Managing a new era of Financial Services

Managing a new era of financial services

By now you would have read many views on what 2022 and beyond holds for digital transformation in the Financial Services industry. In this blog, I am going to parlay those into a few actionable takeaways for you in your respective industries that center around driving digital customer engagement, managing risk and operational efficiencies across the board. As we exit the pandemic, this inflection point is crucial to take what we have learnt from the past two years and apply it in the new future of work in Banking, Capital Markets, Asset & Wealth Management, and Insurance.

The macro tech theme that is resonating is the best of breed story needs of horizontal platforms to support vertical lines of business needs - be it customer growth, retention, risk & compliance, or efficiencies. This is where the content cloud flourishes. Box Content Cloud is one secure platform for the entire content journey that frees your team to collaborate with anyone, anywhere, while protecting your content with cloud-native security, intelligent governance, and comprehensive compliance.

Driving digital customer engagement

In a highly competitive marketplace, Financial Services firms no longer have the luxury of hopping onto the digital bandwagon but rather it’s become table-stakes. The rate at which they have been able to move has been hampered for years by legacy technology platforms and home-grown solutions.

So what does digital customer engagement mean to an end customer; in insurance it is the ability to proactively and effectively manage the lifecycle of a claim, in wealth management it is the ability for a customer to have omni access to their accounts and their relationship with the firm, and in retail banking, it’s the ability to open new accounts in a personalized and engaged experience that is both transparent and effective to reach the end goal - a newly opened account! But you may say, well we’ve heard these before, even pre-pandemic, what’s changed? I would argue that the pandemic and the forward-looking path to the future of work has meant that this is an ever evolving domain of innovation that has just undergone a near 2 yearlong experiment with a ton of end user and employee findings.

At Box, we are proud to have helped customers with such innovation including firms who can help customers onboard using their smartphone camera to take pictures of required documents on the go, that can co-author and collaborate with their Financial Advisor on a performance statement of their portfolio or stream a dash-cam video of an auto incident to kick start a vehicle claim. A portal is no longer the norm for digital engagement, the experiences in all channels - web, browser, call center, chat (maybe even the meta-verse one day) - that pave the future of digital customer engagement and the ability to retain customers in a highly competitive marketplace.

Managing risk in an evolving regulatory landscape

With mandates across all levels of government including consumer protection, cyber risk, and the updates to the Bank Secrecy Act around record keeping coupled with an environment where levied fines and reputational loss are increasing; Financial Services firms have become aware of many gaps that are appearing in their Risk Management and Compliance frameworks.

After years of grace, the clamp down is now well and truly in motion with 2020 presenting over $15B of regulatory fines including 73% from US Banks according to a leading corporate compliance publication [1]. When evaluating the Security, Risk and Compliance posture, it is prudent to look at all points of failure including malicious and unintended data leaks, cyber-attack vulnerability surfaces, and the governance of customers records.
Customers of Box have been able to manage a constantly evolving threat landscape by protecting their most valuable asset - their content - with precision control over their users, access, and data; intelligent threat detection; complete lifecycle management & governance; and effortless compliance with regulatory requirements.

The most prominent examples include where Corporate Investment Banks and Buy side firms like PE’s engage in deal transactions that contain Materially Non-Public Information. Or where a banker is in receipt of Personally Identifiable Information from a retail customer that contains an SSN or a Driving License - we still see this info being sent around in seemingly “secure email” or much worse being proliferated across an enterprise in multiple places with no information policy or control around it.

Lowering the bottom line of operational efficiency

This old adage has seem to become the norm in a post global financial crisis world, however, as we emerge from the global pandemic, there are three trends that are hurting top line revenue and they are as follows: 1) lending activity is decreasing as the world fights an inflation and interest rate seesaw, 2) global M&A activity is down and 3) customers are no longer likely to accept mediocre offerings when it comes to managing their primary banking relationship or insurance management and so retention and engagement is top of mind.

In order to protect underlying shareholder value as well as profitability, there are a number of areas of interest to explore. One such example is best of breed back-office automation which is focused around amplifying investments made in a best of breed eco system. For instance, taking a Salesforce and Microsoft environment and coupling it with the appropriate data clouds for structured and un-structured content.

Augmenting high value staff, we have long asked investment bankers, wealth managers and commercial bankers to perform rudimentary and clerical tasks that make up their core business, for example, handling document verification for a new loan, collating & authoring pitch books, or centralizing customer documents. This staff is typically not who you want working on these activities, and so automation opportunities are enabled all the way through the organization to empower your customer facing staff to do what they do best; serve in their customers interests.

And finally, productivity. According to Panopta [2], there is an insurmountable amount of waste in the enterprise today when it comes to searching and finding information. Up to 8 hours a week of corporate employee time is deployed in finding documents and information to be able to perform their role. Imagine what your org could do with a 20% boost in productivity with the right tools to find, locate, and collaborate on documents.

Summary

Financial Services technology initiatives this year will be driven by the need to make products and services ultra-convenient for consumers and businesses. Banks and fintech’s also will continue to try to become a trusted place for consumers and businesses to go. Organizations are compelled to strive to continue the bull and find creative operational efficiency plays.

Box has been helping Wealth management firms, Corporate Investment Banking and buy side entities like Private Equity houses, as well as Commercial and Retail lending organizations 10x their current IT investments to aid with moving the needle on these three key competitive advantages. If you would like to find out more, here is where you can learn about some of those customers.

References: [1] , [2]

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