IN the ever-challenging Namibian market, client expectations are evolving, regulation is proliferating and fees and profits are under pressure.
With new, non-traditional competitors emerging, global financial services companies are operating in an uncertain landscape.
In response, many of them are revisiting their legacy systems, as they strive to reduce overheads, maximise business opportunities and efficiently deliver compliant financial advice and solutions to their clients.
This is a narrative that should also apply to our local Namibian service providers, in this critical time of critical decisions.
One of the major trends reshaping the financial services market is the way that clients’ behaviour and expectations are changing, as a result of the digital revolution. People are heading online to research complex financial services products, such as pensions or investments, and some are comfortable purchasing online.
Imperatively, they also expect to be able to view and manage their financial products – bank accounts, mortgages, investments and insurance – in one place.
Having become used to what they are offered by their banks, primarily products such as e-banking, clients want a more personal and mobile experience.
Branches and financial advisors still have an important role to play, but clients also want digital convenience at their fingertips. The desire for a more digital experience is no longer limited to the so-called tech-savvy or younger generations.
Clients – whether high-net worth individuals, mid-income earners or institutions – are seeking a more holistic approach to their investments from financial providers and advisors. Data analytics is an essential discipline in this context. By more effectively combining and analysing various sources of client data, financial services companies can create a more complete picture of the client.
They can use predictive analytics to project a client’s likely value, probable investment preferences and risk profile.
Data also has an important role to play in regulatory reporting and compliance, giving organisations insights into their risk exposure, the need to comply with the growing list of local and international laws and regulations.
As financial services firms strive to deliver the personalised and seamless experiences their clients expect, across all channels (apps, call centres, branches and the web), they will need to put in place systems that efficiently connect channels, business functions and products from end-to-end.
From the end-clients’ point of view, it must be a consistent experience across and between all channels.
Investment and trading companies need global market connectivity, order routing, execution management and post-trade processing, across multiple markets and assets, in one system. Financial advisors and companies that deal with retail investors should be able to bring together portfolio management, market data, self-service, account opening, and more, in one seamlessly integrated platform.
The benefits of an integrated platform are that it is easier to scale and manage, produces significant cost-savings over managing multiple vendors and platforms, and ensures better service for clients. Without integrated systems, financial services companies will not have the agility they need to remain relevant, in a digital age.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015