Cognitive Banking

How Cognitive Virtual Agents Will Transform Customer Engagement

The average consumer interacts with customer service 65 times in a year. That adds up to more than 270 billion service calls made on an annual basis. Multiply that by an average cost of about $1.00 a call, and you’ve got very big problem for global businesses. Further, 33% of Millennials are only willing to […]


Everyone’s talking about APIs. Why?

While looking at the predictions for the FinTech area for 2017, I started noticing that APIs were showing up again and again. As Jim Marous notes in his article, Top 10 Retail Banking Trends and Predictions for 2017, “APIs were not even listed as a 2016 trend, but was #4 in 2017.” The Let’s Talk […]

Financial Markets

Too Jammed to Plan… For Retirement

It’s common knowledge that all generations have not sufficiently planned and saved for retirement.  Wealth management firms have been scrambling to encourage more planning and saving, but many of these efforts are likely to fall short of their objectives.  Why?  In a recent survey, IBM found that pre-retirement individuals of all ages are “too jammed […]

The Inescapable Urgency of the Cognitive Bank

Late last year, I read an article in the Financial Times that said there were three possible reasons for the turmoil in the worldwide banking industry:  a blip induced by excessive regulation, a return to normal after an exceptional pre-crisis boom, or the slow death of banking. Whether you believe it’s one of these or […]

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Cognitive Technology: A shelter in the storm of regulatory change

Turbulence and disruption have been the mainstay of the financial services industry for more than a decade and there is little to suggest that a long calm is in the offing. Quite the contrary, the industry had to adapt to an onslaught of new regulations in the aftermath of the Global Financial Crisis. A decade […]

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Northern Trust Trusts Blockchain for Private Equity

Today, private equity tends to be an opaque, costly endeavor.  Often, ten percent or more is spent on administration.  In addition, the administrative activities are manual and can take a great deal of time to complete.  In the past, this information (or its owners) was not trusted enough to be digitized. So when Northern Trust […]

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Cognitive Compliance Highlights an Opportunity for Banks

Today, banks are dealing with an overwhelming morass of regulations – more than 20,000 new ones in 2015 alone.  By the year 2020, there may be 300 million pages of banking regulations. When I was in college, buying used textbooks had two benefits.  It was a way to save a few dollars.  Even better, if […]

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Innovation in Financial Services – An Industry View

I recently participated in an industry roundtable sponsored by IBM and run by “The Banker” to look at the state of innovation in financial services. “The Banker” is a publication that provides economic and financial intelligence for the world’s financial sector. I was joined by a diverse panel of participants from across the industry: Anthony […]

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Improving Customer Experience Through Digital Reinvention

I’ve spent most of my life as a satisfied consumer. Whether I bought a new outfit, hailed a taxicab, invested in stocks or bonds, or rented a movie, I viewed almost everything as a transaction. The transaction either succeeded or it didn’t. Most of the time, it did. That’s all changing. And the pace of […]

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DTCC Selection of IBM and Axoni Points to Blockchain Maturity

This week’s announcement that DTCC has selected IBM, in partnership with Axoni, to build a Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) version of their Trade Information Warehouse (TIW) is a flagship event in the increasing role of blockchain technology in financial markets. It sets an industry standard for successful “at scale” industry deployments of DLT within the […]

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Who says you can’t save your way to prosperity?

Legendary Chairman Lou Gerstner took note, upon joining IBM, of the endless stream of meetings to measure progress towards quarterly revenue goals.  His conclusion: “You can’t fatten a pig by weighing it.” The other side of that growth coin is reducing costs.  And there: the conventional wisdom is that you can’t save your way to […]

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The complex impact of fintech and legacy systems on banking

A recent article in The Globe and Mail, The biggest threat to banks? Legacy systems, not fintech (November 2016), by Mike Gardner seemed to go viral on my Twitter stream. In the article, Mike describes huge losses for JP Morgan and the collapse of MF Global caused by IT systems and the use of inappropriate tools that […]

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IBM Design Thinking brings a wealth of innovation to wealth management

Most people who know the name Branch Rickey know him as the president and general manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers who played a key role in helping Jackie Robinson break the Major League Baseball color barrier in 1947. I also know him for something he said several decades earlier.  In a speech to a YMCA […]

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Automation in banking: a journey worth taking

A big part of my work at IBM involves advising clients on automating their business processes.  In that work I have to admit I find inspiration in a quote from inventor and entrepreneur Tom Preston-Werner.  “You’re either the one that creates the automation or you’re getting automated.” For decades, companies in every industry have focused […]

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Why technology and human creativity are two sides of the same coin?

Preface: Per IBM’s 2015 C-Suite study, “…CxOs believe technology and market factors are by far the biggest of the various external forces buffeting their organizations. CEOs put technology at the top of the list, as they have for the past four years. But now, for the first time ever, the other members of the C-suite […]

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Ready for Money20/20? What about Real-time Payments?

We will be gathering in Las Vegas this week for Money20/20. I predict that two of the hot topics at Money20/20 will be the availability of immediate or real-time payments and cyber security. These topics are creating new challenges and opportunities for the financial services community. These technical and business challenges relate to the current […]

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