On this year’s FinovateFall stage, over 70 firms gave a seven-minute demo, of which over 15 firms touted data security tools and some 14 firms boasted data science expertise within banking or capital markets settings. After the JPMorgan and Equifax hacks, it seems that no client data is impregnable and that future data breaches are limited by the appetite of hackers. Financial institutions’ hope for fool-proof data security is as dim as that of consumers retaining ownership of their own digital identity. And yet, some Finovate presenters gave an attentive audience a measure of hope. Passwords, Social Security numbers, and two-step authentications can’t guarantee that the individual pushing them through bank or broker digital channels is the person to whom this data belongs.
Last week’s Finovate event in NYC offered up a great mix of innovation across many areas of financial services with an added bonus for 2017. For those who have had the opportunity to attend, the initial format has not changed from the last few years; however, the event was expanded to four days this year and included multiple presentations on the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in retail banks, regulatory updates from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and financial products that meet the needs of the unbanked. The first two days of demos were relevant to the industry, and the content was spot-on.
The Grand Canyon is an extraordinary place, but it is one of those wonders you have to witness in person. You can see pictures and videos of it or selfies of your friends standing on the rim, but you don’t get a full appreciation for its incredible beauty until you see it for yourself.
For those of us who have been in the banking industry over the last several years, the omnichannel customer experience is like that. Our peers talk about it, and we see endless presentations on the beauty of it. Unfortunately, I had yet to experience it … until yesterday.
Money isn’t everything, but it certainly helps create choices in life. Yes, investing can be tricky with many options and fine print. Still, the biggest obstacle for the average person is not investing; it is the saving bit. Saving requires discipline and, in some cases, sacrifice. It means spending less than you earn, though you’re surrounded by lots of temptation.
Just a few brief years ago, financial institutions (FIs) weren’t really focused on the customer experience. With the exceptions of making sure ATM downtime was minimized, branches were staffed appropriately, contact center calls were answered within acceptable time frames, and the online banking system worked properly, bankers were just doing business as usual. The world has changed dramatically, and many FIs with a focus on the customer experience have created a new department whose primary goal is to ensure every aspect of a new product or process is evaluated in the context of its potential impact on customers.