Financial Services Go Digital and Collaborative

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Seemingly overnight, the financial services industry has transformed into a digital business. In the past, institutions enjoyed a stable customer base and revenue with little to no competition outside of typical industry players. The rise of the internet, mobile, and technologies such as AI, however, has led consumers to look beyond traditional solutions to get more done, faster.

For example, take a banking customer who needs to deposit his or her paycheck. This customer is a frequent online shopper and user of mobile apps. They are also frequently on the go with limited free time, and rely on their smartphone to perform much of their daily tasks. Because this customer is used to easy and efficient retail transactions via mobile, they do not want to enter a physical bank branch, wait in a lengthy line to speak with a teller, or fill out a physical deposit slip.

This type of shift in consumer behavior has led to the rise of FinTech companies, who are seeking to solve these sorts of problems at record speed while traditional institutions struggle to keep pace. In this instance, a customer might favor an institution with reliable mobile app deposits or chatbots over one without.  Much has been made about the competition between newer, leaner companies and historical institutions navigating the changing landscape of financial services.

Who will emerge as the winner? Will it be the nimble start-up or the long-established industry player?  The answer is, quite simply, neither. To provide consumers with the best possible solutions, collaboration and knowledge sharing is imperative. Being able to combine the scale of an established, global company with the innovative solutions of a FinTech allows the best of both worlds to come together and solve important customer problems.

Our recently announced IBM Cloud for Financial Services is just one example of this. By providing FinTech developers all the essential tools to build and deploy cognitive financial services apps, we’re helping them (and our clients) bring innovative solutions to market faster – all done in a secure, cloud-based environment.

As our partners, FinTechs such as Accern, Actiance, Bondevalue, Dow Jones, Eigencat, Envestnet|Yodlee, Opentopic, Plaid, PolicyPal, Quovo, Riskspan, TagniFi and Xignite are sharing their APIs on the IBM Cloud for Financial Services. They are also collaborating with us at IBM hubs across the globe to help meet the constantly changing business needs and challenges of financial services institutions.

With 50% of new applications launched by financial institutions projected to be cloud-based by 2020, the need for these type of solutions is only growing.  It makes sense for FinTechs, our banking and financial services clients, and companies like IBM to treat each other as partners to share knowledge and collaborate.

This is especially true as the financial services industry continues to evolve. Ultimately, the best solutions for customers today will be the ones that happen as a result of collaboration.

Developers and partners can access the IBM Cloud for Financial Services at

CTO, Industry Platforms, IBM

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