The future of card rewards…
Fidelity National Financial, provider of…
Digital banks offer lots of…
The Consumer Technology Association announced…
Zodia Custody, a digital asset…
Behavioral science nonprofit Ideas42 and…
Snap has debuted a new…
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Merrill Lynch Wealth Management published…
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Wolters Kluwer Finance, Risk and Regulatory Reporting (FRR) has announced Varo Bank, N.A. as a new customer. Varo has successfully filed regulatory reports using Wolters Kluwer’s OneSumX for Regulatory Reporting software. OneSumX for Regulatory Reporting combines bank data into a single source of data to ensure consistency, ease of reconciliation and accuracy. It includes access to Wolters Kluwer’s unique Regulatory Update Service (RUS) which is maintained by Wolters Kluwer experts who actively monitor regulation in 30 countries, factoring the potential impact of future changes into the OneSumX portfolio and ensuring clients’ ongoing compliance. OneSumX for Regulatory Reporting integrates with the Temenos T24 Transact core banking system used by Varo Bank, providing lower total cost of ownership when compared to other Extract, Load and Transform (ELT) processes. As a result, and through utilizing Wolters Kluwer’s RUS, the bank says it will be well placed to meet the ongoing regulatory reporting demands of various regulatory bodies.
Bloomberg announced its Market-Implied Probability of Default (MIPD) product, a fully market-driven creditworthiness indicator, is now available to both Enterprise Data and Bloomberg Terminal clients globally. MIPD enables clients to easily incorporate creditworthiness metrics within their existing workflows for a more holistic approach to credit risk management. MIPD provides clients with a highly responsive, transparent, daily credit risk assessment that incorporates data from BVAL, Bloomberg’s best-in-class evaluated pricing service, to proactively estimate fixed income market sentiment and quickly react to changing market and issuer-level conditions. This solution helps anticipate credit deterioration such as major rating downgrades and defaults ahead of traditional credit analysis, allowing clients to confidently make risk and investment decisions. MIPD is a premium Enterprise Data solution that is available to Bloomberg Data License clients, as well as on the Bloomberg Terminal through a new dedicated screen accessed via MIPD , W and via the Excel API. The solution includes implied probability of default for over 36,000 issuers and multiple sectors across the term structure from 1 to 20 years.
The Coalition for a Digital Economy, or Coadec as it’s more commonly known, is calling on the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to tread carefully when introducing tighter restrictions on the buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) sector. Coadec has laid out five themes the regulators should focus on to prevent a potential misfire with regulation.
- Firstly, Coadec is urging the FCA to focus on the BNPL firms and not the retailers they support after its research found that additional compliance requirements on the retailers’ end could see 68 per cent of e-commerce startups shift away from BNPL.
- Secondly, the industry body is calling on providers to develop better affordability checks, most importantly, not undertaking a hard credit check.
- Coadec has also outlined the credit rating industry as a whole needs to be dragged into the 21st Century by using smart data, like open banking or AI.
- Clear, concise, and easy-to-understand information is the fourth topic on Coadec’s list. all communications (including from third-party advertisers like influencers) mustn’t be misleading. Late last year, the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) branded four Klarna ads as ‘irresponsible’ after several influencers posted ads for the fintech linking spending (and borrowing) money with happiness.
- And, finally, BNPL providers must provide customers with a better complaint network as most BNPL fintechs exist outside the realm of the Financial Ombudsman’s reach.
SETL proposes that regulators step into the public blockchain space and require miners to be responsible for changes they propose to the ledger. The take is on the thesis that tokenisation provides a path to a more generic way of owning and trading regulated liabilities, such as shares and bonds; maps the details of how this might work; and offers practical steps to bring together regulated DLT and unregulated public blockchains. Existing mining pools are run by a small number of companies that need to choose a regulated or unregulated future. There is nothing in the original idea of public blockchains that promotes or recommends the current regime. SETL proposes that the benefit of tokenisation is that it creates a direct association between the holder and its issuer and alleviates the need for multiple intermediary ledgers. It also creates a unified approach to interact with all types of assets and liabilities. SETL catalogues the challenges that need to be met to bring about a regulated internet of value based on tokenisation.
Startup Noetic Cyber is creating a platform that leverages automation to identify cyber threats. Using API aggregation and correlation, Noetic aims to combat cyber threats by drawing insights from security and IT management tools. Graph database technology enables the platform to discover and inventory key entities present in an organization’s environment, including cloud and on-premises systems. Noetic builds a map of the connections between those entities to highlight cyber risk and noncompliant setups. Built-in orchestration and automation drive enrichment and remediation, helping restore compromised assets — ideally to their desired state. Noetic is designed to help security teams identify common problems that create risk and increase an organization’s attack surface. These can include the use of ‘shadow IT’ — cloud services or SaaS applications outside of the normal business approval process, missing or poorly configured endpoints creating security coverage gaps, and unsecure cloud services. At the heart of Noetic is an engine that extracts data from existing cybersecurity tools in an organization. This data represents a real-time view of assets, their current cyber state, and the relationships between them.
According to a new survey from Discover, sixty percent of Americans say the pandemic made them realize just how little savings they have, and 71% say it made them want to consider saving more than they had previously. Most Americans (75%) report that they are saving either the same amount or more in 2021 than they did in 2020. Almost half of those who are saving (47%) are putting away less than $200 a month. Gen Z savers are saving the least, with 55% reporting savings under $200 a month, followed by 49% of Gen X and 47% of millennials. Americans say financial literacy is helping them save more, while non-savers don’t believe they make enough. For those who are saving more in 2021, 40% say it’s because they have a better understanding of how to set up a budget, and 34% say they are spending less as a result of pandemic limitations. Additionally, 22% are shoring up their savings in response to financial instability amid the pandemic. Savings habits vary by generation, yet over half of Gen Z and millennials credit an increased awareness of how to budget as the reason they’re saving more than they did a year ago (54% and 51% respectively). These generations are also the most likely to have sought resources to better understand how to budget and save amid the pandemic. 68% of Gen Z and 71% of millennials reported doing so. Just 9% of Americans say they are not saving at all.
Merrill Lynch Wealth Management published three studies examining the affluent Black/African American, LGBTQ+ and Hispanic/Latino communities. The first-of-its-kind research aim to better understand how individuals in these diverse communities achieve success and grow their wealth, their motivations and challenges and goals for the future. While the survey found many commonalities, within each of these communities notable themes emerged, as did differences when compared to the general population of affluent individuals:
Black/African American: With respect to their financial life, individuals in this community prioritize supporting family members, investing in the businesses of people they know, and securing wealth through entrepreneurship.
LGBTQ+: Starting a family is increasingly a goal, with nearly a quarter aspiring to get married and 13% of young LGBTQ+ (20-34 year olds) citing having a child as one of their most important financial goals (compared to 5% of LGBTQ+ 35-54 years old). Longer-term, more members of this community cite paying for healthcare and long-term care as an important financial goal (24% vs. affluent general population 17%).
Hispanic/Latino: Members of this community are four times as likely to cite that their most important financial goal is ‘planning to assist or support aging parents.’ One-in-five also say leaving an inheritance to their family is very important.
Motivators & Financial Priorities
Black/African American: Individuals in this community are two times more likely to be motivated by a desire for personal achievement. They are also 25% more likely to be motivated by a desire to set future generations up for success.
LGBTQ+: Members of this community are focused on being able to live authentically by pursuing activities they love or simply living life the way they want. They are also 45% more likely to view giving back to and supporting their community as a top priority.
Hispanic/Latino: 35% cite providing for their family as a top personal motivator. They are also three times as likely to be driven by a desire to make their family proud.
Black/African American: Individuals in this community face many of the same challenges as others; however, they’re twice as likely to be focused on reducing their current debt levels; 25% more likely to be supporting their family financially; and three times more likely to say paying for education is a source of stress.
LGBTQ+: One-third do not feel accepted by their family. As a result, 58% say they’ve had to chart their own path to financial independence.
Hispanic/Latino: Individuals in this community are more stressed about being able to pay household bills (17% vs. 12%) and balance financially caring for others while supporting themselves (15% vs. 12%).
Robinhood has become synonymous with the boom in trading by smaller-pocketed and novice investors. Such investors are getting their first chance to grow their wealth, after years of falling further behind stock-owning households, but they also have been criticized for making too many risky trades with their newfound app. Shares of Robinhood Markets traded for the first time on the Nasda, following the highly anticipated initial offering by the company that’s drawn a new generation of investors into the market and forced the industry to stop charging fees for trading. Robinhood wants to be the only app that people use on their phones for money. That covers everything from depositing paychecks to paying bills to splitting payments with friends. The company is also interested in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in the long-term strategy. Over time, the company wants to be the single money app, the most trusted and most culturally relevant money app worldwide: a paycheck direct deposit, emergency funds, bill pay, day-to-day spending, all types of investing ranging from more discretionary investing to long-term retirement savings as well.
Digital banks offer lots of benefits but fall short on customer service. Many of these online banks have almost no customer service. That includes a person you can contact to resolve any issue you have. Instead, most offer only a chatbox or email, and there’s no guarantee that anyone will respond. That means consumers are often unable to get an error or dispute fixed—or even access their own money. When consumers open up bank accounts, they naturally expect to be able to quickly get access to their own money when they need it. Without fast redress by the bank, customers could very likely be unable to pay for essential needs like food, housing, and transportation, and even face dire conditions like hunger and eviction. Online banks say customer service is important to them and they’re trying to beef up those operations, including increased access to human agents. Consumer Reports, formerly Consumers Union, is an American nonprofit consumer organization dedicated to independent product testing, investigative journalism, consumer-oriented research, public education, and consumer advocacy.
The Chase UK project has been shrouded in mystery. But at last, JP Morgan Chase is ready to unveil its debut, which will be branded as Chase UK. The new bank is now set for launch in September, having entered the final stages of its employee pilot and is preparing a “big bang” marketing splash. Chase’s launch is a big moment for the UK banking scene and in particular, for fintechs like Monzo and Starling, who are being taken on at their own (digital) game. Chase UK arguably offers a triple threat. It’s planning to offer more wealth-management features than the fintechs, it’ll boast a modern tech stack to outpace the incumbents and it’s supported by the colossal balance sheet of America’s largest bank. A multi-product, digital-first strategy that doesn’t rely any fintechs, is a very serious proposition and completely different from incumbents just doing offshoot brands. What’s more, Chase isn’t just going to fight banks on the retail side. They’re planning to go after the SME market too, by eventually shipping a business product. The new digital bank’s card is a dark blue, featuring the Chase logo on the right, and the user’s name is printed in silver on the bottom. There is no number printed on the card itself, which is contactless and metallic. The app itself mirrors those developed by the first neobanks. It has a slick, clean interface and several key tabs located on the bottom. That includes a transaction ledger and a ‘Pay’ tab which allows users to easily send money to Chase contacts or recent ‘payees.’ Notifications pop up after each payment and online shoppers can access their card number via the app. As promised, Chase will initially only operate as a current account, allowing users to spend and store deposits. JP Morgan has already said Chase UK has a strong product roadmap ahead, looking to add a full body of wealth management and lending services. Its acquisition of robo advisor Nutmeg speaks to this ambition. The acquisition also suggests Chase UK is going after an older, wealthier base than early neobanks, who will use Chase to store their salaries. Indeed, Nutmeg’s 140k users are broadly made up of middle-class professionals, with an appetite to borrow in large quantities. To lure this demographic, JP Morgan says it will offer users a “fast-to-access, personalised service around the clock”, delivered by a customer service hub. It’s hoping this will compensate for its branch-free approach. It’s also worth noting that, like Monzo, Chase will be a licenced bank that can store British deposits on its own balance sheet. JP Morgan’s entry into the UK marks its first international foray in the consumer space. It’s part of a strategy to aggressively grow its retail unit. With US regulators getting stricter on banking acquisitions, overseas expansion has become a necessary growth tool for banks like JP Morgan. JP Morgan’s expansion in the UK has also been tipped as a foothold for its entry into wider Europe. As a result, the US giant is clearly taking its assault on the UK seriously. JP Morgan has also invested in building an entirely separate cloud infrastructure for Chase, reportedly using 10X — the core banking tech provider. The question now is whether Chase can wrestle the market away from native giants like Barclays, as well as upstarts like Monzo and Starling. JP Morgan is also an outsider in the UK, which — coupled with user inertia — could play to local banks’ advantage. Nonetheless, Chase is not like any bank project seen, boasting an unrivalled budget, political will and modern technology.
Starbucks saw the ranks of its 90-day active Starbucks Rewards members in the U.S. soar 48 percent year-over-year to 24.2 million. While it is very clear that the rewards program has accelerated its recovery in a meaningful way, where Q3 really stands out, what stands out is the acceleration in non-rewards customers. While reward spend grew at a rapid mid-teens rate quarter over quarter, for the first time in 11 quarters, non-reward spend growth outpaced SR spend. The trend is more evidence of “the great human reconnection. The “rapid reengagement of non-rewards customers not only propelled record results, but also underscores the strength of the brand and the growth potential ahead.” The investments the company made in the last few years in its “coffee-forward cold beverage platform” keep strengthening sales and bring new customers to the company.
AI research lab OpenAI has released Triton, a specialized programming language that it says will enable developers to create high-speed machine learning algorithms more easily. OpenAI has released a significantly upgraded edition dubbed Triton 1.0 with optimizations that lend themselves to enterprise machine learning projects. The issue OpenAI is tackling with Triton is that the CUDA framework is considered quite challenging to use. In particular, the main challenge is maximizing an AI model’s performance so that it will process data as fast as possible. For developer teams using CUDA, maximizing AI performance requires making complicated and fine-grained optimizations to their code that are considered difficult to implement even with years of experience. According to the lab, the language performs many AI code optimizations automatically to save time for developers. OpenAI is promising two main benefits for software teams. The first is that Triton can speed up AI projects, since developers have to spend up less time optimizing their code. The other, according to OpenAI, is that Triton’s relative simplicity can enable software teams without extensive CUDA programming experience to create more efficient algorithms than they otherwise could.
Intelligent automation platform Blue Prism and analytics automation company Alteryx have announced their premier Blue Prism Technology Alliance Partnership (TAP). Using these technologies jointly will enable customers to automate data driven processes at scale, giving them critical data and insights needed to make smarter decisions, faster. The companies also introduced a bi-directional integration between platforms. Blue Prism developers can include an Alteryx analytic process within their RPA driven processes via the Alteryx Visual Business Object (VBO) for Blue Prism Process Studio, adding robust analytic and machine learning intelligence to their digital workers’ actions. The Alteryx VBO for Blue Prism Process Studio is available on the Blue Prism Digital Exchange. In addition, the Blue Prism Connector for Alteryx Designer empowers data analysts and data scientists to trigger digital workers within their Alteryx analytic workflows, enabling retrieval of data and delivery of outcomes to systems across the enterprise.
Wings Financial Credit Union has deployed Nuance’s Intelligent Engagement platform and Gatekeeper voice biometrics solution to provide their members with superior personalized, secure experiences. With Nuance AI, Wings Financial strengthens its ability to deliver exceptional service across all channels and adds advanced protection against fraud threats. Additionally, with Nuance Gatekeeper, Wings Financial can easily and automatically authenticate members across all channels. The private and secure AI-enabled biometrics platform verifies a member in seconds using more than a thousand physical and behavioral factors unique to each person. As a result, member accounts are better protected, and their requests conveniently and securely addressed. This approach has proven to be far more secure than traditional passwords or answers to knowledge-based questions which can sometimes be known by others. Nuance’s Intelligent Engagement platform provides Wings Financial members with:
- Virtual assistant engagement available 24 hours a day to get answers and information and, during contact center hours, members can connect with a live agent when needed
- Seamless transitions across communications channels – ensuring the member receives the help they want and need – for example, when a member moves from a virtual agent to a live chat to a phone conversation
- Full-context information for service representatives – where the AI eliminates the need for members to repeat information from prior engagements by providing the member service representatives with the information required to effectively and efficiently resolve issues
Bookkeeper360 launches new Bookkeeper360 App Marketplace and Brex Integration. The Bookkeeper360 app analyzes billions of dollars of transactions annually to assist in predicting cash flow trends and making cost-effective recommendations for small business clients. The new Brex integration will advise a client of eligibility for a Brex card and even allows users to begin the application process from within the Bookkeeper360 App with one click. In addition to Brex, initial launch marketplace partners include Bill.com, Gusto, Xero, ADP, A2X, and more. In addition to Brex, Bookkeeper360 already integrates with Xero, Quickbooks Online, and Gusto Payroll with more integrations and services on the roadmap. By partnering with powerful financial tools, the Bookkeeper360 app provides performance and cash flow dashboards with real-time metrics such as; cash burn, runway, and scorecards to track revenue and net income goals. App users also receive on-demand access to an entire team of bookkeepers, CPAs, and experienced advisors who can assist with all aspects of bookkeeping, back office, payroll, and business advisory.
Independent Customer Data Platform mParticle has announced a series of new features to help companies comply with data privacy rules and regulations, including the latest Apple iOS 14.5 App Tracking Transparency (ATT) requirements. mParticle is the first CDP to help customers enforce granular privacy controls in compliance with iOS 14.5 privacy guidelines. mParticle is introducing a series of features designed to help companies comply with Apple ATT and foster trust with their customers. These features extend mParticle’s existing data governance capabilities which already support the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Privacy Protection Act (CPPA). The privacy features were developed to support the increased granularity of choices consumers want to see when their data is being used by brands. Features include:
- IDFA Data Minimization: mParticle allows data sent into and out of its platform to be controlled by the customer. Starting in version 8.0 of mParticle’s Apple SDK, mParticle’s platform no longer collects Apple’s Identity for Advertisers (IDFA) by default. App developers can still manually choose to provide the IDFA.
- Record ATT Consent Status: mParticle acts as a system of record for ATT consent decisions associated with each Apple device (iPhone, iPad, Apple TV). This includes the ATT consent status as well as the timestamp of the response. mParticle also federates ATT status with downstream partners.
- Configure a Default ATT Status: mParticle provides the ability to select a default authorization status via the ATT Default setting available in the platform. This is particularly helpful for existing profiles previously sent to mParticle that have not visited a brand’s app since the iOS 14.5 release. This can also be used if Apple device data received from additional data sources have not provided an authorization status.
- Check a User’s ATT Status: At any time, mParticle admins can check a user’s authorization status to validate if the status was explicitly set by the end user or defaulted to by the ATT Default setting.
- Restrict IDFA Forwarding: ATT status is used to govern whether or not IDFA data that has been collected on a user will be forwarded to 3rd-party integration partners. mParticle will only add IDFA data to incoming event batches using a profile enrichment feature if ATT status is authorized. The Audiences feature, designed to help marketers define and build user segments and connect them to integrations for user acquisition and retargeting, will not forward IDFA data unless the ATT status is authorized.
- Notification of API Changes: mParticle notifies customers’ privacy teams when partners change their APIs in line with mParticle’s role as data processor under the GDPR and service provider under the CCPA/CPRA.
Segmint, transaction cleansing and analytics platform for financial institutions, has partnered with data security company TokenEx, Segmint has engaged the company’s Payment Tokenization Services, allowing the fintech to build its foundation for multi-channel marketing message delivery. The financial services industry no longer has to deal with the challenge of having to share sensitive data across platforms. Segmint does not use any PII (Personally Identifiable Information) within its ecosystem of data and analytics, and TokenEx helps further safe-guard this process, maintaining security seamlessly within its operations to bifurcate both sensitive and non-sensitive data. Segmint will extend the capacity within its Marketing Automation Platform, fueled by proprietary Key Lifestyle Indicators® (KLIs), to ultimately deliver marketing messages to virtually any channel. Segmint’s financial institution clients can now leverage their enriched transaction data across multi-channels while maintaining both security and personalization. TokenEx’s Data Protection Platform leverages tokenization to protect and store sensitive personal and/or payment data. Unlike encrypted data, tokenized data is undecipherable and irreversible. This distinction is particularly important – because there is no mathematical relationship between the token and its original number, tokens cannot be returned to their original form.
- Salesforce and Proof Analytics have launched Proof BusinessGPS for RevOps, a full-scale revenue optimization analytics platform that enables revenue operations teams to rapidly develop, test and adjust many different analytical models to examine the interaction of their campaigns and revenue outcomes, all in the constantly evolving context of marketplace conditions, competitor actions, and their own changing brand and reputational power. Human-powered data science is too slow, too hard to scale, even harder for business leaders to understand, and too expensive. In contrast, Proof BusinessGPS delivers fast, scalable, accurate analytics as a SaaS solution with simple, clear pricing, significantly disrupting legacy providers.
- Automated, accurate and natively integrated to Salesforce clouds, Proof BusinessGPS, Proof Marketing Planner, and Proof Marketing Finance MRM™ are the ‘missing link’ that companies need in order to make sense of the omnichannel world in which they succeed or struggle. Proof’s Exchange integrations with Datorama and Tableau – and soon with Slack — mean that customers can instantly and automatically download even more relevant data into Proof in seconds and then collaborate effectively on the analytics. The acceleration that this provides to teams is immense, not only concerning the mobilizing of their data but enabling them to get the insights they need faster and faster. There’s effectively no data source that can’t be piped into Proof, giving customers the ability to rapidly enrich all of their models.
Skyflow, the data privacy vault for sensitive data launched PII Data Privacy Vault, the industry’s first zero trust data vault for securely handling sensitive customer information. The PII Data Privacy Vault includes the new Skyflow Data Governance Engine, which enables fine-grained access control to data based on roles, policies, or attributes. The vault is delivered as a simple API, allowing software developers to quickly build innovative applications without worrying about data security, privacy, or compliance. Skyflow provides CTO and development teams with their own data privacy vaults via a simple and fast-to-deploy API, making it easy for them to build in data privacy. Skyflow’s PII Vault helps them ship faster by addressing any and all the key challenges associated with PII data privacy, including: Compliance, Data Security, Data Governance, Data Residency, Secure Data Sharing, Secure Analytics and Encryption/Tokenization. The Skyflow PII Vault can be deployed in less than a day.
Standard Life Assurance has leveraged IGEL, provider of the next-gen edge OS for cloud workspaces, to empower 4,500 staff in Scotland to efficiently work from home [WFH] given the Coronavirus pandemic by providing them with a complete desktop system – a project called ‘Office in a Box.’ Taking just weeks to roll out in full, the IT team has implemented an easy to use, secure and centrally managed solution utilising IGEL’s comprehensive suite of EUC technology. Staff then access their normal CRM applications to support customers. Most of its customer-facing operations teams are office-based and use desktop PCs with dual monitors to deal with everything from pension and investment queries to account administration. IGEL OS has been used to convert these PCs into ‘locked down’ endpoints which then connect to Citrix Workspace. Everyone has been provided – literally in a box – an IGEL OS-powered desktop, two monitors, keyboard, mouse, Ethernet cable and headset. IGEL multimedia UD3 endpoints with built in Wi-Fi have also been sent to some employees. IGEL OS has delivered immediate benefits
- This was a cost effective and fast solution. It avoided buying new laptop or PC hardware to deliver WFH, meaning the solution could be put in place quickly. IGEL OS has been an inexpensive way to repurpose existing PCs – equipment which employees are familiar with and comfortable using, too. They were able to just plug in and turn their PC on at home, login and can get on and work as normal without requiring extensive training and support.
- The OPEX cost to deliver the project was also low. Many man hours have been saved as it takes just five minutes to reflash each desktop and configure the security settings. It meant equipment could be delivered to staff really quickly.
- IGEL Universal Management Suite (UMS) is used to manage everything, providing visibility about who’s logged in and, if there are subsequent system changes, this is done easily via IGEL UMS and IGEL Cloud Gateway.
- Collaboration tools like Skype for Business are also offered because IGEL OS has built-in support for Citrix HDX – the display protocol required to stream HD film and audio over a network.
Coud-native authorization platform Styra Inc., has announced new cloud infrastructure support via Terraform, extending Styra Declarative Authorization Service (DAS) guardrails to storage, network and compute resource configuration in public clouds including AWS, GCP and Azure. With this addition, Styra DAS now provides a unified policy-as-code solution, built on OPA, to ensure cloud infrastructure, Kubernetes and service mesh deployments are secure and compliant. With Styra DAS and OPA, cloud and DevOps teams have a unified platform for authorization to mitigate risk, reduce human error and accelerate platform development. By extending Styra DAS to Terraform cloud infrastructure policy, cloud and DevOps teams no longer have to manage multiple security tools, or rely on best-effort manual processes, thanks to a unified platform for authorization that’s mapped to common security standards and industry best practices. With this control plane, teams can:
- Eliminate ongoing management of custom tooling and speed deployment with a single policy framework for cloud infrastructure authorization
- Manage the entire lifecycle of the cloud platform from design to deployment
- Eliminate policy silos with a single platform for cross-team collaboration
- Automate configuration validation, deploy platform security based on proven standards, and prove compliance
- Get started quickly with the only library of security policies built by the founders of OPA
Fidelity National Financial, provider of title insurance and transaction services to the real estate and mortgage industries, has announced Notarize inHere® and the expansion of its Digital Closing Services team. Both Notarize inHere and Digital Closing Services are part of FNF’s focus on providing a guided digital closing experience within the inHere® Experience Platform for consumers and real estate professionals involved in real estate transactions. Notarize inHere is embedded within FNF’s inHere Experience Platform, which makes starting, tracking, notarizing, and closing the purchase, sale, or refinance of a residential property straightforward and efficient. In addition to the innovative Notarize inHere technology, FNF offers expert Digital Closing Services to clients and consumers participating in online notarization. This team of digital signing specialists is available to assist all parties through every step of their digital closing and online notarization. They are dedicated to assisting with all technology requirements to ensure a compliant digital closing and online notarization, as well as executing a smooth signing experience. The following features of Notarize inHere are fully supported by the Digital Closing Services team:
- Notarize inHere is now available and being utilized by FNF operations closing transactions in all 30 online notarization approved states;
- Notarize inHere allows consumers to have their documents notarized via a remote online notary video session leveraging the proprietary inHere solution and experience;
- Notarize inHere complies with the rigorous service and security standards FNF places on settlement services it provides;
- Notaries whose services are available through Notarize inHere are approved by one of the FNF family of title companies;
- All Notarize inHere remote online notarizations are backed and protected by the nation’s leading family of title insurance underwriters
Study shows 68% of wealth management customers in the post-COVID world are expecting a fully digital onboarding experience. Wealth management firms are accelerating investments in front-office technology to encourage growth while also creating efficiencies and meeting changing customer demands. While projections indicate a full economic recovery will not occur until 2022, wealth management firms expect to start growing their IT investments throughout 2021 in preparation for the rebound. The crisis has led some firms to adopt new technologies (digital onboarding, hybrid advice, cloud) and cast away antiquated manual practices (traditional onboarding, legacy platforms) that would have taken many years to change. Although much uncertainty (due to COVID) remains, it is imperative that companies invest in the appropriate tech solutions so they can keep pace or “risk being eclipsed by competitors.
- Electronic signature pioneer Cryptomathic, and IT security solutions provider UTIMACO has unveiled a joint Qualified Electronic Signature (QES) solution with a uniquely advanced security model designed to accelerate digital transformation in banks, governments and other Trusted Service Providers. The solution enables such providers, whose processes must comply with mandates for strong authentication, to extend the functionality of their existing user authorisation solutions to allow customers to sign transactions, documents and data online at the highest possible level of legal assurance, from anywhere and at any time. Cryptomathic’s Signer platform is one of an elite few remote Qualified Signature Creation Devices (QSCDs) to be certified against the latest eIDAS protection profile. It is also the first to place its Signature Activation Module (SAM) firmware inside UTIMACO’s eIDAS certified Hardware Security Module (HSM).
- This consolidated security model ensures the signing payload can only be executed from inside UTIMACO’s protected cryptographic environment, making it significantly more resistant to attack, including from insiders. Signer’s What You See Is What You Sign (WYSIWYS) functionality also provides strong non-repudiation and addresses long term validation signature profiles for XML and PDF documents, while being able to leverage existing IT infrastructure. The combination of these factors, together with the vendor agnostic nature of the solution, means that providers can now seamlessly introduce highest assurance level remote e-signature services as a function of their existing authentication systems, without disrupting either their customer experience or back-end operations.
TruNarrative and ieDigital have joined forces to facilitate digital transformation and provide cutting edge customer onboarding and monitoring processes, reducing account opening time to less than four minutes. The partnership will provide Banks and mutual societies access to market leading ID verification, eKYC, AML and account monitoring technology. Financial institutions will be able to access TruNarrative’s cutting edge financial crime prevention, compliance and onboarding through ieDigitals platform. The partnership delivers firms the ability to build bespoke and complex customer journeys in no code cloud based environments, for secure, compliant, low friction customer onboarding and monitoring.
Amazon has brought Alexa to the iPhone Home Screen with a new widget enabling iOS users to ‘Ask Alexa’ with a single tap. The new version is the closest Alexa users will probably get to native implementation of the assistant on an iOS or iPad OS device. Previously, you’d need to delve into the app itself to talk to Alexa. Interestingly, there’s still no dedicated widget for Siri on the iPhone, aside from the Siri Suggestions functionality that suggests apps based on location and common activity. Siri is accessible by holding the power button and using the hands-free “Hey Siri” voice commands. Alexa, of course, still lacks and will continue to lack that functionality on Apple’s home soil.
- Spotify has introduced the “What’s New” feed, which will deliver an ongoing series of updates to mobile app users focused on new releases. According to the company, the What’s New feed will serve as another way for Spotify users to keep up with all the new music and podcasts that are released from the shows and artists that they follow on the service. In other words, it’s a personalized feed based on what users listen to, not a universal feed or one they more explicitly customize by making specific selections. The feed will be under the new “bell” icon at the top of the home tab alongside the recently played and settings icons on the top right. The feed will be also updated in real-time, Spotify says, and will display a blue dot when there are new songs and episodes that arrived since users last opened the app. While the feature may be useful because it gives a single place to look in the Spotify app for everything that’s new, the use of a “notifications” feature that leverages dots is also a psychological trick that can make apps more addictive. This seemingly minor addition to the Spotify app is actually a quite calculated one. Spotify, with the launch of a more attention-grabbing notifications feature, it wants to increase user engagement, even if it understands that it may be sacrificing some sense of user comfort and enjoyment in the process.
The future of card rewards — via cash back, automated and flexible in nature — is shifting with more millennials and Generation Z customers demanding ease and simplicity. Citi’s Custom Cash Card, unveiled last month, and billed as a “next gen cash back credit card,” lets users earn as much as 5 percent cash back on the top eligible spend categories per billing cycle (there are several categories spanning everyday spend, from groceries to gas), up to the first $500 spent, with 1 percent cash back thereafter, unlimited, on other purchases. With a nod toward the connected status of the next generation of customers, the card and the rewards program have been built with the digital, customer-facing experience top of mind. Through a mobile application, the consumer can get the Citi Custom Card provisioned directly into their digital wallets (the 5 percent cash back, can be earned as points or applied directly to spending as transactions occur and can help defray the cost of rising prices, a hallmark of the new inflationary environment). There’s also the option, to “pay your bill your way” with installment options (built into Citi cards through Flex Pay).
Zelle moved $120 billion via 436 million transactions in the second quarter, 68 percent and 58 percent growth respectively. Venmo reported having 76 million active accounts, up from about 70 million at the end of 2020. Specific figures Zelle was willing to call out included its active expansion into credit unions (CUs) and other small lenders with less than $10 billion in assets now accounting for 40 percent of the Zelle Network. The bank-backed P2P services also highlighted its growing count of business-related transactions. Zelle Small Business saw the fastest growth in transaction in the Zelle network, up 157 percent year on year. With access to as many direct deposit accounts (DDAs) Zelle takes care of its backing by banking, it has a big advantage in the market. It was said early on Zelle could only work if it captures an incredibly compounding share of consumer bank accounts into its platform — and in that regard, it is clearly succeeding. But Venmo is playing hard ball — and building a powerfully sized legion of consumers who aren’t only signed on by happenstance but chose to seek out the platform. And P2P, as PayPal’s last earnings report indicates, is a big part of a super app strategy that PayPal is doggedly pursuing, and which looks to be getting dangerously close to encroaching on mainstream banks’ historical territory. Pay with Venmo revenues grew by 183 percent year over year and is also seeing strong adoption and trading of crypto on Venmo. More is to come with the Venmo payments offering, including high-yield savings, early access to direct deposit funds, new and improved bill pay functionality, messaging capabilities outside of P2P to enable family and friend communications, as well as additional crypto capabilities and customized deals and offers.
Citibank once again provides a presence at the fair with the 2021 LA Art Show Gallerist Talks, a series of in-person and live-streaming events and discussions highlighting some of the LA Art Show’s most popular galleries. Conscious of the state of community and varying degrees of comfort when it comes to in-person programming, Citibank has come up with a thoughtful solution. In a coordinated effort, there will be both an in-person presence and a virtual experience, focusing on four selected galleries and the Citi Collection, providing insight all weekend long, affording viewers a window into the experience of bringing work to the fair. These talks will be broadcast around the world from Citi’s gallery space and gives viewers an in-depth look at the curation of each show, with spirited dialogue about each piece, with the option to experience it in person or from the comfort of their own home. Virtual viewers can experience each gallery’s virtual exhibit and livestream event which includes a gallery walkthrough, extended commentary, and conversations with gallerists.
Dollar General is taking its pOpshef retail format in house, to its larger format DG Market stores. The retailer plans to have approximately 25 Dollar General and pOpshelf combination stores, as well as up to an additional 50 pOpshelf freestanding locations in various markets by the end of fiscal year 2021. pOpshelf is designed to make the shopping experience “fun” and “affordable,” with the vast majority of items priced at $5 or less. Stores are bright and colorful, with a treasure hunt sort of ambience. The merchandise offering is updated frequently and includes on-trend seasonal and home décor, health and beauty must-haves, home cleaning supplies, household and specialty items, toys, arts and crafts and party planning and home entertaining supplies. Through this combined format, Dollar General aims to deliver the value and products customers trust from a DG Market with the continually-refreshed merchandise including beauty and seasonal products, home décor and arts and crafts through pOpshelf.
Brazilian payments firm Conductor has hired banks for an initial public offering in the United States that could come as early as this year. Conductor, is a provider of technology for financial services. Its tools allow retailers, banks and financial startups to offer credit cards and payment wallets to their clients, for instance. Investment banking units of Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, Bank of America and Credit Suisse will manage the offering. Should Conductor conclude a listing on a U.S. exchange, it will follow in the footsteps of two other Brazilian payments companies, StoneCo Ltd and PagSeguro Digital Ltd . The sources didn’t say which U.S. exchange Conductor was likely to pick for the listing, how much money it would seek to raise, or what valuation it hoped for. Conductor has 95 million users and processes $20 billion in payments transactions per year in Latin America
Goldman Sachs Asset Management’s Alternative Investments & Manager Selection (AIMS) co-investment business has selected Enfusion to provide investment management technology solutions and middle- and back-office managed services. Enfusion created a custom unified solution via API so that AIMS can import data across numerous instruments into the Enfusion platform from its proprietary EMS in real-time, providing a holistic view of a fund for portfolio managers and the risk team. Enfusion’s seam-free front to back-office platform and APIs allow the fund’s portfolio managers to manage orders across all asset classes. In addition to creating a centralised repository of trade data and activity, the cloud-based solution will track portfolio positions to ensure transparency across the fund and facilitate P&L and Risk monitoring and reporting at the fund and holding levels. To complement the integration of these solutions, Enfusion’s managed services team will manage reconciliation and trade capture, as well as investigate breaks and make necessary adjustments. Outsourcing these efforts will allow the AIMS team to focus more on core trading activity, streamlining the investment process.
Algolia, an API Platform for Search & Dynamic Experiences, helps power developers’ search and content discovery capabilities with an API-first approach that can be applied to SaaS applications and e-commerce, as well as enterprise applications across industries. This new way of software development is an important innovation for businesses, as it helps developers more easily build digital experiences on top of Algolia’s APIs rather than implementing and maintaining a complex backend — allowing businesses to more quickly adapt to their customers’ evolving needs. Applications based on opaque SaaS solutions lack flexibility and old school monolithic platforms can be costly, time-intensive, and outdated. Algolia has expanded beyond search to become a multi-product company that empowers developers with its API platform to create composable applications that deliver rich, personalized, and dynamic digital experiences in real time to consumers and employees.
NYMBUS, provider of banking technology solutions, announced a partnership with Plaid, a data network powering the digital financial ecosystem, to more instantly authenticate and fund customer bank accounts for financial institutions. With this integration, Nymbus bank and credit union clients can securely onboard new users in a matter of seconds, which translates to more active and engaged banking experiences.
Benefits of the Nymbus and Plaid integration for financial institution customers include:
Improve user identity verification and reduce fraud.
Instantly authenticate and link members’ bank accounts.
Streamline ACH transfers between any bank or credit union in the US.
Access and analyze comprehensive transaction data.
Validate real-time account balances to protect against overdraft and enable account pre-funding.
RBC Wealth Management-U.S. and fintech Broadridge Financial Solutions announced that RBCWM will utilize the Broadridge Wealth Management Platform to power its growing U.S. business. The Broadridge Wealth Management Platform is open architecture powered by state-of-the-art APIs and micro-services that facilitate seamless connectivity to a client’s proprietary and third-party applications. The platform includes a modernized advisor desktop and customizable tool set. Key advisory features include performance reporting, managed accounts support and sleeve accounting; multi-market order management and trade routing; and full back-office functionality that handles multi-currency, global clearance and settlement, asset servicing, and integrated workflow across the entire enterprise to accelerate client on-boarding and other key functions.
Bambu, provider of robo-advisory technology solutions, and digital banking platform Moven Enterprise (Moven), have partnered to help financial institutions deliver the next generation of digital wealth management solutions. The new joint offering will combine Moven’s financial wellness technology with Bambu’s leading digital wealth management products and services. The combined contextual, scalable solution will empower retail banking customers, allowing them to expand their spending and savings effort into goal-based, long-term investing.
The Bank for International Settlements and the Monetary Authority of Singapore have published a blueprint for the multilateral linking of domestic real-time payement systems across borders. The blueprint builds on the bilateral linkage between Singapore’s PayNow and Thailand’s PromptPay, and benefits from the experience of the National Payments Corporation of India’s (NPCI) development and operation of the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) system. Titled Project Nexus, the model envisages the creation of ‘Nexus Gateways’ that serve to coordinate compliance, foreign exchange conversion, message translation and the sequencing of payments among all participants. This is complemented by an overarching Nexus Scheme that sets out the governance framework and rulebook for participating retail payment systems, banks and payment service providers to coordinate and effect cross-border payments through the network. Project Nexus is trying to achieve the equivalent of internet protocols for payments systems. That means creating a model through which any country can join by adopting certain technical and governance requirements. Under the Nexus blueprint, participating countries will only need to adopt the Nexus protocols once to gain access to the broader cross-border payments network. This removes the need for countries to negotiate payment linkages with each jurisdiction on a bilateral basis.
financial messaging services company SWIFT has launched SWIFT Go, a service that transmits instant cross-border payments anywhere in the world from a user’s bank account. So far, seven global banks which handle a combined 33 million cross-border transactions annually are live with the service. With SWIFT Go, banks can offer simple payments experience for transactions typically made by small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) to pay overseas suppliers and customers sending funds to friends and family internationally. The service includes pre-validation of data and enables financial institutions the ability to share processing times and costs with customers ahead of time. The system is expected to launch in November 2022 and already has support from Citi, Bank of New York Mellon, Deutsche Bank, BNP Paribas, Standard Chartered and Bank of China. The following global banks are now using SWIFT Go: BBVA, Bank of New York Mellon, DNB, MYBank, Sberbank, Société Générale and UniCredit. The new service will allow banks to compete effectively in one of the fastest-growing segments of the payments market, delivering a seamless experience for their customers.
MX, the financial data platform and leader in modern connectivity, announced an extension to its intelligent account verification solution, available through the MXconnect widget or MXapi, making it easier for customers everywhere to securely connect any depository account. Through a new partnership with Dwolla, MX has automated the micro-deposit verification experience for clients by removing the need to manage their own ACH and micro-deposit processes. This patented approach provides expanded coverage to financial institutions of all sizes, giving all customers secure access to their financial data—no matter where they bank. MX was already leading the industry with connectivity to instantly verify more than 90 percent of accounts within seconds. With the Dwolla partnership, MX increases coverage to the additional 10 percent of U.S. accounts via micro-deposits. The speed and success of these connections improve customer retention by reducing dropoff due to slow and failed connections. Developers can access MXconnect through the MXapi and begin testing in the sandbox environment within seconds. The updated functionality helps organizations deliver an intelligent connectivity experience within their products and reduces risk and customer drop-off.
MasterCard reported consolidated net revenues of $4.5 billion, which on a currency neutral basis were up 31 percent. Currency neutral earning came in at $1.95 a share, gaining 37 percent year on year. Those results were better than Street estimates at a respective $4.3 billion and $1.73. Drilling down into data contained within the supplementals, second-quarter gross dollar volume was up 33 percent year on year to $1.9 trillion worldwide, the company said. That was marked by 34 percent growth in the U.S., and 37 percent in the rest of the world. Cards showed 8 percent growth, to 2.9 billion, up from 2.6 billion last year. An update through July shows that total switched volume was up 28 percent year on year, and 130 percent of July 2019’s levels. The company said volume was up 58 percent, up 47 percent month to date in July. Card not present volumes, excluding travel, were up 33 percent in the quarter, and stood at 169 percent of 2019’s levels. Cross-border travel volume — card present and card not present — was 131 percent over last year’s levels, and as a percent of 2019 levels was 49 percent.
Online retailer and auction site eBay has rolled out support for Apple Pay on its desktop website. Support for Apple Pay has already existed in eBay’s mobile apps for a significant period of time, but the move to support Apple Pay on desktop seems to be new. Users who use their Apple Card for eBay purchases will receive 2% cashback as part of the Apple Card rewards program.
Marqeta, announced that its modern card issuing platform will power the new virtual Google Pay balance card. The new virtual Google Pay balance card, powered by Marqeta, allows users to easily spend their Google Pay balance through a virtual card tokenized into a mobile wallet and used at accepting merchants. Previously, Google Pay balance users could use their balance for person-to-person payments, purchases on eligible Google-owned properties (e.g., the Play Store or YouTube), or they could transfer their funds to their bank account. Now with the new virtual card, Google Pay users can make purchases directly from their Google Pay balance.
Google Cloud is rolling out a new Retail Search product, built on Google’s decades of search experience in an effort to reduce search abandonment. Part of Google Cloud’s existing suite of tools for retailers, Google Cloud Retail Search allows retailers to enhance consumer experiences with personalized results and relevant promotions. While traditional search platforms are keyword-based, Retail Search is machine-learning-based, allowing it to improve every time it’s used by a consumer. Google Cloud spent months working in a beta mode with some retailers, including Macy’s, to get feedback on Retail Search and learn more about what they needed to optimize the product. One of the most important takeaways, , is that it’s not just about finding the most relevant products, but it’s also about meeting retailers — and consumers — where they are.
While Duplex is most known for calling on your behalf using a human-like voice to make appointments, the technology is also being used to speed up online interactions. Some Google Assistant users are now seeing Duplex on the Web help with “Fast checkout” when shopping. Users are now seeing it in action, and we’ve been able to replicate it after visiting a retailer’s product listing from a Search result in the Google app for Android. Hot Topic is one such Duplex on the Web-compatible website, and you can test it out by searching: hot topic + [t-shirt]. After adding a product to your bag and proceeding to checkout, an Assistant panel will slide up saying it “can help you quickly checkout.” You have the option to disable entirely (in the overflow menu), “Skip” for this purchase, or proceed to “Fast checkout.” If you’re using it for the first time, you have to “agree” to Google Assistant in Chrome and this “Fast checkout in just a few taps” capability. Assistant will next show your Contact info, Payment method, and Shipping address to confirm those details before it automatically enters them in for you line-by-line on the retailer’s site. This happens in real-time, with users able to see the process above. The final step is confirmation, though Assistant errored out in our testing by missing one field. Google Assistant Fast checkout looks to currently be available in the US and UK.
Google announced a handful of usability enhancements to Voice on Android, iOS, and web. The updates primarily focus on improving the calling experience. Google Voice now tells users if a call was dropped due to poor internet connections or other “network problem.” You’re then presented with an option to cancel/end or redial (green button). If that continues to fail, you’ll be offered the “Switcher to carrier” option, with the other person still seeing your Voice number. Meanwhile, expanding a missed call in the “Calls” tab will note if your “device wasn’t set to receive incoming calls” with a quick link to enable in settings. The last calling-focused upgrade is to “Caller ID.” On iOS, a new setting allows people to see their Google Voice number instead of the caller’s number “when you get a call through a forwarding number.” Finally, Google Voice now allows you to delete multiple SMS messages at once.
Apple is working on bringing Face ID to Macs for user Authentication, Face Gesture Recognition and more. All iPhones and iPads to transition to Face ID within that timeframe, too. Eventually, a camera embedded in the screen would help differentiate Apple’s pricier devices by eliminating the notch at the top. The facial recognition sensor gives Apple two central features: security and augmented reality. Touch ID, more convenient or not, only provides the former.
Google Cloud announced “Google Enterprise APIs” that will be governed by a stricter policy in regards to when the company changes or deprecates them. Google Enterprise APIs are specifically a “label applied to the vast majority of APIs across Google Cloud, Google Workspace, and Google Maps Platform.” Consumer APIs are not included in the latter product, but everything given this classification will be governed by a “stringent set of requirements about how and when we make changes to them.” Reliability and stability are the focus with Google trying to assure third-party companies that APIs will “continue to work as expected and not trigger unanticipated development work.” In terms of “actively using,” customers will be notified one year in advance about upcoming changes. The product will remain the same during that time, while Google will offer tools and docs to “migrate to newer versions with equivalent functionality and performance.”
Amazon has introduced Ziggy, which is the male counterpart of Alexa, also the new wake word. In place of Alexa, you can give a command like “Ziggy, please play my song.” The new voice option was introduced when Amazon announced its new celebrity voices including Shaq and Melissa McCarthy. Users can change the voice by saying, “Alexa, change your voice”. Your voice assistant will change the gender as per request. You can also go to the Settings menu on your Alexa app and change the gender of your voice assistant. Using the same settings, you can also change your wake word from Alexa to Ziggy. The change however will be device specific, so you will have to change it separately on each of your Alexa-powered devices.
Google Discover is testing showing an article’s related keywords. Keywords appear between the headline and bottom row (with publication name, publish time, and other actions). There are usually three to an article, including on AMP/Web Stories and YouTube videos, with each placed in pill-shaped buttons. Some stories lack a topic or only feature one. It comes as Google removed content descriptions so that you have to rely solely on the title and cover image. Tapping opens a feed of other articles with that same keyword assigned by Google Discover. It’s a convenient way to see other stories about the same topic without having to refresh or perform your own search. With this addition, the overflow menu will show all those keywords so that you can mark “Not interested.” Compared to before, where you’d only get one, this provides much more granularity. The improved ability to tune Discover makes this a sleeper benefit of these visible topics.
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