As a consumer, I like electronic payments because they make my life easier and they save me an extraordinary amount of time.
As a retailer, electronic payments make it easier for people to buy from you with the touch of a button, thus growing the bottom line.
Electronic payments are designed to make the buying process easier for both buyers and sellers, but there is one big beneficiary in this equation that isn’t always mentioned: the economy.
“Electronic payments are highly efficient, offering advantages such as speed, reduced costs, and accuracy,” said Dr. Ray Perryman, President and CEO of The Perryman Group.”These enhancements have contributed significantly to the expansion of the US economy, increasing liquidity and stimulating personal consumption.”
Throughout history, humans have been seeking better and better methods of payment:
Each progression has made our lives easier and has made it easier for the exchange of goods and services.
The advent of electronic payments has dramatically increased ease, while simultaneously decreasing costs. How many times have you logged into Amazon to order one thing and ended up spending over $100 because it’s easy?
“The electronic payments system is the force behind one in five jobs because employment in the United States is 20% higher than it would be if the system had never existed,” said Dr. Perryman.
Every time that buying and selling is simplified, the opportunity exists for the economy to get a boost. So, go ahead and hand over your Starbucks app in the drive thru. The economy will thank you.
“Retailers are light years ahead of Wall Street in analyzing their data to find out what their customers want,” said to Peter Giordano, managing director at Oppenheimer & Co. “Instead of analyzing customer data, the industry still relies on salespeople, relationships and actual trades to tell us what clients want.”
Big data might be a fun buzz word at the moment, but it’s an actual business imperative. The opportunity for organizations to extract value from the data they collect and store has never been greater.
If you look at Giordano’s comment above, you would think that financial services firms would easily be able to leverage the data they have on client behaviors to recommend great products to their clients at the right times. Certainly, executives in this industry are talking about it.
IBM conducted a study called “Analytics: the real world use of big data (PDF).” The study accurately identifies the big data opportunity that financial institutions face as they work toward transforming into customer-centric organizations:
“By improving their ability to anticipate changing markets conditions and customer preferences, banks and financial markets organizations can deliver new customer-centric products and services to quickly seize markets opportunities while improving customer service and loyalty.”
In this study, they found that financial services executives are acknowledging big data and talking about it, but the extent that they are currently using it to benefit their businesses varies greatly. “With no physical products to manufacture,” says the report, “data – the source of information – is one of arguably their most important assets.”
When the word “bank” is used as a noun, it is referring to either an institution that manages financial transactions or the building that houses the institution. As technology moves forward, the term bank is becoming less and less synonymous with an actual physical structure.
When I was 5 years old, my mom took me to a bank where I opened up my first bank account called The Squirrel Club. I would save up my change at home and we would drive to the bank where I would hand over my bag of hard earned cash.
The bank was a place that I went with my mother.
Now, it’s an app.
My daughter is one year older than I was when I opened my first bank account. She has been inside of an actual bank one time in her life. We had moved to a new city and needed to open an account. Other than that, she has little concept of a bank being an actual place that she can visit.
Last week, Bank of America announced a series of improvements to its mobile banking app (Android, iPhone and iPad), including fingerprint and Touch ID sign in. The improvements offer eligible customers a secure and convenient way to log into their app without the additional need of a passcode.
Banking used to mean grabbing your checkbook, your check, your car keys and your kids. It meant 30 minutes (or more) of your time. It meant a building.
In a relatively short amount of time, we have moved from driving to the bank to touching our finger to a screen. You can now do your banking with one hand while making dinner with the other.
Your bank is now an app.
Your phone is now a bank.
ThinkAdvisor recently published a list of the top 5 compliance headaches faced by advisors and BDs.
The SEC’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (OCIE) is responsible for protecting retail investors and assessing market-wide risks, but now is shifting its attention also toward figuring out how to leverage data analytics to identify potential for illegal trading activities, conflicts of interest or other misconduct, according to a recent article by ThinkAdvisor, Compliance Data Analytics: Do as Regulators Say AND as They Do.
They are enhancing data mining and analysis functions through the National Exam Analytics Tool (NEAT), a tool that looks at data to identify “insider trading, improper allocation of investment opportunities and other infractions.”
FINRA has also jumped on this data mining bandwagon to combat fraud. It already uses technology to monitor nearly 90% of trading in U.S. equities markets, running “complex surveillance algorithms against massive amounts of trade data to detect market manipulation, insider trading and other compliance breaches.” Read the rest of this post »
A recent survey of asset managers, broker/dealers, alternative managers and wealth managers found that compliance is now a core business practice of financial services firms, yet many are not yet devoting the financial resources toward making these programs truly effective.
Firms have been facing enhanced scrutiny for years: 81% of respondents stated that they are “concerned or very concerned” about the SEC’s current practice of identifying and prosecuting individuals. But now these firms also finding that their clients have come to expect a robust compliance function: 70% of respondents have clients who included this in their due diligence.
Financial services firms who have been most effective at this are assigning the compliance duty to the committees and individuals with sole responsibility in this function. However, according to the report, two years ago, compliance officers’ paychecks were decreasing and budgets were being cut in this area. With a dedicated compliance resource or function, firms benefit from:
Compliance has become a strategic and executive-level imperative for financial services organizations. Capturing data to meet regulatory requirements in reporting, risk management, and compliance is timely, expensive and challenging because it requires gathering, enhancing, and reporting the required data from multiple data sources.
Thomson Reuters’ sixth annual “Cost of Compliance” study was just released this past month, and it reveals that the following are increasing this year and show no signs of stopping:
With the increased importance and scrutiny, it’s more important than ever that these investments pay off. The report suggests further that senior leaders “ensure a culture of transparency, trust and adaptive-change in behaviors throughout firms” and “begin to think through how they can help their firm to ‘future proof’ changes made, and in turn get the very best value out of their investment made into systems, technology and personnel.”
Our experts are positioned to assist leading financial services firms to implement strategic and structural technology and data management processes to meet the new rules and drive tangible business benefits from these projects.
Rather than structure your data project as a tactical approach to meet regulatory requirements, join our webinar with CEB TowerGroup, “Leveraging Data to Meet Regulatory Requirements and Create Competitive Advantage” to learn how your data investment can drive
Firms often address these data challenges as one-off projects with the objective of complying with a single regulation rather than improving risk management overall.
Our experts understand the current regulatory, compliance and anti-money laundering issues that financial institutions are facing. We know the pros and cons of a tactical versus strategic approach to meeting regulatory requirements, specifically around data governance.
In this webinar, Perficient’s team of risk and compliance experts and CEB TowerGroup analyst Andrew Schmidt will present their experienced point of view on current regulatory compliance and anti-money laundering issues that financial institutions are facing, the pros and cons of tactical versus strategic approaches to meeting regulatory requirements, specifically around data governance, and examples of how financial services firms can leverage data governance to drive compliance as well as competitive advantage.
We attended SIFMA’s Anti-Money Laundering & Financial Crimes Conference last month where experts in the industry discussed legal and regulatory developments, enforcements, and industry perspectives. There were many discussions around whistleblowers, anti-bribery & corruption, securities fraud and even marijuana related securities legislation.
Andrew J. Ceresney, Director of Enforcement at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, gave a keynote address on these important elements of compliance:
Our team of experts attended to discuss how we help our clients navigate the evolving financial crime landscape by reducing cost, improving efficiency, and overcoming reputational, operational, and financial risks associated with anti-money laundering and regulatory compliance initiatives. A sound AML and KYC policy and reporting procedure must be in place to monitor and prevent fraud and money laundering. If you happen to be a target or a subject of a federal investigation, you must have crossed your t’s and dotted your i’s when it comes to the adequacy and effectiveness of SAR content and sanctions screenings.
We’re currently working with one of the world’s largest financial services institutions in an anti-money laundering (AML) initiative where we are leveraging for our client our team’s extensive banking, payment and regulatory expertise and a proven track record of industry success. For the summit, our AML and compliance experts at Perficient put together this presentation around our core capabilities as they related to AML and financial crimes. It is an 8-point approach to AML, risk and compliance for financial services firms, including: Know Your Customer, Customer Due Diligence, Anti-Bribery and Corruption, Global Payments, Sanction Programs, Cyber Security & Privacy Regulations, Anti-Money Laundering, Fraud Protection, and Regulatory Compliance.
Regulatory change, budgetary constraints and rapid changes in technology are making it hard for financial firms to transform for tomorrow while managing the challenges of today. Our guide, “Transform for Tomorrow”, can help.
Contact Us to Learn More.
If you had not heard about the latest NFL scandal with the New England Patriots leading up to the biggest football game of the season (the Super Bowl) surely you did during some of the coverage of the game. National news took time out of their normally depressing nightly news to cover the latest developments in Deflategate. I’ll preface this story by saying I’m a Patriots fan and I’m quite used to being heckled by my friends for liking “America’s (Most Hated) Team”. However, there are many people that do not feel the same about New England regardless of the now four Super Bowl Championships they’ve won in the past two decades, their dominance in the AFC under Bill Belichick’s leadership, and with Tom Brady, one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time, at the helm (but I digress).
So you may be asking me, “What’s your point to this story? How possibly can Deflategate equate to lessons learned in financial services? Let me connect a few dots.
If you’re not following the story, the NFL has spent the last several weeks conducting a very thorough investigation into the New England Patriots after the AFC Championship game where they were accused of having 11 of 12 footballs “underinflated”. Immediately news of these mysteriously deflated footballs spread like wildfire on social media and the Patriots were bombarded by media and critics asking questions and lashing out calling them cheaters. The Deflategate debate raised several questions:
“Would the controversy taint the Patriots’ dynasty?”
“Would Deflategate overshadow or discredit a Patriots Super Bowl victory?”
“Will these allegations tarnish Tom Brady or Bill Belichick’s reputation and keep them out of the NFL Hall of Fame?”
Message to the New England Patriots: The Importance of Managing Reputational Risk
While the investigation is still ongoing and no one has been found guilty of purposefully deflating the teams’ game balls, these allegations surrounding the Patriots have potentially tarnished their reputation with outsiders and maybe with league officials. While you could point fingers at Bob Kravitz for leaking the story and portraying the Colts as sore losers or Roger Goodell for how the investigation has been handled, ultimately this falls on the shoulders of Robert Kraft, Bill Belichick and Tom Brady.
What has been the effect on the Patriots organization as a result? The perception of the organization’s trust-worthiness and question of whether this potential rule violation compromises the integrity of the game has resulted in reputational risk. So what exactly is reputational risk and how can financial firms relate to managing risks similar to what the Patriots are facing?
Reputational risk is defined as a risk of loss resulting from damages to a firm’s reputation, in lost revenue, increasing operating, capital or regulatory costs; or destruction of shareholder value, consequent to an adverse or potentially criminal event even if the company is not found guilty.
Since, a bank’s business model is primarily built on public trust, it’s essential firms avoid risks that can undermine trust and potentially result in financial loss. Similar to the Patriots, financial firms need to have a framework in place to help identify, escalate, and resolve reputational risks that may arise from business activities of the bank.
Here are 5 keys to managing reputational risk based on the exercise the Patriots have gone through with Deflategate as the organization and certain individuals were forced to defend themselves:
Message for the NFL (and Regulators): Ensuring Compliance of Rules and Regulations
Just before the Super Bowl on Sunday, the news broke that the NFL had neglected to record the actual PSIs of the Patriots’ game balls. What did that mean for Roger Goodell and Wells’ Deflategate investigation? It means a lot when it comes to having irrefutable evidence to convict the Patriots of purposely deflating the footballs. The balls are simply “approved” or “disapproved” before the game. In other words, the NFL is taking the referee’s word that they were set to 12.5 PSIs. It wasn’t clear if the balls were just slightly under-inflated due in part to a change in temperature (if at all) and that won’t sit well in the minds of many.
Here are 3 keys to managing reputational risk from a regulatory agency’s perspective and how financial institutions play a role in helping to shape relationships with regulators:
While most banks have a better grip on Know Your Customer requirements than they did years ago, the challenges and risks of non-compliance continue to grow as regulators focus on sources outside the financial institutions’ walls. What is the impact of a failed risk management program as a result of actions committed by a vendor or service provider? Your financial institution may be exposed to reputational damage and multi-billion dollar fines.
During our webinar “Navigating the Financial Crimes Landscape with an Effective Vendor Management Program” last week, we explored this newer risk management focus area that is surfacing as a top strategic priority for banks in 2015.
Our speaker and regulatory compliance expert covered the complexities of the growing financial crimes landscape and potential areas of risk associated with third-party relationships. Some key takeaways for attendees included:
Below is a copy of the Slideshare deck from the webinar. Also, join us for Part 2 in our 2015 Risk and Compliance Webinar Series next week as we explore, “How to Drive Value from Operational Risk Data”.