THINK Week in Review – The “Data” Edition

Digital technologies such as cloud, advanced analytics, artificial intelligence and big data are reshaping the financial services industry. Cutting-edge financial institutions are using these technologies to better meet the demands of clients and regulators while working to bolster the bottom line. Big data technology has become an integral part of the financial services industry, and will continue to drive innovation well into the future.

Quality of Data is extremely important: Fake Data will make banks vulnerable (Accenture) – “More than nine in 10 of the bankers surveyed say they are confident in the integrity of the sources of their data. However, 11% trust their data is reliable, but don’t validate it; 16% try to validate their data, but aren’t sure of the quality; and 24% validate the data, but recognise they should do a lot more to ensure the quality.”

Data shows Financial Services has unrealized opportunities in subscriptions. “Subscriptions also benefit financial services companies when they allow access to services that previously required a high minimum investment of assets or a high consulting fee. Life planning – for a family, retirement and the like — is one prime example. It’s an area where customers traditionally have had to pay a percentage of their assets as a fee quarterly or annually, regardless of performance. The result is that there is a gap between customers who would use the service if they believed they could afford it and those who actually use a financial advisor.”

Two simple concepts to free up innovation. “How often do you really stretch yourself, mentally? Most of us, most of the time, stay in our comfort zone. We know our strengths and what is expected of us, and we hover in this space, secure in the knowledge that we are doing an OK job.

The problem with this approach: Often the greatest learning and innovating takes place when we step outside of our comfort zones and stretch into what I like to call our “yikes zone.”

How Banking Providers can achieve hyper-relevance in the Amazon Age.  “While some banks and credit unions are ambitiously adding digital to their existing branches, others, like Virgin Money, are taking what Accenture calls the “phygital” approach — a mix of both physical and digital — in entirely new directions. For instance, Virgin Money Lounges scattered throughout the U.K. live up to their name; they are actual lounges, with spaces where people can relax and unwind with complimentary refreshments, free Wi-Fi, newspapers, magazines, TVs and iPads. Several lounges include amenities such as bowling alleys and theaters and most have a play area for the kids.”

Bitcoin is the greatest scam in history. “In my opinion, it’s a colossal pump-and-dump scheme, the likes of which the world has never seen. In a pump-and-dump game, promoters “pump” up the price of a security creating a speculative frenzy, then “dump” some of their holdings at artificially high prices. And some cryptocurrencies are pure frauds. Ernst & Young estimates that 10 percent of the money raised for initial coin offerings has been stolen.

The losers are ill-informed buyers caught up in the spiral of greed. The result is a massive transfer of wealth from ordinary families to internet promoters. And “massive” is a massive understatement — 1,500 different cryptocurrencies now register over $300 billion of “value.”

Calm Interfaces are here and they’re wonderful. “By integrating a display into something that already has a powerful emotional component, the act of communicating becomes a lot more natural and relaxed than any ringtone, vibration, or bright-red numbered badge.”