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UK Businesses Benefit From Chief Data Officers Without Hiring

The advent of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning has meant we are amid one of the biggest technological revolutions of our time. Emerging SMEs have taken advantage of this and since 2015, a new AI company has launched almost every week in the UK. This access to innovation has meant that smaller firms, if fast-adapting, have a very real chance of overtaking established corporates across all sectors.

What could be a cause for concern during this technological rise, however, is the abandonment of human interaction in business altogether.

For Peter Tuvey, Co-Founder and Managing Director at Fleximize, start-ups need to remain mindful whilst adapting to this tech and ensure a maintained balance with human interaction is still core to any business function.

The FinTech sector in particularly is rapidly expanding due to the advent of automation, and with swift growth comes increased investment. According to Accenture’s analysis of data from CB Insights, global investment in FinTech reached an all-time high in 2017, with alternative finance companies receiving the biggest chunk of this capital.

These alternative finance firms give hope to many of the UK’s start-ups. They have come to replace traditional bank loans and have identified a very real void in the market. In some firms, negotiations between clients and bank managers are now no longer necessary with the arrival of automated credit checks and online applications. Robotic process automation (RPA) is now replicating the human process which means companies can reduce employee numbers if needed and adopt a digital Backoffice.

In theory, these AI functions seem like economically savvy solutions for companies. Humans will be…

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Potential Threats of Open Banking

The Open Banking system was designed to give consumers more control over their financial information and access to a wider range of products and services. However, there have been concerns over the general safety of consumer data as we approach this new banking revolution.

Below are some of these concerns:

  • Transition of Data

One of the principle concerns is that the data will be become compromised somewhere in the transition between banks and third party providers.

For most of their history, banks have had complete control and security over the sensitive data that they have been entrusted with and the systems of how they transfer this data.

With the introduction of Open Banking, banks must now open up new communication portals to give TPPs access to their customer account details as these systems have previously never needed to be in place before now. Banks will be interacting with these companies without having a full understanding of their security measures which proposes a new risk of where the data will end up being held.

As a result, banks may be exposed to hundreds of new threats which are outside of their normal areas of control. If these new portals are not completely secure, then they are at risk of being compromised and thousands of customers could have their information stolen by various fraudsters and criminals.

To ensure that these communication portals are secure and any data intercepted will not be exploitable, advanced encryption methods should…

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Interviews

Atul Dixit, CEO, Prudential Finance, speaks with Global Banking and Finance Review on The Best Consumer Finance Company for Customer Service, Vietnam 2018.

What particular highlights are you proud of?

The award recognizes Prudential Finance’s high standards of customer experience and best-in-class services which are embedded in various initiatives launched last year to optimize the company’s resources and infrastructure.

We were commended for understanding the value that customer experience has on building the Brand’s positive reputation and, ultimately, the difference it makes to our business success and customer success.

How did it feel for being the best consumer finance company for customer service, Vietnam 2018?

We are honored to be named The Best Consumer Finance Company for Customer Service of the Year 2018. This award highlights our long-term commitment to building a culture of providing excellent service to our customers throughout their journey with Prudential Finance. Driving customer satisfaction and delivering impactful customer experience are core to our continued business success. The new digital era has changed the way we communicate with each other; however Prudential Finance takes it as an opportunity and a priority to innovate in order to meet the fast changing needs of our over 500,000 Vietnamese customers.

Tell us how you’ve approached change?

2017 was a turning point for Prudential Finance in terms of customer…

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UK INVESTORS WANT TO SEE MORE GREEN AND COMMUNITY FUNDS
  • Green and community schemes most attractive to personal investors
  • Personal investors want to use schemes that ‘do good’

 UK investors would like see more of their money used to support good causes, adding value to communities and local economies, according to a new report.

The survey of 1,627 UK adults, carried out by Oaksmore ISA (an innovative, FCA-regulated Alternative Investment Fund Manager) asked potential investors where they would most like their funds to be directed.

The most popular responses were projects with green credentials (19%) such as green energy, and projects which benefit the community (also 19%).

This was greater than the number that would be attracted to schemes which invest in large private businesses (18%) or small and medium-sized business funds (16%).

The authors of the study suggest that connecting investors with positive impacts is an important way to motivate more people to make better use of their money.

Reuben Skelton at Oaksmore said: “Our study shows that, when it comes to putting their money to work to earn a return, many people aren’t particularly motivated to act.  41% would rather leave savings earning little or no interest in bank accounts than consider specific investments.

“There are two major hurdles to overcome in this regard.  The first is making sure people feel comfortable with risk and the level of security (a requirement for 36% and 28% of our sample respectively).  The second is to engage and motivate them to feel that their money is doing something worthwhile as well as growing their wealth.”

Reuben believes that Innovative Finance ISAs represent the best vehicle with which to deliver both of these requirements to everyday investors.

“The IF ISA model gives providers the flexibility to find schemes that deliver on these needs expressed by potential investors.

“For example, our own scheme (the Oaksmore ISA), allows people to invest in the renovation of heritage property, bringing beautiful old buildings back to use.  This not only supports the country’s national heritage, but…

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Connecting the future of fintech

Ian Stone, CEO of Vuealta

Between 2010 and 2015, the financial services industry changed drastically.

In just those five years, four of today’s most successful fintech companies were launched; namely Stripe, Revolut, Starling Bank and Monzo.

These launches all had one thing in common; putting the customer at the centre of the operation, untied to legacy or history. Fast forward and the fintech industry is coming of age, with the UK’s fintech sector alone attracting £1.34 billion of venture capital funding in 2017, and new companies launching into market every day.

Scaling up

This success means that the challenge these companies now face is one of scale. To keep moving forward, they need to be able to expand and scale up quickly and easily to support their growing customer bases. They need to do this at the same time as maintaining the flawless, fully-digitised customer service that they have become synonymous for. No easy feat.

How they play this growth period is therefore vital. They need to be fast in making decisions and flexible enough to adapt to the constant changes that are now part and parcel of today’s market. That means arming themselves with the tools and information that will help them achieve that.

A new age of planning

The key is in the planning. As digital companies, fintechs already benefit from high levels of flexibility and adaptability. These traits must also be reflected in how they approach their business planning if they…

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