Connect with us

Technology

On the frontline of fintech: Building a personalised digital platform catering to a global audience

Published

on

On the frontline of fintech: Building a personalised digital platform catering to a global audience

By Sally Crimes, Chief Product OfficerTen Lifestyle Group

The financial service industry is unremittingly global. For both bankers and clients, their tech travels with them. Tech is undoubtedly the biggest driver for globalisation. It speaks multiple languages, understands currency conversions and h makes landing in a foreign country and culture feel a lot less foreign.

Uber is a great example of this, same app, same language and same process across multiple cities worldwide – providing that familiarity that makes travelling so seamless.

Our challenge was to build an online travel and concierge service that would be white-labelled for numerous global banking clients. The purpose, to give their clients access to the world’s best restaurants, shows, hotels and whatever else they may decide they need as they travel the world, allowing them to trust in their banks to help them beyond just their financial needs. 

Global-first 

Sally Crimes

Sally Crimes

For years, the digital industry has been focused on the mobile-first approach, building for every device and making life more portable. This is standard practice now, it goes without saying that your application must work for all modern devices, large and small. For us, our focus is global-first. 

Every good personalised digital service platform must use location as its starting point. The financial services world and their clients are notoriously globe-trotting, whether travelling for pleasure, business or setting up a new life in a new country. What makes their lives easier is if the services that they rely on can travel with them seamlessly.

When I go to a new city or country I want my tech to know that I am there and to cater to me based on my location. There is no point receiving recommendations for restaurants in Kings Cross in London, if I am working in Singapore for a week. I want to see what I am near, as I move around.

Of course, as we travel, we expect to access our bank accounts as usual, we expect that our credit cards will work and that we can get hold of someone at our bank whenever the time of day.

However, building a digital platform that goes beyond the day to day expectations of a bank and into a differential offering requires harnessing local knowledge, the local language and cultures and having a footprint in each new place.

If you build a digital platform for one market, and then attempt to scale that out globally further down the line, it will be harder to re-architect and re-factor to provide a meaningful local experience, and many organisations will need to invest far more than expected compared with taking a global-first approach. If you have global ambition for your digital platforms, build this into the initial architectural design from the get-go, and consider every local angle.

Harnessing the power of local knowledge 

Local knowledge is incredibly helpful. When we began building our platform, we did so for 35 locations around the globe simultaneously. While we did this, we made sure that anyone accessing the platform could also have access to a phone number and email address that went straight to an expert who could do the job of the platform practically in parallel.

For example, launching in Hong Kong, the digital platform appeared in Chinese, operated in HKD, and knew the most trending restaurants and the hottest shows.

We were keen to make sure that we built a platform that can create parity with our high touch service, with a holistic approach at every opportunity possible. And, from a business perspective that meant providing and, in some instances, promoting the option to speak to an expert directly.

 Biggest challenges and lessons learned 

There are of course a multitude of challenges, large and small. Unsurprisingly, sometimes the smaller ones can be where you learn some of the biggest lessons. For example, we learned pretty far into our build that in the USA, consumers are not used to seeing a separate ‘house number/name’ input field when submitting addresses. It felt alien to them and we had no idea. If we wanted this digital experience to feel natural for Americans, this is something we now needed to consider.

Small mistakes like this that often require local knowledge that your team may not possess and can often result in additional hours reworking and unpicking parts of the platform, that with specific local insight could have been avoided. Learning this lesson has been invaluable in our planning ever since.

Bigger challenges when building and launching a global digital platform could fill several volumes. But, I can give an example that is quite typical of the issues that we come across.

Each area of our Platform gives the user numerous options to choose from. Rental cars are a useful example. Each car rental company has its own unique offering – its own pricing, availability, car types, descriptions, inclusions, depot opening hours, naming conventions and much more. We needed to translate all these data differences into one global, consistent experience in multiple languages and currencies for 35 different markets.

The relationship between Financial Services and Travel & Lifestyle Concierge is a very natural one. After all, what to people do with their money? They use it to travel, to dine out, to see their favourite shows, their favourite sports – to create memories.

Giving financial services the ability to help their clients and accompany them at home and on the move, is no easy feat. But, with the right mix of insight, local knowledge and working in a flexible and agile manner it is more than achievable. It gives both those working in Financial Services and their clients a great advantage as they travel the globe, while at the same time helping banks to offer a really valuable addition for their members that differentiates their business.

Technology

What does cybersecurity look like for the financial sector in 2021?

Published

on

What does cybersecurity look like for the financial sector in 2021? 1

By Neill Lawson-Smith, managing director at CIS

The landscape is changing incredibly fast, with cybercriminals using the most up-to-date technology to hack systems. Here are the six areas those in finance should be watching out for…

The finance and insurance sector is increasingly becoming a notable target for cyber attacks. Many of these breaches happening are believed to be due to inadequate security measures when teams or businesses are using cloud services.

The financial industry is also being affected by changes in processes with more fintech, virtual banks, and other digital disruptors impacting the market. The landscape is changing incredibly fast, with cybercriminals using the most up-to-date technology to hack systems, so it is therefore up to the financial sector to keep up to avoid security breaches.

What does this look like for the year ahead in the financial sector? Here are the Six areas those in finance should be watching out for:

  1. AI securityand cyber defence

Both Cybercriminals and cyber defence are commonly using Artificial Intelligence (AI). In cybersecurity, it is used to identify new threats, as well as assess the effectiveness of the responses to threats, enabling them to foresee and essentially block attacks before they happen. It is also used to spot behavioural patterns and can quickly identify possible infiltrations.

Hackers have also started to use AI to make it easier for them to get past security systems in place. This year, it is likely that AI will be increasingly used as a means of gaining personal details (i.e. credit card details) as well as optimising spam phishing campaigns.

  1. Mobile cybersecurity in banking

With the number of consumers using their mobile devices for banking and financial transactions increasing, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic has rendered society predominantly cashless, cybercriminals have been heavily targeting mobile systems. For example, mobile malware only targets mobile phone operating systems. The most common forms of mobile malware are virus and trojans, spyware and madware (mobile adware), phishing campaigns, and browser exploits.

This means it is now more important than ever to protect mobile devices to the same extent as traditional hardware.

The same protocols that are in place to ensure your staff PCs and laptops are secure now, need to also be applied to their mobile devices as well, such as:

  • Ensuring the latest versions of the operating system and other applications are installed.
  • Installing a firewall.
  • Enabling mobile security software to protect against malware and viruses.
  • Using password protected lock screens.
  • Ensuring apps are only downloaded from official sites like Apple App store and Google Play.
  1. Multi-factor authentication

Multi-factor authentication adds an extra layer of security to all your business networks by ensuring every transaction or login is supported by at least two security measures for access. It is one of the easiest security measures to implement within your business and is becoming more common within the financial sector for many transactions. The traditional username and password are becoming increasingly easy for cybercriminals to acquire, whereas adding an extra identification method, that is not easily accessible to the hackers, ensures an extra layer of protection.

The most commonly used multi-factor authentication methods are:

  • Passwords – They should be complex and comprise at least eight characters and be a combination of upper- and lower-case letters, numbers, and special characters.
  • One-time use code – A randomly generated code sent via SMS or email which is used only once. With weaknesses in mobile networks and email accounts, these can however be intercepted by hackers.
  • App generated codes – a code generated by an app on a mobile phone often created by scanning a QR code that contains a ‘key’. As the key is stored on the phone itself this is less likely to be intercepted by a third party.
  • Physical authentication keys – this is a USB which the user inserts every time they login from a new computer. Unfortunately, they don’t work on all devices without adapters (such as iPhone, MacBook or Android).
  • Biometrics – Using a fingerprint, voice, or an eye dent is an effective identifier. They are extremely difficult to hack but if they are, they cannot be used ever again for anything.
  • Information – this could be something that only the user would know – either a password or a piece of information.

Most of these methods are free or relatively cheap to implement and don’t require anything other than a mobile phone for the user. The added security of multi-factor authentication means even if a hacker has acquired a username/password combination there is still an extra security barrier preventing access.

  1. Refined testing

As the finance industry is constantly changing, then so too are the security threats. Financial cybersecurity is an ongoing commitment, so installing new anti-virus software and implementing MFA, and stopping there is not going to keep you protected for long. It requires ensuring software and firewalls are up to date as well as ensuring access is regularly updated. In addition to this constant maintenance regular testing of the systems is essential. All systems have vulnerabilities, and as these change, cybercriminals learn to overcome them, and therefore software develops.

One thing to remember is that it is not possible to be over-cautious when it comes to cybersecurity. Regular penetration testing essentially identifies any weaknesses in your systems before the cyber criminals do. It is essential to schedule penetration testing or vulnerability scans at least once a quarter unless compliance dictates otherwise. They can be carried out using a vulnerability scanner.

  1. Hiring the right people

It is crucial to have the right team on hand to ensure your systems are up to date, regularly tested and maintained is essential.

Your IT team should have the following skills and knowledge:

  • Knowledge and understanding of the company’s IT infrastructure
  • Knowledge of cybersecurity best practices
  • Understanding of company processes and data flows
  • Up to date knowledge of cybersecurity solutions
  1. Plan a Defence, Prepare for Attack…

Although businesses can take many precautions, there are limitations on skills, investment and timescales in implementing a comprehensive cybersecurity infrastructure, it is essential that appropriate procedures, policies and processes are established to ensure that an appropriate response is carried out in the event of a detection – whether manual or ideally automated – so that whenever an attack occurs, the appropriate and proportionate response is carried out immediately to limit any further damage or intrusion.

Continue Reading

Technology

Data protection: it’s time to reassess your security strategy

Published

on

Biometrics and data protection in financial services

By Tony Pepper, CEO of Egress

It’s no secret that the Covid-19 pandemic has created a perfect storm of cybersecurity risk. External threats are heightened, but there’s also a higher level of internal risk too, exacerbated by home working. With most financial services organisations planning to continue with mass remote working for the foreseeable future, it’s important for security teams to review their strategy and assess whether it still works in this new landscape. When it comes to insider threat, there are three key areas that IT leaders should focus on: building a positive culture around security, understanding their organisation’s level of risk and protecting their people.

  1. Build a security-positive culture

Many organisations have unknowingly instilled a security-negative culture among their employees, where people are punished or shamed if they cause a security incident. While they might think that this would discourage employees from causing data breaches for fear of repercussions, this actually makes your organisation less secure. Our Outbound Email Security Report found that 62% of organisations rely on their people to report email data breach incidents – and if employees are too afraid to come forward, that means your business is at risk of developing a security blind spot.

A security negative culture won’t actually prevent data breaches caused by human error, something which organisations need to recognize as largely unavoidable without technological intervention; it just delays remediation, which makes every incident worse. By creating a security-positive culture, you can better engage and educate employees, as well as ensure you’re able to rapidly triage any incidents if they occur.

  1. Understand your risk

When mapping out your risk, you’ll likely find that the picture looks very different to how it did even a year ago. In the past, organisations have focused on their networks and their devices when it came to security strategy. While these are vital areas for consideration, what hasn’t been as well-addressed to date is the human aspect of risk, particularly human error. You need to look closely at the tools that your employees are using daily to facilitate digital communication with clients and colleagues, including when sending sensitive information.

Employees are specifically using email more than ever before – our recent research found that 94% of organisations are sending more emails due to Covid-19, with one-in-two IT leaders reporting an increase of more than 50%. With this expansion of email volumes comes an increase in the risk that an email containing sensitive data might be misdirected. Remote working has also heightened the threat – our research found that 35% of organisations’ serious email data breaches were caused by remote working. Why? The causes lie in their behavior and the environments in which they operate. Some individuals may feel they’re able to take more risks away from the “watchful eyes” of their Security team, and every employee is  faced with a myriad of distractions that make them more likely to make a mistake.

It’s time for organisations to take stock of their risk by looking at where gaps in their security might exist – and provide safety nets for their employees that can automatically detect and mitigate inadvertent data breaches and risky behaviour.

  1. Protect your people

It goes without saying that not all data breaches are caused by malicious activity. An overwhelming amount of data breaches are caused by hardworking employees making honest mistakes, from sending an email to the wrong person to responding to a phishing attack. Unfortunately, human error is an unavoidable part of life, and mistakes will happen. In the past, many organisations have taken the approach that employee error can be ‘trained away’, embarking on comprehensive security training programs in the hope that security incidents might decrease.

Unfortunately, if that were the case, then employee activated data breaches would be a thing of the past! Organisations need to employ a multifaceted approach when it comes to avoiding accidental insider data breaches – education and training remain an important element, but ultimately businesses need to implement the right technology to provide a safety net for their people. Many organisations have legacy DLP solutions in place that cannot mitigate the risk as they fail to fully understand employees’ behaviour.

Often, these tools stand in the way of productivity, prompting users even when there isn’t a legitimate risk. When click fatigue sets in, these solutions become ineffective, with users ignoring prompts whenever they appear. Luckily, advances in machine learning mean that there’s technology available to prevent insider data breaches such as misdirected email, by deeply understanding the way that users behave and the context in which they share data, to ensure emails are sent to the right recipients with the right level of security.

The vast majority of organizations will never go back to every employee working full time within the office environment, instead post-pandemic we will see a myriad of different approaches – with some based in the office, while others work at home part or full-time, and as the world opens up again, their locations may change throughout the day. To mitigate risks from inadvertent errors to intentional data exfiltration, CISOs must address their security culture and protect their human layer with intelligent controls that mitigate employees’ behaviors and stop breaches before they happen.

Continue Reading

Technology

Sumitomo Life Insurance Selects Talend to Build Company’s Data Infrastructure

Published

on

Sumitomo Life Insurance Selects Talend to Build Company’s Data Infrastructure 2

Leading life insurer uses Talend in data lake environment for data analytics

Talend (NASDAQ: TLND), a global leader in data integration and data integrity, announced today that Sumitomo Life Insurance Company, one of the Japan’s leading life insurance companies, has selected Talend Data Fabric for its data analytics infrastructure.

Sumitomo Life aims to become the most trusted and supported company by its stakeholders, including its customers, and to grow sustainably and stably. Sumitomo Life’s vision is to offer advanced products to enable customers to live vigorously. To respond to that, the company is developing and delivering cutting-edge products that respond to its customers’ current and expected futures needs in areas focusing on nursing care, medical insurance and retirement planning.

“With the trust from our customers as the starting point of all our activities, Sumitomo Life is providing optimal life insurance services to every person through the sound management of the insurance business,” said Mr. Masakazu Ohta, General Manager in Charge of Information System Department at Sumitomo Life. “As a new approach, it was necessary to build a common foundation for big data management, and Talend is the driver. Talend’s superiority in cloud implementation, development productivity, features, and licensing model convinced us to be part of this journey together.”

To meet the needs of its customers and offer them innovative products and services, Sumitomo Life has decided to build a foundation for data analysis (Sumisei Data Platform) in the cloud for the promotion of new insurance products. The company evolved its legacy data environment to the new environment where they can store the data extracted from various systems both on-premises and effectively in the cloud.

In order to meet the needs of each individual customer and provide the best insurance for them, Sumitomo Life uses Talend Data Fabric as the hub of its data infrastructure. This manages data across the organization and integrates data into a data lake, which makes them able to utilize data across the company.

“We have been able to release projects with the continuous support of Talend, even amid the changing business environment in the Covid-19 crisis. We will continue to collaborate with Talend in order to actively promote company-wide data analysis projects,” added Mr. Ohta.

“The insurance market is one of the most competitive sectors. By facing tight regulations and complex customer needs, companies must be at the forefront of innovation to offer even more services and new products to its customers,” said Kenji Tsunoda, Country Manager Japan, at Talend. “Talend helped Sumitomo Life reinvent its data-driven infrastructure to provide a data management platform that enables the development of advanced products for its customers.  We are delighted to support Sumitomo Life in the pursuit of their vision.”

Continue Reading
Editorial & Advertiser disclosureOur website provides you with information, news, press releases, Opinion and advertorials on various financial products and services. This is not to be considered as financial advice and should be considered only for information purposes. We cannot guarantee the accuracy or applicability of any information provided with respect to your individual or personal circumstances. Please seek Professional advice from a qualified professional before making any financial decisions. We link to various third party websites, affiliate sales networks, and may link to our advertising partners websites. Though we are tied up with various advertising and affiliate networks, this does not affect our analysis or opinion. When you view or click on certain links available on our articles, our partners may compensate us for displaying the content to you, or make a purchase or fill a form. This will not incur any additional charges to you. To make things simpler for you to identity or distinguish sponsored articles or links, you may consider all articles or links hosted on our site as a partner endorsed link.

Call For Entries

Global Banking and Finance Review Awards Nominations 2021
2021 Awards now open. Click Here to Nominate

Latest Articles

FTSE 100 ends higher on improving economic activity; gains for the third week 3 FTSE 100 ends higher on improving economic activity; gains for the third week 4
Trading3 hours ago

FTSE 100 ends higher on improving economic activity; gains for the third week

By Shivani Kumaresan, Amal S and Shashank Nayar (Reuters) – London’s FTSE 100 ended higher on Friday after the economy...

European shares end higher on strong earnings, positive data 5 European shares end higher on strong earnings, positive data 6
Banking3 hours ago

European shares end higher on strong earnings, positive data

By Sagarika Jaisinghani and Ambar Warrick (Reuters) – Euro zone shares rose on Friday, marking a third week of gains,...

UK bond yields head for biggest weekly rise since June 7 UK bond yields head for biggest weekly rise since June 8
Trading3 hours ago

UK bond yields head for biggest weekly rise since June

LONDON (Reuters) – British government bond prices fell again on Friday as a global debt sell-off continued on expectations of...

Siemens Healthineers gains EU nod for $16.4 billion Varian buy 9 Siemens Healthineers gains EU nod for $16.4 billion Varian buy 10
Business4 hours ago

Siemens Healthineers gains EU nod for $16.4 billion Varian buy

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – EU antitrust regulators on Friday cleared with conditions Siemens Healthineers’ $16.4 billion acquisition of U.S. peer Varian,...

Teed off: As COVID fuels S. Africa's housing crisis, golf courses feel the heat 11 Teed off: As COVID fuels S. Africa's housing crisis, golf courses feel the heat 12
Top Stories4 hours ago

Teed off: As COVID fuels S. Africa’s housing crisis, golf courses feel the heat

By Kim Harrisberg JOHANNESBURG (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – It sounds like a developer’s dream: A greenfield site in the heart...

UK might need negative rates if recovery disappoints - BoE's Vlieghe 13 UK might need negative rates if recovery disappoints - BoE's Vlieghe 14
Top Stories13 hours ago

UK might need negative rates if recovery disappoints – BoE’s Vlieghe

By David Milliken and William Schomberg LONDON (Reuters) – The Bank of England might need to cut interest rates below...

UK economy shows signs of stabilisation after new lockdown hit 15 UK economy shows signs of stabilisation after new lockdown hit 16
Top Stories13 hours ago

UK economy shows signs of stabilisation after new lockdown hit

By William Schomberg and David Milliken LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s economy has stabilised after a new COVID-19 lockdown last month...

Dollar extends decline as risk appetite favors equities 17 Dollar extends decline as risk appetite favors equities 18
Trading13 hours ago

Dollar extends decline as risk appetite favors equities

By Stephen Culp NEW YORK (Reuters) – The dollar lost ground on Friday, extending Thursday’s decline as improved risk appetite...

Bitcoin hits $1 trillion market cap, soars to another record high 19 Bitcoin hits $1 trillion market cap, soars to another record high 20
Trading13 hours ago

Bitcoin hits $1 trillion market cap, soars to another record high

By Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss and Tom Wilson NEW YORK/LONDON (Reuters) – Bitcoin touched a market capitalization of $1 trillion as it...

Shares rise as cyclical stocks provide support; yields climb 21 Shares rise as cyclical stocks provide support; yields climb 22
Investing13 hours ago

Shares rise as cyclical stocks provide support; yields climb

By Saqib Iqbal Ahmed NEW YORK (Reuters) – A gauge of global equity markets snapped a 3-day losing streak to...

Newsletters with Secrets & Analysis. Subscribe Now