We are only several days into the new year and life insurance executives everywhere are scurrying to figure out how to meet their 2016 goals (or catch up on any 2015 goals). As life insurance companies shift their focus to the customer—the policyholder/prospect and not the agent—improving underwriting has been front and center. Surprisingly, though, many insurers remain unaware of the full extent of solutions available to improve their underwriting processes.
As we ring in 2016, the new year promises to be an active year for financial institution (FI) fraud executives. We’re still in the thick of the U.S. migration to EMV, and many FIs are still scrambling to get their cards out the door. FIs that are ahead of the game are already reaping the results—one executive who I interviewed from a large FI said its migration is 90% complete, and it already saw a 25% drop in counterfeit card fraud in Q4 2015.
The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) and U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) released guidance for financial institutions on servicing marijuana-related businesses in early 2015. While no doubt appreciated by the banking community, it may not make financial institutions more confident in servicing these businesses. The New York Times did a nice article on the guidance, explaining what it means for banks and the government’s perspective, but the situation should be broken down in more detail specifically for banks and credit unions.
In the machine-to-machine scenario, the blockchain remains completely transparent to “human” business users, and it will be deployed to develop solutions tied to the Internet of Things. The IoT is the network of physical objects or "things" embedded with electronics, software, sensors, and network connectivity, which enable these objects to collect and exchange data.
The principle that the blockchain is the “enemy” of all intermediary business entails that the blockchain ensures a digitized and automated compliance checking process. Digitization hence extends from financial instruments and documents to the entire workflow of processes that generate, manage, exchange, and store these digital assets (i.e., blockchain tokens).
In the corporation-to-corporation scenario, corporations will start working on blockchain projects for mission-critical (i.e., niche) applications, while waiting for the “big thing” to occur. Banks may not have any role to play.
It is a fact that corporations are late to take on the blockchain debate, and such lack of awareness may be the symptom of a simple lack of interest. After all, banks are all over blockchain because bitcoin shook them up and made them keep their wide eyes open.