The Fintech Transformation is Determined by Enthusiasts

There are around 4,000 registered fintech-related companies globally and their number keeps growing.

The fintech transformation stimulates the appearance of new payment providers, peer-to-peer lenders, innovative crowdfunding and trading platforms. According to Fortune magazine, $19 billion were invested into finance startups in 2015, which is a significant increase from $2 billion in 2010. These companies are changing the future of finance.

Fintech vs. Traditional Banking

Banks did not face any competition for centuries, which removed their stimulus to innovate and be transparent. Traditional banks have usually out-of-date, yet well-established IT infrastructures. This is an additional deterrent for incumbents to implementing new technologies, adapting to new customer demands and providing clients with the apps they expect to have.

Banks do not change quickly. Their established reputations force them to consider and reconsider lots of issues before moving one inch forward. If clients’ funds, or worse, their personal data (!) gets lost due to a new system, serious consequences will follow.

Even though the fintech transformation is happening quickly, banks are trying to adjust as well. Some of them are running accelerators such as the Barclays TechStars, others are opening separate divisions, for example Citigroup established its own Fintech unit. Thanks to this department that is focused on rapid prototyping, Citi plans to release a mobile-banking app with a cool facial recognition feature by the fourth quarter of 2016.

Fintechs are making it really easy and cheap to:

1. Transfer money;
2. Keep one informed about all account updates across devices;
3. Make better financial decisions through analytics, accounting, budgeting, prediction, and decision-making software.

Forbes gathered a list of the most successful fintech startups of 2015. It contains companies that deal with trading and investing, lending, payments, personal finance, currency exchange, you name it! They all stand out thanks to their brand new idea or approach that brings value to their clients. Here are some of the fintech areas in which you can open a startup:

1. B2B payments;
2. Mobile apps development for the unbanked and underbanked population;
3. Creation of social media platforms with integrated financial options;
4. Sales platforms for fintech products, etc.

It is today’s digital customers and their high expectations who push the fintech transformation on, while the trends toward the Internet of Things and Augmented Reality will only spur innovation in finance. One must only identify the areas which have been neglected and find a niche where more value can be brought. Can you think of some other areas which you feel could use a healthy dose of disruption?

Insurtech is Going to Energize the Insurance Industry

Insurtech will help the insurance industry to adapt to the digital world. The transformations taking place in the financial, mobile, IT, and other sectors are leaving insurance lagging behind. But insurance companies realize that IT requires more attention. A report found that insurance companies’ investment in insurtech, and replacing or improving information technologies generally, was expected to grow by 5 percent in 2015. That is noticeable compared to an average 3 percent in 2014 and 2 percent in 2013.

It has become harder to define the insurance policy with the appearance of drones, driverless cars, and IoT devices. Insurance is affected by the disruption in the hospitality business as well. Have you ever thought about of what gets covered by insurance if something happens in an apartment rented using Airbnb? What about what happens while in a car ordered on Uber?

When the lines of coverage are blurred, what is left is a grey area of confusion or a gap in protection, which can have drastic effects on customers. The good news is that this ambiguity can be relieved with the help of technology.

Industry Challenges

  • Regulation

Insurance companies are heavily regulated, which means that it is difficult and costly for a young company to comply with all government policies.

  • Process

The process of getting insurance is time consuming and often involves a lot of red tape. This can discourage new customers from getting a policy in the first place.

  • Agents

If people are able to get their insurance online without a broker’s help, this may make agents nervous. But technology can actually help brokers in their jobs, and increase their bottom line as well.

  • Brand recognition

When it comes to life or property, people tend to trust companies with a good reputation, therefore it is hard to convince someone to entrust their belongings to a company they don’t know.

What can be changed?

  • Re-connect with customers

The relationship with customers has to be rebuilt. Clients have to see insurance agents as trusted advisors who are helping out with the most precious assets, such as life, family and wealth. The first step is to start talking to your customers in an accessible way and within a space where they are already the most comfortable. With the changes in technology, people communicate differently, and have a very short attention span. Adjust to their lifestyle by, for instance, sending them short text messages instead of calling to remind them about renewing a policy.

  • Re-build the system

Innovation is brought on by small things, even the most basic customer engagement must to be improved. Build channels to communicate directly with your customers. Focus on designing applications that revolve around communication, transparency, and simplicity. According to a study,computerization and online transactions are one of the most important factors when customers choose an insurance company.

At DAS Solutions we developed insurtech products that allow brokers and producers to complete insurance requests and sell insurance products to the client directly, while all operations between them and the insurance company are completed seamlessly by the software. This includes estimate generation, client ID validation, and automatic document generation based on the insurance product purchased. Get in touch to have a discussion about how we can optimize your business processes with a custom software solution.

Insurtech Perspective

Many big insurance companies are investing in IoT startups. With customer permission, devices such as smartphones, smart watches, drones or digital home thermostats which record data could be collected and analyzed by insurers. The adoption of new technologies might enable insurers to start influencing their customers’ behavior, for example by suggesting they go to the gym or indicating not to drive in certain conditions.

Insurtech is going to help the insurance industry grow further. For that brokers need to tackle existing issues head on and start using emerging tools to their advantage. By communicating with clients in ways that meet their needs and expectations, insurance companies will build loyalty among consumers.

Is a Voice Recognition Banking System the Future of Online Banking?

With a voice recognition banking system you will finally be able to forget passwords, card verification numbers and PINs. Latest biometric technologies now allow you to use your voice to log in to your bank account.

Today customers are using web or mobile banking applications to check their bank accounts. The financial brand has conducted a research during the last 5 years and examined the analytics data from over 100 banks, financial institutions and credit unions. They found that over 85% of customers log in to online banking, check their accounts, spend 2-3 minutes on the platform, and log out.

Recent innovations in voice recognition banking systems provide secure access to both information centers and accounts within seconds. In such a system the customer’s voice is verified against prerecorded and stored voiceprints, solving the problem of forgotten passwords once and for all. Also a voice recognition banking system brings more accessibility to blind or partially sighted people, which is a significant benefit in itself.

Barclays introduced a voice recognition banking system in 2013 for some of its customers. The solution reduced the authentication process by an average 20 seconds. At the same time, it minimized identification and authentication issues on the customer support side. As a result, customer satisfaction levels increased.

Banks will soon be able to give their customers the possibility to check accounts and make transfers by talking into a device. This has its advantages and disadvantages. For example, customers will be more focused with a voice recognition banking system in place. It  may be more difficult to attract customers with ads as customers likely won’t check their bank’s online banking system as often as they do these days.

A voice recognition banking system will provide a lot of data for analysis that hasn’t been available previously. For example, data on the customer’s voice tone, location, or average speech tempo will now be available. Based on this knowledge, banks and financial institutions will be able to sell more high-end products such as financial planning tools, loans or consultancy services. When the customer is in a good mood they might be more willing to discuss an offer.

Dan Miller, a senior analyst at Opus Research, notes that in the long run, other industries such as insurance companies and telecom companies (but also government agencies or even retailers) will take advantage of a voice-based authentication system to serve customers in the most personal and efficient way. This is probably the best time to make a decision and offer your customers an innovative tool to log in to your system.

What do you think about voice-based authentication systems? Can you think of other benefits of such a platform? Share in the comments!

NEM Assembly

DAS Solutions is Attending the NEM Assembly

The NEM Assembly is taking place at the Crowne Plaza in Brussels today. The aim of the event is to share the updates and get feedback from the participants of the General Assembly on ongoing projects such as I2C PPP.

The goal of the I2C PPP project is to strengthen European leadership in various areas, for example, education, e-health, intelligent transport, entertainment and media. Open APIs will allow anyone to create complex applications and services including augmented reality and content analytics. This project will have a beneficial impact on:

Software development

New applications will be created that can be possibly used on new devices.

Business

I2C PPP will create new opportunities for converged business models between content and telecom, broadcast, consumer electronics, etc.

Society

The project fosters the effectiveness of communication that will contribute to intellectual and leisure well-being.

During the NEM Assembly, members will also discuss other new and exciting projects throughout the day. Multimedia writing robots, augmented reality, brain-computer interaction and the new generation of the UHD visualization are only some of the topics that will be addressed.

Tomorrow,  March 16 2016, the European Commission is organizing an information day for potential applicants to the call for proposals ICT19-2017. The call addresses “Media and content convergence” to support Media Industries under the Horizon 2020 initiative where DAS Solutions has been an active participant.

Media and content created in Europe are diverse and captivating, however to keep ahead of the competition on the global market, the industry has to become more technology oriented. The sector has to be more adaptable to new technologies and to be able to reach wider audiences.

Participating at various events such as the NEM Assembly and being active in such programs as Horizon 2020 is a part of DAS Solutions’ strategy to provide the most relevant services on the European market. We aim to provide high quality IT solutions for various industries, to support young programmers, and give back to the community in which we operate.

Science Slam Final

The Final Battle of Science Slam 2015 Is Coming

During the previous 4 editions of Science Slam Moldova we have witnessed many interesting and creative presentations. DAS Solutions has stayed close to young talents and invested its time and energy to help presenters do their best.

This week, four winners of the previous battles are going to present their works and we will find out who is the Slammer of the Year. The topics vary significantly, which makes the event even more compelling for the general public.

One of the participants, Alexandr Iscenco, is going to talk about 3D printing, robotics, open-source, ecology, and the future. He will present the findings of the research he conducted in Germany on this topic. Primarily, he will discuss the future role of robots and 3D printing in our lives and the progress already made since the invention of 3D printing.

During the Science Slam Final Battle, we will have the opportunity to find out about the influence of contagious diseases on the Moldovan history and about the ways authorities managed to deal with epidemics during the interwar period. The Slammer Alexandru Ghetan will shed light on this and many other things during the Final Battle of the Science Slam.

Another Slammer, Dr. Iulia Iatco, will discuss algae, cyanobacteria, and their structure. The scientist mentions that algae are not currently used at their full capacity around the world. Algae can be used in alimentation (thanks to their vitamins and microelements), but also in waste treatment (wastewaters can be cleaned effectively and responsibly using algae), agriculture (domestic animals can be fed with the biomass from microalgae) and many other industries!

A well-known ethologist, Dr. Dorian Furtuna, will discuss aggression, the reasons that lead to it, and its effects. He has recently published a book that explores the causes of human aggression and the reasons behind wars and explains why military conflicts keep happening around the world.

Science Slam is an event that brings together talented scientists and innovators with the general public and promotes new and exciting topics and ideas. DAS Solutions is proud to be a partner of Science Slam Moldova.