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4 Reasons Why You Must Future Proof Your Technology

4 Reasons Why You Must Future Proof Your Technology

What does future proofing your technology mean? In my view, it means preparing your bank to deliver the best customer experience possible--today and tomorrow. Research from Greenwich Associates indicates that the customer experience and ease of doing business are key drivers of loyalty. Extracting value from your technology investments so you can provide a superior customer experience is not only important because of the impact on service, but also on loyalty.

I want to focus on 4 reasons why future proofing your technology is important. These insights are a sneak preview into some of the findings from our upcoming whitepaper produced with Ovum, the annual Global Payment Insight Series.

1. Investing in fraud prevention will increase customer loyalty. A fraud solution must enable innovation, protect the consumer and ensure compliance. With the world moving to real-time payments, real-time fraud is inevitable. A fully integrated real-time fraud prevention and payment solution will enable you to minimize the impact on the customer, reduce and control fraud losses and protect the reputation of your bank. Westpac New Zealand is doing an amazing job in this respect. I would encourage you to watch this short video to understand how they are using artificial intelligence and machine learning to combat real-time fraud.

2. Real-time payments are here. The Clearing House has signed up 26 banks, Zelle is gaining 100,000 customers per day and processed $75 billion in 2017. Banks, even in the US, need to stay competitive in this rapidly changing marketplace. We often get asked many questions at ACI such as:

a. What is the business case for real-time payments?

b. What’s the difference in a strategic implementation vs. a tactical implementation?

c. What are the value enhancing services that banks can offer corporates?

What this demonstrates is that there is a tremendous amount of investment taking place at banks in the US, and as the data from Ovum indicates, across the world too. According to the aforementioned Global Payment Insight Series, real-time payments is viewed by banks with optimism and an important revenue opportunity. This quantitative data contrasts from the qualitative questions we get. It seems like there is a view that real-time will produce new revenue streams, but, banks are struggling to put the services in place to capture this opportunity. 

3. Open APIs will re-shape the payments value chain. Interestingly, respondents’ actions in terms of APIs was dependent upon their geographic location. For instance, the insights show that banks in markets like the UK, where Open APIs are being regulated, are moving aggressively. In markets like the US, the banks are taking a “wait and see approach.”

Most recently, the big news saw Coinbase strike a relationship with Barclays. Coinbase was granted a money license by the Financial Conduct Authority in the UK. They are now part of the Faster Payments Scheme thanks to their link up with Barclays, which will allow for fast settlement of digital currencies with UK-based customers.

4. New Payment Types & Services. It seems like every day I see a new story about a payment method or service that consumers can now access. The question I often pose to banks is how long would it take to have your current technology do the following:

a. Accept the new payment from the point of entry?

b. Process the payment and authorize a transaction?

c. Update your fraud rules for the new payment type?

Sadly, the answer I often get is a blank expression or “many months.” This does not need to be the case. Westpac New Zealand reduced their development window from 18 months to 2 weeks. They are not just an agile technology organization, but a much more agile business. New products can be introduced into the marketplace much faster than their competition and they can be iteratively improved.

So future proofing your technology, to me, means improving your customer experience and enabling the business to win market share and continue to grow. It’s not a just a technology conversation, but technology can be used as a catalyst to improve the business.