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Playing With Fire to Avoid Getting Burned

It takes seconds for a fire to spread. In the financial sector, the match is already lit. FinTech, or technology that is impacting the financial services industry, is rapidly disrupting banking incumbents and lender companies that have been in business for decades. Goldman Sachs estimates that 7% of banks’ annual profit could be consumed within 5 years from fintech startups and non-banks (Source: O’Reilly).

While conventional wisdom advises that playing with fire gets one burned, the opposite is true for financial firms – companies that are unable to leverage technical innovations are the ones left with business ashes. Over $64 billion is already getting invested in FinTech, according to VentureSource in the Wall Street Journal, so it’s likely you’re already behind in backing new technical ideas.

Whether you’re in the financial services industry or not, however, there are a few steps you can take to fend off competition and move closer to the age of the consumer.

My thoughts are clearly biased toward our Enterprise Content Division perspective, that content management is essential to your digital transformation. This is intentional. As IDC points out, “what’s often overlooked is the role that enterprise content management and collaboration systems play in bringing the digital platform together.”

Here are three ways to find your own fintech initiatives:

1 – Find Operational Efficiencies

Which parts of your business are most expensive to run, and can content management innovations create costs efficiencies in those areas? We have seen a trend among banks in developing more cost-effective banking branches, for example, that use self-serve kiosks and touch-screen processes to lower overhead.

One approach is to consider if content capture at your front end can avoid a lengthy, human-intensive process at the back end. Perhaps passport identification, proof of address mail, or other requirement documentation for loans or mortgages can be captured at mobile or lightweight branch points. This eliminates the need to collect documents, store them physically, and pay for space to retain them. After content is captured, archiving solutions can ensure proper compliance procedures are followed.

2 – Discover Insights

Once you consolidate content into a unified platform or solution that allows access to legacy data and current data, you open up new possibilities for discovering competitive advantage. Bank strategists at headquarters can readily review content from global locations. Why is one location completing high-value loans much faster than another? Can your actuaries find patterns or data that impact your pricing or offerings?

Migrating your content to a single repository can help eliminate legacy applications that are costly to maintain and manage. Yet more strategically, the unified content is easier to access by approved reviewers and the brightest minds in your company, to glean key insights.

3 – Delight Customers

As you may have read from our mobility practice colleagues, all it takes is removing one painful experience for customers to fall in love again. What extra efforts do your customers go through just to interact with your bank?

Consider developing one single-function application tied to your Documentation implementation. Maybe it’s insurance claim data collection in the field, allowing for iPhone photo sends and video from your customers. Or perhaps it’s telling your high-wealth traveling customers where the closest ATMs are located for them at that moment, via text. With one click, perhaps they preorder cash there and swing by briefly just to insert a card.

Collaboration to Drive Innovation

This same trend in identifying customer delight opportunities is driving technology accelerators (structured financing and piloting initiatives to support innovations) in fintech. The Bank of England, for example, is encouraging FinTech firms to come forward with their ideas and do a proof of concept with the Bank.

Initially, this serves as a FinTech accelerator to harness innovation for central banking. If successful, these firms have the all-important first client reference as a base. Over time, they can build a network of solutions that cover some of the major areas in banking.

In the bigger picture, this approach is very important from a collaboration perspective, as it shows the confidence and thinking from major institutions — FinTech is the future, and thus a “fintech-first methodology” has to be adopted.

Content management may not solve all of the necessary digital financial services equations today, better outcomes do occur if you define customer journeys and map what content can simplify or expedite these journeys.

Technical innovations, from content capture, archiving, accessing and more, can help you compete in the emerging fintech-heavy environment and extinguish competing start-up flames.

The only part of your business that will be on fire is revenues, as customers delight in working with you, and top talent can’t wait to work for you.

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OpenText is the leader in Enterprise Information Management (EIM). Our EIM products enable businesses to grow faster, lower operational costs, and reduce information governance and security risks by improving business insight, impact and process speed.

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