alexandra Leonards spoke to Hans Tesselaar, executive director for the Banking Industry Architecture Network (BIAN), about the opportunity to expand and adapt Open Banking.
Cracking down on digital communications risks in FS
The shift to remote working has triggered an explosion of digital communications challenges for financial services firms - and a corresponding surge in the data privacy risk. As employees send millions of emails and messages across digital collaboration platforms, financial institutions are in a race against time to protect their systems, employees and reputation from the devastating consequences of a data breach.
However, while much of the data privacy focus for FSIs centres around securing end points, the shift to cloud and boosting cyber security measures, research shows that over 90 per cent of data leaks are caused by human error - with emails sent to the wrong recipient one of the most common ways a company can expose itself to risk of GDPR non-compliance and cybercrime. And as the regulators step up scrutiny - and dish out eye watering fines for breaches- many FSIs are fighting an uphill battle to improve employee awareness of the potential costs of making a mistake.
To combat this challenge, many firms are turning to automated data privacy platforms, which use AI and machine learning to scan emails and digital communications for compliance before they are sent with real-time warnings, which can prevent sensitive information from ending up in the wrong hands.
To delve further into these challenges and possible solutions in digital communications risk, FStech was joined by Rick Goud, Chief Information Officer at secure communications provider Zivver.
Unlocking the value of Open Banking
Open Banking has been active in the UK since the start of 2018, with consumers starting to realise the benefits of easier account aggregation and data sharing between banking apps. But take-up has been mixed across different areas of the industry and end-user concerns still remain around security and privacy.
Open Banking solutions provider Yolt Technology Services recently researched the topic, uncovering both business and customer attitudes to the API revolution. This podcast features a one-on-one interview with their chief business officer Leon Muis, digging into the survey findings to figure out the key challenges and opportunities within Open Banking.
6AMLD is your data ready?
With just months to go until 6AMLD is set to be fully enforced in June, organisations are scrambling to adapt to an environment that assigns additional liability for breaches to senior managers and threatens heavier sanctions across the board, with organisations all too aware of the financial and reputational risk should the regulator come knocking.
But with the anti-money laundering risk landscape changing rapidly, as new threats emerge from digital payments and increased cyber security risk, organisations are being forced to re-evaluate their underlying technology infrastructures as well as improve employee awareness of their responsibilities with regards to 6AMLD.
These teams have only a few months to tackle the multitude of challenges surrounding data management, data visibility and data siloes, without compromising user experience in the process.
To delve further into these topics as well as some possible solutions, FStech was joined by William Brown, Head of Global Product Management at Bottomline Technologies to take a look at how organisations are implementing the digital transformation and transparency measures needed to be ready on time for the deadline.
A busy time to be a CIO
The last six months have been some of the busiest ever for chief information officers, who have had to deal with the challenge and opportunity of one of the largest surges in technology investment in history – with companies spending around $15 billion extra a week on tech.
That’s according to the latest research from Harvey Nash and KPMG, which surveyed more than 4,200 IT leaders, who preside over a combined spend of over $250 billion.
This podcast features and interview with Steve Bates, a principal at KPMG and global leader of the firm’s CIO Centre of Excellence, picking through the findings to assess the biggest trends and most likely future scenarios.
The importance of internet exchange points
The Coronavirus crisis has accelerated the rate of digital transformation within financial services, with companies from incumbent institutions to disruptive startups making sure they have the tech infrastructure to cope with increased online demand.
But one often overlooked factor in these strategic shifts is the role of internet exchange points, with more and more FinTech firms looking to take control of their connections, rather than use third parties.
So this podcast features a discussion with Nurani Nimpuno, Head of Global Engagement at the London Internet Exchange (LINX) - one of the longest serving global link points - to talk through the trends and assess the future of this sector.
The ticking time bomb of outdated file transfer systems
Legacy IT systems are still common across financial services, but the recent lockdown-driven shift to online banking has meant many are being stretched to their limits by digital demand.
This, coupled with the fact that most are on-premise - requiring physical maintenance in a time of remote working - means that the scale and complexity of IT upgrade projects has also increased recently.
One particularly risky element is File Transfer Protocols, which are usually only password protected, and therefore outdated in terms of modern multi-factor security standards. With more sensitive customer data being sent than ever, it’s crucial that this is safe from cyber criminals – who are increasingly targeting financial services firms.
To get a better idea of the extent of the problem, and discuss some of the potential tech solutions, this podcast features a conversation with Gregory Mooney, community development manager for IT and security at Progress.
Connecting data assets to get ahead
Now more than ever, having a clear view of customer information can be the difference between success and failure in the modern financial services marketplace.
With teams and technology stretched to the limit, not to mention company budgets, it’s crucial to make the most of the data assets you already have. But even for less legacy-burdened firms, this can be distributed across a variety of different systems, servers, databases and departments.
Working out a way to gather this data together in one place can revolutionise product development and customer service, giving easy access to key insights and freeing up IT staff to concentrate on more valuable tasks.
To talk about these challenges and opportunities, this podcast features a chat with some experts in the space: Alex Jones, EMEA Senior Director for Customer Success at data specialist Fivetran, and Hendrik Brakmann, Director of Data Science and Analytics at business banking challenger Tide.
Finding the UX sweet spot for online banking
Financial services firms are increasingly striving to hit that sweet spot between security and usability, giving a seamless user experience (UX) while protecting them from harm online.
As we all spend more time at home during the pandemic - rather than in the office or visiting a bank branch - it becomes all the more important to get the amount of friction right. More than anything, it’s crucial to acquire and keep customers, who are looking for quick sign-up, easy everyday authentication and confidence in how safe their money is.
This podcast features a conversation with Paul Jones from HID Global’s new Consumer Authentication business unit. We discuss what goes on behind the shiny mobile app, how banks sometimes trump governments in terms of identity trust and what’s next in Know Your Customer tech.
The rise of DevSecOps in financial services
As financial services organisations are forced to accelerate digital transformation initiatives to meet consumer and colleague demand for mobile and remote access to apps and sites, many are moving their tech and culture to DevOps.
Development and operations have never been more crucial to the running of a modern financial firm, then throw in the rising need for cyber security protections and you’ve got DevSecOps.
Cloud-based, agile and often automated with forms of artificial intelligence, this business methodology is increasingly separating the winners from the losers in sectors like banking and payments.
This podcast features a discussion on these topics with a couple of experts from a software security company Checkmarx - Director of Product Management Yael Hoze and UK Sales Engineering Team Leader Andrew Thompson.
Can FinTech partnerships get banks to better-serve SMEs?
The Coronavirus recession has made banks increasingly reluctant to provide accounts and finance to small businesses - apparently down to the higher regulatory burden and a perception that SMEs are riskier and more resource intensive.
This presents a huge problem for legitimate businesses, as it disrupts their business continuity and growth. A multitude of FinTech firms are seizing the opportunity to serve this sizeable chunk of the UK economy, and some of them are looking to coax traditional banks back in via partnerships and collaboration.
This podcast features a conversation with Søren Skov Mogensen, Chief Growth Officer at Banking Circle, which has conducted research into the subject.
How to spot the weakest link in your cybersecurity armour
As the pandemic moves employees as well as their devices and their workloads into remote locations, the cyber criminals have followed them there. As a result, a company is only as safe as the weakest link in its network, and must identify it before the attackers can exploit it.
And as surging demand for online financial services accelerates digitisation across the industry, it is not just users, applications and emails that need to be safeguarded: data workloads, operating systems and back of house infrastructure are also vulnerable to the changing threat landscape, be it nation state attack mercenary hackers or insider threat.
This podcast features a discussion of these challenges with Zeki Turedi, regional Chief Technology Officer at Crowdstrike, a cloud-based security platform provider, who helps us to explore the options for financial services institutions as they adapt their security transformation strategy to the rapidly evolving threat landscape.
Data on-demand: how is data governance changing the face of asset management?
With rising demand for digital services and real-time decision making in financial services, there is a renewed focus on properly governed data as the fuel for this transformation — and the world of investment and asset management is racing to catch up. Following the arrival of on-demand culture, with employees able to call up the data, movie or product they need at the touch of button on Amazon or Netflix, the days of trawling through an Excel database or legacy systems for the information they need is no longer an option.
As a result, asset management leaders need to ensure that teams and stakeholders have access to the information they need for fast, efficient, and transparent decision-making in real time while ensuring that data governance and compliance controls are front of mind.
This podcast features a discussion with Dean McIntyre, Director of Strategy at FactSet, an integrated data and software solutions provider, to explore the issues surrounding data governance and how asset managers can empower staff from front to back office, reduce operating costs and ease compliance in an on-demand culture.
Earn my trust: Enabling data sharing with identity verification
Rising awareness of data privacy among consumers has made secure identity verification essential for building customer trust, proving to them that the data fuelling a wide range of apps and digital services is securely stored and out of the reach of unscrupulous cyber criminals.
However, for financial services firms, this secure exchange of data goes both ways: companies need to be sure that highly sensitive financial, transaction and customer data is only accessible to those who have express permission to see it, or risk data breaches that could have a devastating effect on customer trust and, ultimately, the company’s bottom line.
And while retail banking surges ahead with data sharing initiatives such as Open Banking, other sectors of the financial services industry, including insurance, asset management and investment banking risk being left behind, with many enterprises stuck with legacy technology and convoluted, complex sign-in procedures which create confusion for the end user.
To delve deeper into these topics, FStech was joined by Ben King, Chief Security Officer for the EMEA regions at Okta, the digital identity and access management platform.
Spotlight on automation and analytics in the data centre
Financial sector firms are already struggling to keep up with the ever-changing performance demands of applications, and the current pressure on firms to improve time to market and scale rapidly is only adding to these concerns.
Automation and object storage can complement core banking applications, which can be difficult migrate to the cloud, and enable better monitoring, management, and optimisation of infrastructure.
Though banks are currently awash with unstructured data, only a small percentage of this data contains the insights needed to ensure compliance and storage performance. The metadata which object storage enables can allow IT teams to isolate performance bottlenecks and spot compliance issues wherever they may be located, in way traditional file or block storage can't do.
Automation can give banks the rapid provisioning on-premise that they have accustomed to in the cloud, while the introduction of AI enabled self-healing in data centre can help them scale the systems rapidly without issue.
To delve deeper into these topics, FStech was joined by, Tom Christensen, Chief Technology Officer for Northern EMEA at Hitachi Vantara.
Digital threat: can a strong cyber strategy boost competitiveness?
With the coronavirus crisis prompting a vast shift from in-branch operations to online, like most industries, financial services has needed to adapt.
Open Banking is also disrupting the market, with both banks and FinTechs looking to boost customer experience by harnessing data to offer improved services and a wider range of products.
Both the shift to online and the disruption of Open banking have created opportunities for the market to grow and adapt, but they’ve also generated a whole host of new privacy and security concerns. With the backdrop of the pandemic to boot, there’s never been a more challenging time for the market.
Traditional banks not only have to address changing consumer habits and a greater reliance on digital banking, but also face growing competition from alternative banks, including digital-only platforms.
Becoming digital: how are wealth management firms transforming while respecting tradition?
As the demand for digital services skyrocketed during the pandemic, financial services providers had to move faster than ever before to provide continuity for their customers across digital channels and platforms. And while retail banks make headway against the digital challengers, many sectors, notably wealth management, investment and asset management are struggling to keep up with the pace of change.
As a result, digital advocates working in traditional wealth management firms are making the urgent business case for digital transformation to prepare for the future. However, many are experiencing pushback from senior leaders concerned that digital transformation goes against the grain of a rich heritage of highly personalised service and relationships extending back many generations, as well as highlighting the cost and security implications of moving customer data onto new technology at a time of disruption.
But as customers from millennials to more mature investors become more mobile, wealth management needs to evolve quickly to survive while retaining the tailored customer experiences and seamless service that set traditional financial services providers apart.
To delve further into these topics as well as some possible solutions to this digital dilemma, FStech was joined by George Baily, marketing lead for wealth at Crealogix.
Know Your Customer: Managing evolving risks throughout the customer lifestyle
There have been easier times for customer onboarding. The money laundering industry is currently estimated at being worth around two trillion worldwide, every year, and the challenges posed to FSIs by the introduction of the EU’s 6th AML directive, Brexit, and the pandemic are well established.
But these challenges are amplified by the fact many organisations are still unaware of where the data truly lies within their organisation. Many are weighed down by siloed legacy IT which holds data from different business areas in systems that are unable to “talk” to each other. And many organisations simply don’t have the right data needed to onboard customers risk-free in the first place.
Faced with these challenges, FSIs are tasked with minimizing the risk of cyber criminals and fraudsters – whose techniques are rapidly evolving – from infiltrating their systems without alienating customers with onerous and time consuming onboarding processes and sending them straight into the hands of competitors.
To combat this problem, some are exploring the potential of AI and analytics to provide a more complete view of customer data, which helps to strike the fine balance between giving customers what they need when they need it and minimizing risk for the FSI. At the same time, emerging technologies such as biometrics offer organisations new strategies to keep one step ahead of the criminals.
To delve further into these topics as well as some possible solutions to these dilemmas, FStech was joined by Adam McLaughlin, global head of financial crime strategy and marketing at Nice Actimize.
The cost of non-compliance
While the Coronavirus crisis means regulators have taken a step back in recent months, the cost of non-compliance remains high for banks of all shapes and sizes.
Be it Anti-Money Laundering directives, Strong Customer Authentication, the Basel III reforms or General Data Protection Regulation, it is crucial to have the right systems and processes in place.
Data management is the key theme running though all of these, regardless of whether you’re a nimbler but less well-resourced digital challenger, or a legacy IT-addled incumbent operating at scale.
This podcast looked at how proper organisation and improvements in data quality can help immensely, when paired with things like automation and cloud-enabled agility. FStech editor Peter Walker spoke to James Cotton, a solutions director at Information Builders, to help get to the bottom of the issues.
Can you trust the CEO? - tackling the rise of authorised fraud
With everyone from the chief executive to the graduate recruit now working from home, there has been a significant spike in the instance of authorised fraud during the Coronavirus lockdown.
As staff are unable to go through the normal security checks, cyber criminals have been taking advantage of dispersed teams and playing people off one another with scam emails purporting to be from senior management.
This podcast features a discussion with NICE Actimize Fraud and Authentication Expert Robert Tharle on how to tackle this problem - and other cyber security threats caused by COVID-19.
Using machine learning to predict fraud
As financial fraud methods evolve, so must the techniques used to detect and defend against them - so as fraudsters automate their hacking, financial services firms are looking to artificial intelligence technology to protect customer data.
Machine learning is one of the most effective ways of combatting such crime, but many businesses don’t feel like they have the expertise to implement such solutions.
This podcast - with Galvanize Principal Product Manager Kevin Legere - looks at some of the ways non-data scientists can process raw data to spot anomalies and predict fraudulent transactions.
Money laundering risk in the time of Coronavirus
The Coronavirus has accelerated digital transformation across all financial services sectors, but none perhaps more so than those defending against money laundering.
As criminals look to take advantage of increasingly online consumers and disparate workforces, it has never been more important to get a holistic view of risk, with the technology to back that up.
This podcast features a chat with Adam McLaughlin, Head of Financial Crime Solutions for EMEA at NICE Actimize, about the methods firms are using to stay secure, maintain regulatory compliance and keep costs down.
RegTech and remote working
As many of the world’s companies are forced to embrace remote working, new challenges are being met in terms of building trust and developing partnerships virtually. When the task is implementing complex regulatory technology solutions, the problems of no face-to-face contact mean managing expectations and making decisions are all the more difficult.
But for many financial services firms, this is the reality. So this podcast discusses some of the ways to overcome these problems, using both automation and people skills. FStech editor Peter Walker spoke with Henry Balani, head of delivery for customer success and support at Encompass Corporation, to find out more.
Act like you’ve been hacked – a new approach to cyber security
As IT teams around the globe attempt to transition towards a new normal, the upheaval has created opportunities that cyber criminals have been eager to exploit. Many financial services firms are starting to think about how they will respond when, rather than if, a data breach occurs.
This podcast features a conversation between FStech editor Peter Walker and Viavi Solutions senior product manager Ward Cobleigh about making the best of existing systems to help save money during the looming recession, sharing tools across teams to enable more efficient threat detection, and how to communicate internally and externally when the worst happens.
Financial crime doesn't discriminate
How are financial services firms battling fraud and keeping up with new regulations, while continuing to innovate in the current landscape? This podcasts brings together a mix of experts to look at how technology can help with compliance as the threats, costs and competition continue to evolve.
The Future of Intelligent Finance
FStech Group Editor Mark Evans sits down with Jason Cao, President of Global Financial Services Business Unit, Enterprise BG at Huawei ahead of its Intelligent Finance Summit which was held on 3rd and 4th of June in Shanghai. This Q&A delves into key trends in digital transformation of the financial services industry as well as a look at how data, robotic infrastructure, intelligent storage and innovative technologies are shaping the future for FSIs.
The Rise of Instant Payments
Instant payments are creating new business opportunities for banks by providing more touchpoints than ever. With these evolutions underway, Featurespace brought leading industry experts together to discuss how they are protecting customers from fraudsters in real time, utilizing innovative and disruptive solutions to reduce fraud. Click here to find out more.
As cyber attacks and data breaches are in the news on an increasingly regular basis - with regulatory penalties and customer trust on the line for financial services firms - it has never been more crucial to be compliant in the cloud.
This video, with Akamai’s EMEA director of security technology and strategy Richard Meeus, will help explain what your company can be doing to make sure it’s not embroiled in the next big fine or front-page scandal.