Several industries are now focusing their entire strategies around creating loyal consumers by delivering superb customer experiences. In turn, this is shaping expectations for financial institutions. As customers become more mobile, demanding, and tech-savvy, legacy financial services infrastructures are strained to support consumers’ preferred modes of engagement. One reason financial firms have lagged behind other industries is the heightened security challenge of managing people’s money. However, that is changing. In response to increasing competitive pressures and heightened expectations, financial institutions around the world are innovating using digital and Internet of Things (IoT) technologies.
Some firms are using sensor data to improve operational performance, customer experience, and product pricing. Usage-based insurance, for instance, allows sensors in automobiles or, increasingly, smartphone apps, to automatically provide insurance carriers with information on vehicles’ histories and therefore their drivers’ performance.
Several banks now provide payment applications for popular wearables like Apple Watch and FitPay. Some have even launched their own devices, with Barclays unveiling bPay wearable contactless payment solutions and other wearable bands coming from Caixa Bank, Hellenic Bank, and Australia’s WestPac (with PayWear).
In a trial in a London bar, Barclays’ Pay @ Pump self-serve beer pump allowed users to order, pay for, and pour their drink in just 60 seconds and avoid long waits at the busiest times of the year.
Smart vehicles represent an opportunity for banks, too. For example, Idea Bank runs a fleet of cars, each customized with an integrated security deposit box and an ATM. They can visit the customer, rather than vice versa.
Bluetooth beacons can improve customer engagement and loyalty. At Barclays, beacons have been used to help disabled passengers navigate branches.
Capital One now makes it possible for customers to pay their bills via Amazon’s Alexa (the virtual assistant on its Echo smart speaker).
Telematics is increasing the accuracy of underwriting automobile collision policies.
These and other digital transformation projects are creating opportunities for financial firms. However, new-age technologies pose challenges for CIOs and other IT professionals in financial institutions. CIOs have traditionally been responsible for monolithic systems such as mainframes, on-premise computers, and other Things required to run firms. Now, they are beginning to have to manage new types of devices, from payment kiosks to wearables or even office IoT gear such as A/V equipment—all while ensuring that employees and customers access sensitive data from a variety of devices without compromising security. They also need to bridge two worlds: their ageing monolithic infrastructures and the mobile-first, cloud-based, flexible world.
Managing a New Type of Infrastructure
Many of those responsible for managing these new Things try to manage them based on information housed in departmental systems that inevitably hold different data. Either way, legacy asset management tactics result in poor data quality and manual efforts to coalesce information. They also prevent organizations from having a true single source of truth about the machines that power the customer experience, and the company.
To manage the new barrage of IoT assets, organizations need a single source of truth for every Thing. They need to be aware of changes in the lifecycle of every asset, whether it is fully operational, stolen, lost, in need of maintenance, or ready to be decommissioned. Tracking Things accurately is essential in today’s ultra-competitive financial services landscape to solidify customer loyalty by providing innovative products and services. It is also vital for back-office functions such as budgeting, forecasting, auditing, reporting, employee on-boarding and off-boarding, and other key business processes.
A Better Way to Manage Assets
Next generation Thing Management is capable of tracking assets from purchase through decommissioning. With comprehensive, end-to-end Thing Management, financial services organizations can avoid the time and costs associated with searching for asset information.
They also can worry less about security breaches, a crucial factor because consumers trust financial institutions with sensitive information at every turn. Every Thing is a window into a financial institution’s network, putting customers’ financial information at risk. Every precaution must be taken to safeguard it; otherwise, financial firms can lose customers or harm their reputations, sometimes irretrievably.
With next-generation Thing Management, CIOs in the financial sector can fully understand their IT landscapes, whether their assets are traditional computers, smartphones, networking gear, or the latest IoT devices. As complexity in the financial services space increases and the number and variety of Things proliferates, CIOs need dedicated, single-source-of-truth Thing Management more than ever.
For years, CIOs have struggled to get the information they need to effectively manage their organizations’ Things. The reasons: poor data quality, manual processes, and the lack of a shared system to serve as a single source of truth for assets. These issues have been compounded with the advent of the IoT. With Thing Management from Oomnitza, financial firms have access to the information they need to optimize asset utilization and reduce the manual effort needed to understand the organization’s complete asset inventory. As assets become a pivotal way to put customers first, it’s more important than ever to have a complete view of all the new Things transforming the financial services landscape.