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Keeping up with the pace of technological change

Across the global industries, the financial services sector is amongst the most structured frameworks. Guaranteeing acquiescence is a progressively compound responsibility, and firms have not been short of trials offered by factors such as Brexit laws impacting on the flow of data between the UK and the EU. The overview of GDPR in 2018 has also consumed a wide-reaching inferences in terms of data security and the subsequent fines in the case of misappropriation of information or cyber-attack. With financial services craving to acclimatize to a fluctuating landscape, a swiftly evolving piece of the acquiescence puzzle is the need to discourse the end-of-life systems and impending deadlines for end-of-support. This is chiefly critical in the case of server operating systems such as Windows Server 2012, with an end-of-life limit currently set for 2023.

Latest operating systems such as Microsoft Windows can support in providing an overall safety net of fundamental maintenance, which can benefit monetary services firms to meet countless protocols and deliver the groundwork for obedient apps. Perseverance with an end-of-life structure and failure to apprise or substitute it,  can leave financial services firms falling short of these requirements, leading to momentous fines from non-compliance or a causing data breach from a cyber-attack on a known susceptible system. The resulting loss of critical data can then have more allegations for organizations in terms of unintentionally rupturing established supplier agreements and responsibilities, plus the subsequent inadequacies from extended downtime. In the worst-case situation, this can eventually intimidate the brand and long-term existence of the business.

Like many industries, the financial industry has also been involuntary to challenge the tasks that have come with its employees waged from home due to the Covid-19 pandemic, making it easier for the modernizing of systems to be put on the backburner and imminent end-of-life dates to be lost during an protracted period of crisis. The firms need to classify imminent end-of-life dates as soon possible, ideally up to three years in the early payment in many cases. The key from here is safeguarding that well-thought through programs are set up and a trail to compliance is then built, as it is the frequent case that the last 20 per cent of developments to update systems is the riskiest to navigate.

The leap of the technological change means that reinforcements, feature updates and version updates are an almost an endless manifestation across industries. What is new today is the inheritance tomorrow, so it’s essential for the financial services and firms to observe their methods and make sure that they are conscious of the changes in advance of when they might occur. Corporation with the right exterior knowledge can help firms to keep a more inclusive record of changes that have been made to systems, agreeing to a greater perceptibility and comprehensibility for controllers, avoiding the systems from slowly drifting away from their wanted state as informs are made. Doing so can also let firms to have greater precision of system end-of-life dates, allowing them to continue to be in control of their obedience with monetary regulations and avoid the potential risks of deteriorating to act.

Financial services firms need to view these projects as ones driven by business decisions, not technology. The expertise and solutions of an external provider can allow the aging system to be protected and updated as best as possible to ensure it continues to meet the technology and regulatory requirements of the business.


AI role in customer experience in banking

The concept of banking first sprung up around 8000 BC. Then, there came various drastic changes to expand their services and innovate their business models. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) are applied to help banks and financial institutions nowadays. A survey by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) showed that 77% of banking executives believe that the use of AI will ultimately differentiate between winning and losing banks.

This pandemic has triggered a sudden socioeconomic shift from physical to digital. There is a rapid switch to digital channels. Recent research by YouGov was conducted in June 2021. And that revealed that digital services have become the de facto way of conducting business and access services during the pandemic. EIU’s survey showed that enhancing the user experience through better personalisation ranked first in the most valuable uses of AI.

Customer propositions are no longer fit-for-all. It involves both banking and non-banking products and services. To identify the customers’ needs the banks must take an entirely new approach to innovation. They should adopt a customer-centric view. This starts with understanding the customer needs. AI makes it much easier to analyse customer preferences. The redesigning of customer loyalty program gives banks an accurate understanding of customer. Effective personalization offers customers not only better leads but also a more unique experience. The customer experience can be improved by applying AI. Banks must also build out their capabilities to strike new partnerships.

Businesses across all industries are working hard to retain their customers, including banks. AI can become a banking institutions’ superpower. This can take the customer experience to new heights, resulting in happier and more loyal customers. It will also reduce a bank’s operating costs and enable increased revenue per customer. To become AI First, banks must focus on streamlining their technology layer. They also require a strategy to engage customers through channels owned by them and their non-banking partners. Business and technology must work hand in hand, with cross-functional teams breaking up organisational silos.

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Amazon to offer insurance to UK businesses

The technology giant’s first foray into business insurance in the country, broker Superscript said that Amazon is going to start offering insurance to small and medium-sized UK business customers. Members of Amazon’s Business Prime program will be able to buy cover from superscript such as contents insurance, cyber insurance and professional indemnity insurance. Superscript spokesperson said that those would be underwritten by major UK insurers. A discount of 20% will be offered to current rates. This is to entice the businesses over to them.

50% of customers are prepared to buy insurance from non-traditional players. A recent survey of 12,000 people globally by consultants Capgemini showed this. Cameron Shearer, co-founder and CEO of Superscript, said in a statement that the insurance industry needs to bridge the divide between insurers and customers. Amazon’s move into UK business insurance comes after U.S. insurtech Next Insurance said that it was offering cover to U.S. small businesses. And that too via Amazon Business Prime. Molly Dobson, Country Manager for Amazon Business UK & Ireland, said in the statement that as the businesses come out of the pandemic, they want customers to have the best-in-class tools to run their business.

Financial institutions are worried that tech firms will steal their business. But industry sources said that the insurers and tech firms are more likely to forge partnerships. Because of the given difficulties and expense for outsiders in entering the highly regulated finance sector. Amazon also offers warranty insurance and “buy now, pay later” services in Britain.

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In NFT fantasy soccer game, SoftBank leads funding

Blockchain-based fantasy soccer game Sorare has raised $680 million. This is through a funding round, which is led by SoftBank. According to the company, it includes players such as ex-England international Rio Ferdinand and Spain’s Gerard Pique. Paris-based Sorare said that the investment valued the company at $4.3 billion. Sorare is an online game, since 2018. Here players buy officially licensed cards that represents soccer players. They can build teams and play against each other. This is based on the players’ performance in real-life games.

The cards are traded in the form of non-fungible tokens (NFTs). The market for NFTs has seen major growth in 2021. Michel Combes, president of SoftBank Group International, said that they think NFTs represent a new paradigm in the collectability, usability, and engagement with assets. This evolution from physical assets to digital assets is very powerful. This also creates a lot of exciting potential business models. is a website that tracks NFT market data. According to them, Sorare is the largest sports-based NFT platform by sales volume. They are planning to open an office in the United States. So that they can expand into other games out of Sorare.

Nicolas Julia, CEO and co-founder of Sorare said that they saw the immense potential that blockchain and NFTs brought to unlock a new way for football clubs, footballers, and their fans to experience a deeper connection with each other. They believe that this is a huge opportunity to create the next sports entertainment giant. Since January 2021, there have been $150 million of sales on Sorare. The fundraising round was SoftBank’s first time investing in Sorare. SoftBank’s Latin America fund also contributed. Other investors in Sorare’s raise are such as venture capital firms Accel and Bessemer Ventures, Pique, Ferdinand, Antoine Griezmann and Spain’s Cesar Azpilicueta.

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